Learning to play

Today I joined Massively Minecraft, “a learning community exploring how to live, work and play in Minecraft“.  I’ve posted before how this world is where my younger daughter, Megan has developed her ‘voice’ (see Of Hopes and Dreams).

I watched her play – and learn so much – in the last 3 months; a source of vicarious learning for me.  Megan has developed in so many ways but this post is not about her.  This post is about me in Ms10’s world.  Here she is, watching over me with one of her epic builds as a background.

Megan and I in Massively Minecraft

Megan in yellow, hovering over me.

In this world, Megan is literally watching over me.

Technical how-to’s I’ve learned today (my first outing):

  • go to bed (must be night-time)
  • fly and how to get down
  • pop blocks (destruct) and build (construct)
  • see myself (great for taking pictures with my daughter)
  • move around – forward, back, left, right, jump
  • change settings
  • accept teleport invitations
  • go to Jokaydia base and get stuff like food and tools

Personal things I’ve learned today:

  • I’m really bad at moving around, even just around the house my daughter built for me
  • I struggle to move around and read the in-world chat
  • It’s fun to explore with Megan within her world
  • Megan is really helpful and supportive
  • I’m okay being a total novice AND being helped by my 10 year old
So, this is play?
It’s hard and there is much to learn but the fun is not just a promise for when I’m good enough.  The fun has already started.  It’s not just me having fun either.  Megan is truly delighted, just as she is delightful.
So when people say learning should be fun, it’s not to dismiss the idea of difficulty.  Nor is play something you do before you do real work.
Play is work.
Play can be difficult.
Play is fun.
Play can be intentional.
Play is not just the start nor just the end.
Play is.
…. and I’m learning with and from kids.
…. because I can!
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8 thoughts on “Learning to play

  1. Megan Townes (@townesy77) says:

    Great post Malyn. I love playing with all the kids in Minecraft. Every time I go in there I become the learner and the kids are the experts. They don’t see themselves as the font of all knowledge but as part of a community willing to share their experiences and know-how – the best kind of teacher IMHO.

    I haven’t been into the mines in over a month and based on my kids’ conversations IRL, I know that when I go back in there I will be a n00b once again due to the new updates but like you, I look forward to learning from my kids (and yours). It’s so much fun being the student.

    • malyn says:

      Thanks Megan. It is rather exciting to enter a world that is challenging, creative and created (I do love my alliterations). I am completely distracted in there as there’s so much to see and do.

      What I need is a project. Maybe when I can move around well enough and multi-task enough to chat at the same time, we can all do something together.

  2. Jeannette James says:

    It must’ve liked firefox!

    Ok- Comment number 5 -phew!

    Great experiences for you and ms10. What wonderful learning opportunities and experiences for both of you. Great memories. AND lucky she has a fantastic, caring and devoted MUM!

    • malyn says:

      Thanks Jeannette.

      It is good to enter her world and understand why she is soooooo excited about it. It would give me some insights into what she’s talking about as well. Her plan is to get her dad and sister in as well but I doubt that would happen; that means, I’m it – the bridge.

  3. Mel Cashen says:


    Thanks for leading towards your post. There are so many similarities between our two introductions to Minecraft I had to laugh. Although you seem a lot more adventurous than I!

    What are you up to now? Are you still learning in Minecraft? I love that after playing for a couple of days I feel like a part of the community so instantly. Everyone who has been playing Minecraft are so happy to share, protect and help me!


    • malyn says:

      Thanks Mel.

      My Minecraft involvement is purely with the MassivelyMinecraft community (link in the post), because that’s where my daughter is. They’ve just been part of an international conference – http://vwbpe12.vwbpe.org/ – where one of the founders @jokay presented a keynote, the kids took conference delegates on a virtual world tour, and 3 videos won awards! No mean feat for a community largely made up of 5-16 year olds!

      I suggest you visit their website and browse through for some ideas. I believe @adriancamm is in contact with them and planning stuff for Quantum Victoria.

      I’m not very good and will never be as good as my daughter who has levelled up as the one of the first 2 junior mods in this community. And that’s exactly what it is – a community. These kids are learning the benefits of having a PLN! how cool is that?


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