Do you want the good news?
Well, do you?
Thought as much.
All that time that I thought the boy was wasting in his bedroom has actually been put to good use (sort of, I think, tell me if you agree). He has been playing a game called Minecraft. I must confess to knowing nothing about this game other than it seems to be exceedingly popular and quite flexible in what you can do with it. So, he’s been messing around and he’s set up a server of some sort and he’s made some mods (or something like that, I’m not actually clear on the details) and he’s posted a copy of what his thingymajigs do on YouTube.
It seems that he’s built London. Out of what looks like electronic Lego, and you can ride around it on an electronic Lego horse.
How useful is that!
The remarkable thing about this is that he’s making money from it. At my last check (13:45 on 18th October) there had been 133,884 people view the YouTube thingy and close on 5500 people had given it the thumbs up. There have been 45k downloads from his site and countless other downloads from other sites and YouTube are actually paying him advertising revenue. That is astounding I think you will agree. It makes his little video thingy approximately 45000 times more popular than my most popular ever blog post. I was so pleased that I forgot to eat my lunch.
As the proud father of a fledgling games developer I rushed to show work colleagues. They, like me, have absolutely no idea what minecraft is but hey! The boy done good.
The trouble is, it has introduced a niggle in the back of my mind. There’s stuff out there that I have no idea about. I’m not thinking nuclear physics or sailing a three masted schooner. It’s the electronic things that make up the lives of the young.
There’s so many things! I am just old enough to have missed out on playing computer games and so I have no concept of what happens inside (or outside, come to think of it) of an Xbox or a playstation thingy. I can sort of understand the concept of all of the wireless things that run around my house but making them click together?
I had a music centre. I know, it’s not a music centre. It’s probably an multi-function audio playback device or something. It was a music centre. A radiogram with a record player. It also had a wireless connection in it and a hard disk drive so that you could fill it up with music and “never look at a CD again” – This isn’t necessarily a good thing as I mentioned here but I spent many a painful hour putting the Abba to Zeppelin onto the hard disk. For a few months it took me about an hour to find the bits of music that I wanted and then for a few months more I could actually listen to the music that I wanted to when I wanted to and the little screen on the music centre showed the sleeve of the album that was playing. Brilliant! Sadly my planning was slightly askew. I didn’t consider the asparagus fern sitting above the music centre and it seems that whilst the asparagus fern really liked to be watered the little electronic device beneath it was not so appreciative. There was a fizz and a bang and the kitchen was silent (but a little bit smoky and with a vague smell of electrical burning about it). I don’t have courage to purchase a new one. It’s far too bewildering.
My computer at home has a touch screen. I keep forgetting this and occasionally will flick away a piece of dust that has settled on the screen. This fires everything on the screen to the left (where it presumably falls off the screen, bounces along the desk and ends up on top of my guitar). I really don’t know why I have a touch screen when I have a perfectly good keyboard and mouse.
Anyway, I bet that the boy could probably build an entire electronic Lego planet with a touch screen. He may even be able to expand into a new electronic Lego universe that has jet powered horses and music centres that grow on trees so you have to water them. I’m not going to let him use it though, it will end up with fingerprints all over it.