Journey 269: Guest Blogger Jonathan Adam

Today’s blog post is from grandson Jonathan. I got to spend time with him yesterday afternoon and asked him to be thinking about what he wanted to share on the blog. This boy, who just turned 10 (we will celebrate Oct 10th), and is a 4th grader, didn’t need long to ponder. He excitedly told me he already knew what he wanted to do…an instructional video! I grabbed my phone and in a few moments, we were set up and ready to go.

Jonathan is a natural, both in front of a camera and in doing instructional videos. He loves watching YouTube and learning more about the games that he enjoys playing. His great desire is to have his own YouTube channel soon, and a large following! For this blog post, Jonsthan decided to cover the basics of building a house in one of his favorite games, Minecraft. I filmed him as he deftly built the structure, keeping up a running monologue as he worked. Jonathan amazes me with his grasp of technology, and his fearlessness in putting himself out there, whether he’s acting in a play, singing in a talent show or creating a video. The boy is brilliant. His talents will take him far, should he decide to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.

Here is Part 1, of Jonathan’s video blog post.

I’m so grateful to Jonathan for creating this video and for helping his Yaya to learn more about technology. He helps me to grow by challenging me to keep up with him! The video I recorded of Jonathan was about too long to post in one segment. I’m still in process, figuring out how to edit the video to break it into smaller segments. Stay tuned for the rest of Jonathan’s informative videos on YouTube. As I left the house yesterday, Jonathan was busy setting up his own WordPress blog. That’s my boy!

Day 289: Play Minecraft with Dayan


I thank Dayan for today’s first. He had the patience to teach his Yaya the basics of Minecraft. I’ve watched Dayan play this game. My grandson Jonathan had a Minecraft birthday party. I am familiar with the game. Until today, I have never attempted to play it.

When I was a young teen, a revolutionary new game appeared. It was called Pong. Created to simulate a table tennis game, this two dimensional black and white game, released in 1972, paved the way for the video game industry. Before long, arcades were opening in malls and games such as Pac Man, Galaga and Donkey Kong became the new thing in entertainment. Somewhere after Pac Man, I stopped playing video games except for an occasional try at running Mario through the many worlds of Super Mario Bros. I did that mostly for the amusement of my kids who played the game with ease. The music still brings back memories of watching my young children, with amazement, as they leapt and flew and bounced their way to saving the princess.

minecraft pong video game

Games and the graphics have advanced greatly over the years, moving beyond TV screens to computers, phones and iPads. I enjoy watching the grandkids play, and sometimes I play the Sims, which is more of a creative game rather than a skill based game. I asked Dayan recently if he would teach me how to play Minecraft, as a first. This afternoon, we had time for Lesson One.

The original game was created in 2009 by Markus Persson, known on Twitter as Notch. The prototype was called Cave Game and was built on the premise of breaking and creating blocks in a 3D world. The game continued to evolve, with resources being added and a protagonist named Steve. The name shifted to Minecraft and was officially launched on November 18, 2011. At first people built structures to protect against nocturnal creatures. Then players began to build more and more elaborate structures, communities and cities. There is a survival mode and a creative mode. Dayan most enjoys playing in creative mode where he can build cities with amazing structures in them.

When given the choice, I opted for creative mode too. Today’s lesson was about how to use the game controller and how to move my character. It sounds simple enough! Except it had been quite a while since I had held a controller. I had to peer at it to hit the right button, while Dayan does it instinctively. Getting the hang of that, I practiced moving my character around. I discovered my little avatar seemed to prefer staring up at the sky. Dayan is so very patient. He is a great teacher. At last I was able to destroy blocks, add blocks of materials from the resources panel, walk around and fly. Flying is cool and the fastest way to move to a new location on the game. I practiced rising into the air and then following Dayan’s character, who is sporting a kilt I might add, as he led me onward in search of a site to create a city together.

Lesson One ended, as we had downtown Joplin to explore for the final Third Thursday. Next week, we will begin to build structures. This will be fun. Dayan even named our world Rivendell. Rather than being an observer, I will create. As in life, enough of me watching from the sidelines. I am ready to engage!

minecraft structure

One of the top 15 structures created in Minecraft. It has a Rivendell look!