January 26, 2017
“Oh, no you didn’t!” My declaration was promptly followed by uncontrollable laughter as Sunshine burst into excited giggles. She had just buried me alive for the fourth time as we played Minecraft. For those of you as unfamiliar with video games as I, we were playing a game on the Xbox I bought my dynamic duo (g-kids) for Christmas and they’d brought the game Minecraft to play while spending the weekend. Never could I have imagined that, at 7 and 4 years old, I’d feel like a complete idiot next to their skill levels.
At first, simply maneuvers eluded me, like walking straight, turning around, or trying to get out of a hole.
“Jump Gigi, jump!” Sunshine would shout when I’d fall in.
“I don’t know how to jump!” Need I mention, my response was met with giggles (squared).
I’m not ashamed to admit I kept handing the gaming controller over to four-year-old Stormy to ‘fix’ a situation I’d gotten myself into (again). Taking the device, he’d cheerfully roll his eyes, smile and place my character back into position. Um…good with everything but the eye roll. Somehow it seemed to validate my newly discovered idiot status.
However, by the third round of playing I’d mastered simply motions, like arm movement. Thus, I must say when Sunshine buried me, put up a stone marker and planted a white Lilly (Nice touch by the way.), I was certain I could escape.
“You’re dead! You’re dead!” She shouted diabolically.
“Oh, no I’m not!” I proclaimed. Even though being buried alive in a video game is a remarkably dark adventure I could see my arm…uh, hand…uh, square block thingy. Giving me incentive needed to desperately start digging and digging and digging. Straight ahead…I think. Didn’t matter. I wanted to claim the title “Smarter than a first grader.” Besides, being rescued (once more) by a 4-year old and suffering the disgrace of ‘cheerful eye roll’ was no longer a viable option. So, like a crazed chop-o-matic gone berserk, wildly I flayed my arm. Chop! Chop! Chop! I propelled forward in a blind frenzy.
WAIT! I had an epiphany! The lake was to my right, so I started digging in what I hoped was ‘that direction.’ My plan was to break through into water and swim for shore. Sounded brilliant and would clearly upgrade my standing as village idiot to…well, not village idiot. The only logistical hiccup in my plan reaching fruition was I simply couldn’t ascertain which way I was facing when I fell in the hole. Making striking water as improbable as finding a needle in a haystack. Still, I dug.
Time passed. More time passed. I hadn’t surfaced. Sympathetically, my granddaughter decided to unbury me. Assuming I’d be where she left me, she broke through the stone memorial marker and started digging. Only I wasn’t there. Instead she found herself in a maze of tunnels. Yes, I had become…drum roll please. Digital Mole…uh, Person!
Searching the series of tunnels, I’d skillfully dug, she lit touches to find me. (Understand this is all taking place on my TV screen.) As we watched the amazing rescue unfold, she found me deep underground, threw me a rope and pulled me to safety. Right after which I learned to fly.
You wouldn’t believe how interesting China is from the air. I followed the Great Wall, flew around dragons and a huge Panda statue, and admired beautiful landscape dotted with vibrant flora. My sightseeing was stalled, however, when Sunshine pursued me exploiting the guise: “play with me.” Really? (Nah... she wanted to bury me.)
Although, both children are skilled at gaming. Sunshine has a penchant for building houses and collecting animals in pens. The wealth of talent I witnessed as she brought her imagination to life was extraordinary. I marveled at the ability of both g-kids to manipulate buttons and triggers to construct windows into nether worlds, turn lava into water, build a diving board so tall it soared above the clouds, tame wild beasts and destroy ghasts. “Oh, you mean ghosts?”
“No, they’re ghasts.” Stormy said adamantly. I stood corrected. Yet delighted in killing several ghasts. Immediately consumed by hysterical laughter so hard I cried tears of joy at my victory. The kids laughed with me, which prompted Sunshine asking my daughter to return for more fun and games at GiGi’s house. Next time zombie wars. Can’t wait!
Yet, reflecting on my attempts at mastering LT and RT, I almost built a house. Looked more like a dump truck full of blocks threw up. You laugh, but it did have two walls. Well, it had to rows of blocks, two blocks high. Sigh…so close.
However, my greatest gaming accomplishment to date was when I figured out how to fill holes by planting grass. Ah-ha! No more getting buried alive. I played. I gamed. I conquered!
Can you imagine…your inner child playing with your g-kids?
Smile, you’re amazing!