A few months ago I decided to take a trip to Chicago to spend time with my sister and nieces. I needed a getaway, but not like the exotic or historical places I travel to for my clients. I felt compelled to surround myself with loved ones while I focused on self-reflection. Life had become hectic, and I needed a break so that I could restore myself to a more balanced state. I’m thankful I made this decision because I had the opportunity to spend a significant amount of time with my nieces, where I peered into their lives, and saw the world from their eyes.
Spending time with my two nieces, ages 3 and 9, was exactly what I needed to achieve a full restoration of balance. One of the greatest realizations I encountered was directly influenced by my 9-year-old niece regarding our latest technological advances and the impact its had on younger generations, which is personally believe, is for the betterment of humanity. For example, my oldest niece is an avid gamer and right now, her game of choice is none-other than Minecraft.
Minecraft is a game that grants players with the ability to build worlds by using blocks. Unlike most games where destruction is the primary motivation, Minecraft’s purpose focuses on building and working in teams to reach a common goal. Kids can play the game on their smartphones or computers. If you’re a Minecraft pro like my niece, you can purchase Minecraft server hosting from a third party hosting company to play over the internet. According to my niece, the medium you select is completely dependent upon personal preferences and how you intend to play the game. She loves to build elaborate worlds with her friends, which requires more space and a speedy internet connection.
Watching my niece play Minecraft, as she meticulously built her world, block by block, gradually piecing it together into what would inevitably become a masterpiece, I couldn’t help but find myself in overwhelming “awe” over what was unfolding before my eyes. She began with a blank canvas, and within a few hours, she transformed her world in Minecraft into an elaborate castle where she and her friends were free to build and play together. This unique experience opened my eyes to so many new realizations about myself, and the world. I suddenly became intrigued by the world’s youth today, and how it drastically different these children are from previous generations. Minecraft shed light on technology, and its ability to transform humanity, and the world as a whole. More importantly, it opened my mind to the immense possibilities that rest in technological advancements, and how drastically different today’s children are in comparison to previous generations because of it.
Minecraft made me realize how much technology has transformed humanity, and how it interacts with the world as a whole. I cannot express how undeniably amazing it was to watch a 9-year-old work with a group of kids to build a beautiful virtual world. In regards to conventional perspectives of video games, I could not relate when I played Minecraft. It was unlike anything I had ever seen or heard before. It did not fit or illustrate the commonly-held beliefs that gaming is not productive, and “rots your brain”. In fact, it was quite the contrary and I could not be more grateful to have discovered how positive of an impact it can have, particularly on children, when it is used properly.
To be honest, when my niece first asked me to play Minecraft with her, I did so because I’m a cool uncle. I realized I wasn’t going to have the chance to spend much time with her because her most of her time and energy was channeled into building worlds on Minecraft. So you can imagine how surprised I was during the first hour of gameplay, when I experienced a flood of realizations that ultimately led to a restoration of balance. It was exactly what I needed, and it came from the most unexpected place: through the eyes of a child.