I’m still wrestling with the third part of The Petri Dish as well as Ethan Carter Vs Verde Station, so here’s a few notes from all the Minecraft play going on at home, a followup to The Family That Plays Together.


  • Since beginning Minecraft a few months ago, both my children have really improved their mouse/keyboard skills.
  • My 6yo son doesn’t want to play creative, but he finds wandering around in the night or underground in the dark too tense.
  • My 4yo daughter initially required us to build things for her in creative: now she’s bringing up the menu and choosing materials herself. However, even though she is in creative and nothing will chase her, she had a big fright when a creeper tried to get past her and we had much tears. She hasn’t played Minecraft since, so I hope that’s not the end of that.
  • “Developments in Minecraft” is a regular topic amongst the family. Just today I proposed a high-speed rail link through the Nether to the dinner table forum.
  • My wife’s approach to house-building is entirely different to mine. I think about the building itself, form and function. She thinks about the view the building captures, it’s location. She started out with a mountainside residence, progressed to a beach house by the ocean, and her latest is bolted onto an existing cave. (I was planning a “cave house” myself at some point.) Her structures come out looking really different to mine.
  • Okay, there’s this towering mountain with a beautiful lavafall. My wife climbed it and said it would be a great place to create a mountain retreat. It seemed like quite a climb and getting all the materials up there would be a hassle. When I raised the topic of whether we should build a rail up the side of this natural feature (which I thought we should not), my wife was incredulous. You don’t build a railway to a remote mountain hideaway!
  • When my wife plays in my Minecraft world, she goes off in search of materials to fuel my addiction to construction. When my wife plays in her world, she isn’t as interested in building which means excavation in caves lacks a certain purpose. She loves caves, but it seems she needs me to give her caving a purpose.


  • We have tackled several caves together, including Bracken which I subtitled “scary old mine”. A whole section was infested with poisonous cave spiders and we both came close to death many times. Normally it’s just negotiating the environment and hunting for the source of water/lava noises that costs time – but we had a bloody war in the bowels of Bracken. Sadly, this particular cave was largely shallow meaning it generated very little return in terms of resources. (In contrast, another cave called Banach Dark consisted mainly of an underground gully which was rich in redstone, gold and diamonds.)
  • We took on the Nether together for the second time just this week and spent the whole time watching each other’s backs. Initially, we had no idea zombie pigmen were neutral to players and set about slaughtering them.

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6 thoughts on “A #MinecraftFamily Update

  1. Oh boy, now I really want to sit down with Claire and fire up our old Minecraft world.

    I think I wanted to find a nether fortress, or whatever it is, and start working towards entering The End – the one place in Minecraft I have never been.

  2. I am a complete Minecraft bore, now, but the great thing is I have an entire family to indulge these conversations.

    I don’t think Minecraft “needed” its alternate dimensions, especially as they aren’t as rich as the Overworld. But I’m happy to make use of the Nether to a create a new type of transport revolution. But I’m still, like, a dragon? Really?

    It is a shame that Minecraft writing is a dead horse because I could keep writing about it for many, many weeks.

    I don’t know when this addiction is going to wear off.

  3. Aye, I saw your comments in the last newsletter about how popular this stuff is. A shame, but I can see why people are kinda done reading about it.

    Oh yeah, I’m sure the End will be rubbish by comparison with everything else. I just haven’t been there, you know?

  4. Oh for sure I want to find an underground stronghold and head to The End as well. But I’m more interested in the ocean monument I found off the coast…

  5. I did not! But I have been thinking about picking up our 360 co-op game where we left off, and this would be a good- oh wait, I don’t want to generate a whole new world. Hrmph. :/

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