This week I made my way out of my comfort zone and decided to play the one thing the kids constantly play if given screen time with an iPad or iPhone: Minecraft. I knew that it was a good game, and I knew it taught my kids valuable lessons. If they didn’t want to get off the couch, then I was going to join in their world and let them teach me a thing or two. What I didn’t anticipate was a game reminding me of a few things about life. Here are a few ways Minecraft is just like real life.
1. There is always safety in numbers. Creepers are everywhere, but if you stay together you can fight any battle and come out victorious. We like to think that there aren’t bad guys lurking around every corner like in a video game, but when that becomes true, sticking together is a smart tactic and nothing bonds you like fending off a creeper.
2. Sometimes you are holding everything you need to make something awesome; you just have to work at it. Too often we think if we just had one more thing, everything would be perfect. Just like in Minecraft, sometimes you have to change the way you are looking at what you have, instead of changing what you have. But let’s be honest. Sometimes you might just be missing something important. Then you just have to set off and find it.
3. If you spend all your time tearing things down you don’t have time to build anything worthwhile. The first time I played I kept gathering materials. To gather materials in Minecraft you have to basically tear them apart and collect them. I spent probably two days and two nights gathering materials. My son said, “What have you built?” I hadn’t built anything at that point. When I confessed this he said, “Well, why work so hard if you aren’t building anything helpful?” And that was a great question.
4. Finding a diamond requires a lot of digging through dirt. Most of the time it requires digging down to the bedrock and making your way back up a little at a time. My kids are always looking for diamonds. Item value is a little subjective since the items you value are typically the items you need at that moment unless diamonds are involved. They are the prizes that can build armor to crush any creeper out there. Finding them is hard work, but I have noticed that once you find one you feel pretty awesome. So, sometimes it’s worth it digging through all that dirt and hitting rock bottom because sometimes you get diamonds. For adults, that might be a person, a place, or a thing. Whatever it is you’ll be glad you dug.
5. You can never spread too much light. Leave a torch wherever you go, and your path will always be lit. When I first started playing I would make torches and leave them like Hansel and Gretel to help me find my way back home. When it would get dark I could still see everything I needed to see. Spreading light can rarely be a bad thing. If we spent as much time spreading light as we did playing video games, I bet this would be a much better world to live in.