Like any Mom with multiple children, I watch my children interact on a daily basis and wonder what they are going to be like as adults. Will they be close? Will they nurture the sibling bonds I have tried my best to instill? Will they share holidays and encourage each other through all of life’s challenges?
Sadly, if the last few months of Minecraft on the XBox are any indication, the answer is no.
My kids are not new to Minecraft. They used to play it years ago on the iPad and I almost lost my mind. They played it feverishly for months but then their interest waned and I was never so grateful.
For Christmas, I don’t know what he was thinking, but Santa gave my kids an XBox and threw in a $19.99 Minecraft game at the last minute. Because it’s been so cold and awful here in New Jersey this winter they can’t–and won’t–stop playing. And when they play, they fight. And it’s bad.
Here is how the last fight unfolded:
My youngest, who is six and can’t even make himself a sandwich in real life, finally found a fire aspect book somewhere in the nether and was looking forward to enchanting both a sword and an anvil when his sister went downstairs, joined the game, and caused a catastrophic glitch. The glitch caused him to lose all of his stuff, including his map, and in his fury, he grabbed his virtual sword and started virtually hitting her with it.
She started to virtually lose her health, and began “lightly flicking her wrist” in real life against his chest but according to him it was a sudden and violent slap in the face. In response, he let out a fierce battle cry and began savagely beating her in real life with the XBox controller.
She collapsed in a heap on the floor, which caused my other son to briefly look away from whatever he was doing in his world to glance in her general direction since he was obviously very concerned about her. He returned his full attention to the game, but not before calling out to me for help.
I was trying to ignore the battle since I had just made myself a nice salad but felt guilty after my son called out for me so I went down to the basement, where the XBox is located. Once I got down there, I found my 5-foot 6-inch tall 12-year-old daughter curled up in a ball convulsing and sobbing in pain while my 40 lb three-foot-tall six-year-old son stood above her with flames coming out of his ears.
She is usually very dramatic and he is usually very angry so there was a chance that all of this was just business as usual, but I had to assume the worst. I silently grabbed my son (also known as “The Spawn of Satan”), and led him into his bedroom for a time out while my daughter (also known as Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind) retreated to her bedroom, slamming the door behind her. I returned to the basement, gathered up the controllers, and hid them in a secret place for an undetermined length of time.
And that is when I FINALLY enjoyed my salad.