On MineCraft & Mommihood

On Minecraft & Mommihood

“If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” said no Mom before, ever, in regards to any sort of video game.

I’m about to change that.

A few days ago I saw the following interview on Jon Stewarts’ The Daily Show, in which Ron Suskind talks about his son, Owen, and his new book, Life Animated: (click here, if you haven’t seen this interview, you really should!)

It really, really made me think.

I started thinking about all the interventions we are doing with our son, Cassius. We are teaching him social skills, we are teaching him how to read non-verbal communication, we are teaching him using applied behavior analysis how to interact with the world a little more effectively.

We are, in essence, teaching him how to speak our language, without making much of an effort to learn his language. Why is that okay? Why is okay for me to demand that he bend 95%, while I complain about bending 5% of the way?

I started to think: I wonder if I could meet him halfway? I wonder if, while I’m teaching him my language, maybe he could teach me his?

Insert Minecraft [here].

Many Autists have something they focus their energy on and really deeply enjoy. In our little Autist’s life, that thing is Minecraft. He loves Minecraft for a multitude of reasons, but the truth is, he loves it so much that he has created a You-tube channel of Minecraft paradies which he blasts insanely loudly all the time. In fact, in my household there is a silent competition between my husband and I to see who can take the terrible parodies the longest (thus far, I am in the lead)*.

It was during my third round of “Where my Diamonds’ Hide” (a parody of Imagine Dragons’ Demons) when it hit me. That was it! It was right in front of my face all along (and loudly in my ears, too). How could I have missed it?

So with that being said, I downloaded Minecraft, and, thanks to my son’s love the game, I’m getting lessons in Minecraft (Minecrafting? Is that a word? ::Shrugs::). And I’ll use this gift of technology to bridge the gap in our language.

Lesson number 1 in Minecrafting: learning how to mine wood. In our Minecraft world, which is our own little world, we have our own house, and even adorable little bunkbeds. (But, separate bedrooms, because, as Cassius so deligiently pointed out “That’d be weird,” if we shared a bedroom. I agreed.)

I was definitely killed by a couple of zombies, but I genuinely enjoyed my very first Minecrafting lesson.

Hey if you can’t beat em’, join ’em.

As with anything else, I’ll let you know how this goes. 🙂 It should be, above all, very interesting. And involve a lot of TNT and Cake. And Pigs. And weird, weird laws of physics that make absolutely no sense*.

Wish me luck!

Don't Mess with me. I'm a Minecrafter.... I can Minecraft... My Minecrafting skills are....  ...terrible...
Don’t Mess with me. I’m a Minecrafter…. I can Minecraft… My Minecrafting skills are….
…terrible…

Sidenote: * denotes the use of sarcasm everywhere in this blog. And there is probably going to be a lot of it!

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19 responses to “On MineCraft & Mommihood

  1. Awesome! I saw a video about those guys a while back, and I couldn’t help but think that my currently 10-year-old autistic client would be a lot like Owen someday – he’s almost constantly scripting lines. I do try to “enter his world” occasionally, like saying something from one of his favorite movies (he lights up!). Of course, it isn’t that hard for me, because I’m on the spectrum myself 😉 My family and friends and I are constantly quoting lines from movies and songs. . . just a little more context-specifically. I bet your son is absolutely thrilled to have you share his special interest with him 😀

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    • It’s actually quite a bit fun! Admittedly, I’m still having a hard time “walking” through our “world,” and if it wasn’t for him building our home and bedrooms, we most certainly would not have a “roof” over our heads through the Minecraft nights (and I would have been eaten by a bunch of zombies for sure!)

      I love reading your blog. As a former foster child myself, it’s so wonderful to know that there are good social workers out there that really, truly try to care and do what is best for their clients. I am so, so glad to “know” you through the blogosphere.

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      • Oh, I’m sure it is! I was a Lego kid and I love video games. . . but I have to work, so I haven’t let myself try it out 😉 I’ve watched some family friends play, and I know I would easily become addicted.

        Thank you! I just started classes last month to switch to the IT field – mainly so that I can find a job I’m good at that actually pays enough for me to be independent, so that I can become a foster mom.

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  2. Loved this, in part because you found a new way to enter your son’s world, and in part because Minecraft is so much a part of our home as well. My son is almost 25, if he isn’t playing it, he is listening to the YouTube tutorials and gameplay . . . Minecraft is for today’s autistics what Thomas the Tank Engine was for them when my son was little :o)

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  3. I LOVE IT!!! Good for you momma. I have a friend who is doing the same thing and she actually says she is getting into it – that and all the boys in our school group LOVE her. You’ll be the cool mom and get to know your son all at the same time. 🙂

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    • Maybe you should share my blog with her. I could use some help! My first house I spent twelve hours building I accidentally burned to the ground (apppppppparently, it’s not a great idea to try to heat a brick fireplace with molten lava — in a wooden house. My bad….

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      • I forwarded it to her – it took some time to figure out for sure. I know she was super frustrated.
        It matters that you are even doing it I am sure (especially to your son).
        …and you are way ahead of me. I had no idea you could even have a brick fireplace, or use molten lava. 🙂

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      • ::giggles:: DO NOT try to heat your oven with Lava! Just as in this world, it will burn the house DOWN.

        Which is so bizare because…let’s me frank…no other laws of physics make ANY sense at all in Minecraft!!!

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      • OK good, got it. No lava in the oven. Hey, seriously, I can use all the tips I can get – in the real kitchen and the make believe ones.

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      • Hahahahahaha! I’m not sure if Lava in Real life would work to bake a pizza, but I wouldn’t try it! Just in case. Also, in real life it’s super hard to just come up with Hot Lava.

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  4. My autistic son is maybe too young for minecraft as he is still 4 but my oldest 8 yr old son is addicted lol! Let us know how you go. Great inspiring parental stuff. I ask questions and try to engage in it a bit but can’t quite find the willingness to have a go. Anyway the sentiment is great.

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    • 🙂 it’s been an adventure! I’ll share with you guys in a “Minecraft & Mommy Update” soon!!!

      You’ll laugh at me, that’s for sure! (Course that’s pretty much the case anyway!) 🙂

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