We have a new iPad in our house. Whoo wee are there lots of interesting things to play on that thing! S has been completely enthralled with the many games that allow you to enter and explore new and interesting worlds. My personal favorite is the one with the singing monsters. Somehow, you accumulate points that allow you to purchase monster eggs. These eggs incubate and then hatch into a variety of singing monsters. All the monsters then sing together in this crazy symphony of wacky monster music. It’s pretty wild.
S’s current favorite is Minecraft. Your avatar gets plunked down in the middle of a barren landscape. The landscape is made out of cubes. If you punch a cube, it disappears, creating a hole or a chasm. or, you can go to the dashboard and select a cube and start building. S can play this game for hours… creating two and three story houses complete with landscaped gardens and rooftop swimming pools. I love watching the imagination that comes pouring out as she creates buildings and flower beds out of the once empty vistas.
G has recently discovered Minecraft. He loves the sights and sounds of this imaginary world as much as his sister. Only G’s interaction with this world is completely different. He likes to punch a hole in the side of a mountain… and then hide in the hole. He likes to create a lake along the side of the hill…. and then jump of the hill and do a belly flop into the lake. He likes to run his avatar around in circles until the whole world is spinning. And the whole time that avatar G is running around the Minecraft world, real-life G is consumed with full-body belly laughs.
Maybe I should be concerned about this. After all, I can only assume that MOST people play with Minecraft the way that S does. Creating architectural wonders does seem to be how the game was intended to be enjoyed. And don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely awestruck by the things S designs. But there is something so beautiful, so deliciously freeing, about the way that G plays. The wild abandon, the unfettered curiosity, and the body-shaking giggles. It is all so authentically G. My true hope for both my children is that whatever environment they finds themselves in (whether real or imaginary) that they will both be able to find their own path, the one that lets them explore and create in a way that brings them joy and fulfillment.