[ExI] cool! locals create circuit board modeled on the human brain

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Mon May 5 21:04:49 UTC 2014

Adrian Tymes <atymes at gmail.com> , 5/5/2014 10:49 PM:

On May 5, 2014 12:45 PM, "spike" <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
 > I don’t understand the grip Minecraft has on this generation.  They seem to writhe helplessly in its relentless grip.  Have we any Minecraft players present who can explain please? 

Yo.  (I haven't played Minecraft itself, but I have played similar games and know the culture.) 

You have it mostly backward.  They are the ones who have Minecraft in their grip.  It's about making stuff, shaping the world, far more easily and faster than one might shape the real world.
Exactly. It like doing science, engineering or exploration without the messy bits. I have never dared to touch the thing, I would be addicted in an instant. 
My niece and oldest nephew are also deep into minecraft. I am proud of her: she is showing promising evil overlord skills. She has built dark palaces out of obsidian, run animal breeding experiments, added a slave market to her Egyptian-themed city, and most recently was filling her pyramid with devious traps. When playing a tarot-based storytelling game she came up with some court intrigues worthy of Game of Thrones - very cold and ruthless. She is also recruiting her brothers to be her bodyguards. I look forward to her future reign. 
What I like about the Minecraft aesthetic is that one can make surprisingly complex things with simple tools and simple graphics. Markus' demonstrated it again with his little existential angst game "Drowning in Problems" a few weeks ago ( http://game.notch.net/drowning/ ) - not open-ended like Minecraft, but still poignant. And quite powerful without using *any* graphics.  


You might consider getting a low end 3D printer and letting your son play around with it. 
My sister-in-law is actually writing a thesis on how children learn to use 3D printers. They can definitely produce interesting objects: https://flic.kr/p/mPqAWD

Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University
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