So we picked up my Step-Daughter from her Dad's this morning, and after getting ourselves together, the house cleaned up, snacks and such, it became time to start playing Minecraft.
At first, she was disappointed because it wasn't exactly like it is at her Dad's, which is expected. She's a kid, she wants the things she knows to be like the things she knows already. But once we explained that it runs on a PC, and she would be using the keyboard/mouse, she was okay with it (I am aware there are software plugins that you can load on a computer to bind keys from the X-Box controller to the keyboard, but, it would be another thing she'd have to load when wanting to play). So, once I showed her how to get in to the Minecraft Server loaded on my desk, I let her explore. I typed a few messages on the screen, she explored her inventory...and just walked around.
I set to work on building a small house, just so she'd have a landmark. Also, because I wanted to build a small house.
Once she became comfortable with the interface, her first order of business was a chicken coop. She looked through the inventory, found the things she wanted (dirt blocks and glass panes), and started to enclose a small space. Eventually she played around with sizes, what to put inside, flowers, etc., but she was off on her own. Her mother started to chime in and give her assistance about where to put things, what to put, why things weren't working, etc.
And that's when my wife took an interest.
My wife is a gamer too. She hasn't been one all her life, but, since we've been together she's slowly getting more and more into it, and it's absolutely fantastic to watch. So naturally, I stood up to take care of things from around the house, she sat down and started to play.
My wife and her daughter were playing Minecraft together.
The first thing they built was a horse pen. Starting with a large fenced-in area, they spawned horses, hay bails, and started exploring. The big difference now was that the child was trying to check with the parent at every step. Before, she was exploring, doing her own thing, trying things out. But now that Mom was playing, Mom had to be involved. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's very reminiscent of real life. She wants Mom to be involved and kept up-to-date on what the Daughter is doing.
Another worthy point of note is the attitude of the fence. The horse pen had a fence of one-block length high, but the animals could jump out of it. Normally how you'd solve the problem is you'd make the fence higher, or push the horse pen deeper into the ground (because game physics). Which is what was done...but then the question was the gates. My wife had created gates to walk through the fenced in area, and my Step-Daughter had fenced over the gates. When asked why she did that, she answered obviously: To keep the animals in. When asked how are you going to get out of the pen, she answered: "Uh, fly, duh." In crafting mode, you can fly. She doesn't see the need for a gate to the horse pen, because the horses aren't coming out, and she can get in from the sky. That's the right way to think, not bound by what you want...just bound by what you can do when you can do anything.
Now the daughter is off to build her own house.