I am so sorry for the loss of a nephew of mine named Jake. My utmost sympathy and condolences go out to my brother in law, John, Jake’s Mom, Tracy, and Jakes sister, Rylee. I was one of the lucky ones who was able to spend some of Jake’s last days here on earth with him. This was my experience.
I teach Mine Craft to kids in Great Falls, or should i say, they teach it to me. John asked my wife, Joan, if I would show Jake how to navigate and play and create in Mine Craft, when he came to Great Falls over Christmas break, because John and Tracy and Rylee just didn’t get it. They didn’t understand how it worked and why Jake and other kids were so fascinated with it. I thought it might be helpful to them if I tried to explain kids’ fascination, Jake’s fascination somehow.
First of all, a Mine Craft world is huge, as big as the planet Uranus. And when I say that…my students always say “you mean, YerAnus”. They can travel and teleport and fly any where they want in that huge world. There are forests and jungles and deserts and huge caves and mines and oceans and rivers and lakes. There is rain and snow and thunder and darkness and light. It really is a beautiful place.
When I was showing Jake some things last Saturday night on Mine Craft, he looked up at me with his big excited eyes and said, “Look, Jeff! I can fly right up into space, and I can almost see forever!”
Another cool thing in Mine Craft, is that kids have access to any kinds of blocks they want to build with. There are diamonds and gold and coal and obsidian and any kind or color of wool u need. There are foods like cake and roast beef and porkchops. Jake told me he was gonna learn how to build an Oreo. My students can raise chickens and cattle and pigs and have dogs and cats and entire villages of people who are willing to share what they have with them. They create farms and grow and raise crops like carrots and potatoes and bamboo. Jake started building a house on our Mine Craft server out of gold. He was building a little dog house right behind it out of Lapis Lapuzi block. I am not sure what that is, but Jake liked its name.
Jake and I starting on his gold house. His dog house is behind us.
Jake was so excited when i showed him how to wear his armor. He asked, with that enthusiasm so unique to him, “Can my helmet be gold and my legs be diamond and my chest be iron?” I told him that in Mine Craft, you get to make your armor however you like and his face lit up in joy.
You sometimes need that armor to protect you from scary things, like creepers and spiders and zombie pigmen and endermen, even a dragon. But what is really cool about Mine Craft is that the creepers cannot hurt you when you are in creative mode, which I think is the mode that Jake liked to be in the most. And if they do try to harm you, you can slay them and get really good loot.
I think the most important reason why kids are so fascinated with Mine Craft is that in Mine Craft, you are never alone. There are always others there with you, exploring, building, creating and having fun.
I think that some people don’t get or understand Jake’s fascination with Mine Craft is because for them, what I just described is not, could not be a real place, but for kids like Jake, it is as real and beautiful and fascinating as places out here are. I was so looking forward to exploring with, learning from, and playing with Jake in Mine Craft. I am disappointed tremendously that I will have to wait.
I imagine, believe, and hope heaven is little bit like the Mine Craft I described above. I believe Jake’s soul was ready for a place like that.
My students built a shrine by Jake’s build.