Minecraft is the new rap music.
Knowledge of this profound truth has transformed my parental paradigm.
When I was growing up in the 90s, adults had figured out (rightly or wrongly) that if they wanted kids to pay attention, they could make their life lessons relevant by expressing them as rap lyrics. This strategy unleashed an apocalypse of cringe-worthy rhymes about staying in school and saying no to drugs. A generation later, it’s our turn to make the young people cringe.
Heading into Widget1’s first soccer game with only a single team practice under his belt, I realized I needed to teach him how to play the game. But his ADHD and general lack of interest in sports made him unlikely to hear my instructions. I needed a plan.
Then an environmentally friendly solar-powered light bulb flickered on inside my brain. It said, “Dude, you gotta speak the language of the youth. Express your truth with crude, blocky art.”
So I did.
The below images are screen shots of my homemade Minecraft soccer field. The bleachers were added later for artistic effect, and Widget1 added the tower. But the field itself is where the real action is. Colored blocks represent players, white snow slabs indicate chalk lines, and fence posts have been woven into goals. Using this simple diagram, I successfully imparted to my son the basic rules of the game. (And yes, you do see a cow on the field. A fabulous soccer cow).