Creepers and endermen and griefing and trolling and zombies and pickaxes and redstone and mobs and mods and spawning: these are all words that get peppered into normal dialogue in my house. My nine-year-old has an astonishing talent for turning any conversation at all into one about Minecraft. You comment on the weather; he tells you how in Minecraft you can change it from rainy to sunny by typing a command (then he tells you the command - /toggledownfall or some such nonsense - as if you'll ever use it). You mention that a friend is pregnant; he informs you that in Minecraft animals can only breed when they're in "love mode" and little hearts are flying everywhere. You hear a commercial for a jewelry store on the radio; he tells you how it's really hard to mine diamonds in Minecraft but he has done it and now he has diamond armor and a diamond sword and did you know that diamond pickaxes can break all types of block and by the way they make toy diamond pickaxes made out of foam and can we please get one?
Add in the fact that he's a serious computer geek, so we also get to hear about servers and admins and IP addresses, and the different versions of Minecraft like Indev and Infdev and Alpha, and the smallest nuances between each version. I have really had to perfect my "trying-not-to-glaze-over" look. I nod my head until I get a cramp in my neck.
Oh, and when he isn't playing Minecraft? He's watching other people play Minecraft on YouTube. Apparently this is a huge thing, because there are tons of videos of people playing (yawn) while offering up a running commentary (zZzZz), which is about as fascinating to me as watching paint dry. And when he's not watching other people play, he's making his own tutorials on YouTube like the ones he watches (find his channel here if your kids are into that sort of thing). You have to be careful with YouTube - remember how Cameron learned the word "gay?" - but Colin's videos are all kid-friendly. Adult-boring, maybe, but kid-friendly.
We have Minecraft on our computer, our XBox, and our tablet. We own a Minecraft playset that Colin got for his birthday, with figurines that cost a ridiculous sum for a little piece of plastic. They wear Minecraft t-shirts and have Minecraft hoodies and Minecraft books on their Christmas wish lists. They beg to go to MINECON (not a chance, when I've never even been to a blogging conference). I'm thinking that our financial support is a big part of the reason that Notch - the creator of Minecraft, didn't you know? - is probably sipping champagne and being fed strawberries on an island somewhere.
... But look at that face!
Colin wants to work for Mojang (the studio that developed Minecraft, naturally) when he grows up.
At least he'd be surrounded by people who love to talk about it as much as he does. Because around here? He's out of luck.
PS - DON'T FORGET TO ENTER THE SOL REPUBLIC GIVEAWAY (yes, I'm yelling) BY CLICKING ON THE "GIVEAWAYS AND REVIEWS" TAB AT THE TOP! You've only got a few more days!