Funny story: Minecraft prejudice...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by ShelLuser, Sep 5, 2015.

  1. Hi gang!

    I ran into an old (highschool) friend a few moments ago in the supermarket and although it's not my habit to share stuff happening in my personal life I think this is really fun (and harmless) to share... My friend discovered Minecraft ;)

    This began a few weeks ago when I got an invitation to a birthday party. Something I wasn't really planning on visiting but since my gf wanted to accompany me I decided to go after all. It was fun, also because two of my other friends (who I hadn't seen in quite a while) came but alas. We talked about all sorts of stuff and at one point the topic shifted towards the kids. My friend was a little troubled (not in a negative way!) that the most creative thing his son basically did (as far as he could tell of course) was playing Minecraft. His kid does play with his friends, it's not as if he spends all his time behind the PC, but my friend was hoping that he might be able to trigger his sons interest in programming a bit, or "messing with the PC".

    This requires a small bit of context: both of us date from, as we call it, the BBS era. Call it the "ancient Internet"; you could use a device called a 'modem' to make your computer call another computer using a telephone line after which you could "do" stuff there. From checking software to download, playing BBS games (usually turn-based games which were played with other BBS visitors) and we even provided news (echomail, the predecessor of Usenet) and private messaging (netmail, the predecessor of e-mail).

    We both operated pretty popular BBS systems and the computers which we used for that were mostly scraped together from bits and pieces which we bought on computer fares. The both of us spend many evenings assembling and tuning computers. Where one of the most bizarre (and fun) stories is where a 10Mb harddisk failed on us and we really needed to retrieve some data from it. So we opened it up, vacuum cleaned it (I kid you not!), re-assembled it and... it worked ;) and kept working for at least 2 more years.

    So yeah; he really hoped to spark his sons interest in all this, but his son was mostly interested in playing Minecraft. His sons age is around 10 - 15.

    Now; this might come as a surprise for you guys, but Minecraft is also one of my main hobbies.

    One thing became really obvious to me: prejudice. My friend was convinced that Minecraft was some kind of "8-bit like block building game" where the only thing you did was play with blocks to build stuff. And my friend wondered why his son wasn't interested in graphics programs or perhaps design programs (AutoCad comes to mind).

    So I gave him a few tips. First obviously busting the myth about Minecraft being a "simple block building game" but also informing him a bit about the more advanced stuff.... And primed with this knowledge my friend felt more comfortable to talk to his son about his Minecraft endeavors.

    This was a few weeks ago. I just heard the aftermath and it had me grinning a lot, so... yeah, apart from my gf I think its also well shared with you guys too....

    As it turns out my friends son was/is very busy building an adventure map for some of his friends. One problem which he had was that at one point he wanted to create something where 2 players had to do something (I think put stuff in a chest or stand somewhere) at the same time and make it so that they couldn't cheat. He googled and looked more into redstone, eventually ending up creating a logical circuit: an AND gate (I'll address that in a few weeks in my upcoming redstone tutorial). He even added some extras failsaves of his own. Now... logical circuits (AND, NAND, XNOR, etc.) are also things which my friend and me grew up with.

    I hope you can somewhat imagine my friends mind getting blown when he saw all this and learned that his son was actually busy working out elementary programming logic. Not just that: but succeeding with all this too.

    So I ran into him today... Guess what his plan for this Saturday evening is? Helping his son by testing his adventure map for him. He even got his own Minecraft account. And just like me he also discovered that there is a lot of cool stuff to do in Minecraft; even digital "programming".

    I feel sorry for him though. I just sent him this video and well... I have a pretty good idea what effect that will have on him :D But he had it coming :p He also told me that he finally understood why I was "interested in a game for 10 year olds" which, obviously, was a complete misconception on his part (he admitted to this btw.).

    But it still amazes me how much prejudice some people have towards Minecraft; how heavily it can be misunderstood.

    SO yeah.... If you happen to be one of those (unlikely, but not impossible) then I hope that this story may have triggered something.
  2. Awesome!
    ShelLuser likes this.
  3. Hahaha, that's great! Thanks for sharing, that definitely made me smile quite a bit! :)
    ShelLuser likes this.
  4. I didn't even know you played minecraft
    ShelLuser likes this.
  5. Sorry, sorry... Yeah, I understand that this might come as a shock for some of you :D
  6. Y'know what we like to call those types of people?
    *cough cough* referrals *cough cough*
    ShelLuser likes this.
  7. Yeah, I have a few friends who are like that towards Minecraft but they still play it anyway lol (but keep in mind they do play the Xbox version so it explains alot :p)
    ShelLuser likes this.
  8. lol ;) Well, I have told my friend about the existence of servers and such but I'm not exactly the kind of guy who starts inviting people en-messe ;) But you never know of course, its quite likely that I may have dropped the name EMC a few times.

    aah, yeah. I actually tried the PS3 version once (the demo) but... I can see how it might appeal to some players but it's so annoyingly limited that I quickly gave up on it. Even though I normally prefer playing games on my PS3 ;)
    607 likes this.
  9. Minecraft is what triggered me into actually attempting to learn a programming language outside of Scratch. It also made me realise that, 'yeah, I can be a game developer!', which has been my dream since I was four years old (I played my first game when I was two :p). Something that has been a godsend to me is Skript, essentially a programming language made for Minecraft servers (it's not built for massive things, though :p) and requires basic knowledge of English. I lack the determination it needs to learn Java (which I learn a bit of, forget, start learning again, forget), which I'm not terrible at but the best it gets with me is a basic economy plugin with an API :p

    It also made me learn HTML, a bit of PHP, CSS and JavaScript (which I'm going to make a start on learning tomorrow, actually :p), which so far have served little to no use with me besides crappy webpages with iFrames and such.
    ShelLuser likes this.
  10. Hey, I'm with you ShelLuser. You may be a bit older than me but I started out with an Apple IIE and a C64. I remember when you had to pick between the phone and the internet. I remember when Tandy was a thing. I remember those dot matrix printers.

    I remember being amazed when I upgraded to a new computer with 200mb of hard drive space, of which Doom required a whopping 12mb.

    Heck, I even remember not having to remember things. :p
    607 and ShelLuser like this.
  11. My mother went to the DMV a couple of weeks ago, and this little old lady was in front of her. The woman started some small talk with my mom, and she told her that her grandson is "Obsessed with that minecraft game" to which several people mentioned their kids/relatives were all fans of it.

    I think it's funny how people assume that it's a kids game, when I WISH I had this game growing up. I love teaching my youngest cousin (he's 5) how to play, and seeing the creative things he puts together.
    ShelLuser, 607 and DufneArc like this.