Today, I got schooled.
I’m supposed to be writing about what I’ve been learning about other Minecraft communities. And I will. Maybe tomorrow.
But I think I need to start by lauding my own community.
Last week, I got on Minecraft. There were a couple of other people there, and we started chatting. I had not found the same resources in our new world as in my practice survival mode. And I was getting a little desperate.
In my practice survival mode, I died many times. And with each death, I learned something new.
- Like don’t get lost. (I couldn’t get back to my house and this green scary thing blew up in my face.)
- Get home before dark, and don’t wander too far. (I felt a little like Red Riding Hood. My daughter had warned me, but I didn’t listen and got into a fight with a skeleton that shoots arrows from far away and a zombie. And I died.)
- Don’t mine near lava. (You burn up pretty quickly. The resources aren’t worth it because you lose everything you’re carrying.)
So I felt pretty ready when our server turned from creative mode, where one can fly and build with unlimited resources, to survival mode. I had learned so much from dying multiple times.
The survival mode was put on easy. So I didn’t meet any spiders or skeletons or green scary things or zombies.
But I also couldn’t find any resources. Some had been left out for us, but I felt weird about taking other people’s things without giving any back when I knew how to get my own resources.
I took a few things. I was given a bucket. I took a hoe and a pickaxe. And a sword.
I couldn’t find cows, so my avatar I was getting hungry. I saw my food resources dwindling.
I couldn’t find coal, so I couldn’t make torches. And my multiple death experiences made me more than nervous about that. I thought about my refugee students and how this at first could seem unnerving, but eventually it could be empowering.
Some colleagues got on and started mining because one had found coal. One invited the other to come mine with him. I wasn’t personally invited, so my insecurities took over. How many of my students would do the same?
There was a bit of a crisis when the two broke their torches and couldn’t find their way out of the mine. I got a call for help and ran back to see what I could do. I eventually figured out I could hit torches off the wall and pick them up. I came back with some pilfered torches to help them out. And then I took off to seek my own fortune.
I found coal.
I found iron ore.
I planted wheat.
I started a cattle operation. Even learned how to do a little husbandry.
And then I went back to try to be part of the community.
And I got lost.
I ran through several day cycles because I knew there weren’t a whole lot of creepy crawlies out there to get me. But I got nowhere.
I had been lost in Minecraft for a few days. So this morning, I put a call out in the Google+ community. I asked whose house I was in and how I might find my way back to where I started. Jeff told me he thought I was at his house. And then I was asked for my coordinates.
WHAT??? COORDINATES??? Who knew there were coordinates???!!! I could have been making my own paper map the whole time.
And then Rose Bard gave me a compass. It always points toward the spawn point. Toward where I started. So close to home.
And she said, “What’s a community for, after all?” Or something like that. It was just what I needed. Just enough of a nudge.
I found the village that has sprung up around our resources.
And then I found home.
With a little help from my friends.