Then they learned about Minecraft.
Now I rarely hear them talk about anything other than creepers and re-spawning and some guy named Steve. It sounds like they're speaking English, but then again maybe I'm wrong because I have a college degree in English and I still can't figure out what they're saying.
Every topic of conversation these days somehow leads to Minecraft. My children have entered another world, one where their favorite pastime is sitting around the computer heatedly debating the merits of building with acacia wood.
Is that what 7-year-olds do these days?
I've seen them literally jumping up and down in excitement over making mushroom stew — in the game, of course. (If only they'd retain that level of enthusiasm for mushroom anything in real life.)
Yesterday during my son's daily Minecraft fix, he unexpectedly struck emerald. Judging by the way the kids all began screaming in synchronized rapture, I gather that this is rare. But I wouldn't really know.
As their mother, I try to share in their excitement. Really, I do. I just can't keep my eyes from glazing over when they start explaining to me the number of hits it takes to defeat different types of monsters with a wood sword, and an iron sword, and a diamond sword, and a...
Wait, where was I?
When my kids talk Minecraft to me, I have to actively fight off a boredom-induced coma. I have to snap myself out of fantasies about doing something more intellectually stimulating, like folding laundry or poking myself in the eyes with barbecue skewers.
|If they can't be playing Minecraft, at least they can draw it.|
But like my parents before me, I'll nod and pretend to be interested in whatever weird things my kids are into because I love them. (Note to self: call parents and apologize for talking their ear off about New Kids on the Block and the Sims.)
When they call me in to gaze appreciatively on the computerized world they've created, I will. Even though I have no idea what I'm looking at, because Minecraft's pixelated graphics are worse than the ones I grew up with.
In the 80s, there was an Atari in my living room that was frankly easier on the eyes than Minecraft. Things were simpler back then. In fact, if someone showed up on my doorstep today with a working Atari console and a Frogger cartridge I would happily lock myself in my room with it all afternoon.
But even though it might look a lot like the Atari, Minecraft appears to be an entirely different (completely illogical) sort of entity.
Just when I think I'm finally starting to understand some of the basics, my kids drop another bomb on me: there's actually a whole other world called the Nether. The guy I thought was called “Hero Brian” is actually named “herobrine.” You can make a block of TNT float in the air, just because.
Forget it, I understand nothing. Life no longer makes sense.
On a related note, I just found out that you can play Frogger online. If anyone needs me, I'll be in my room.