Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Minecraft Tortures the Ruminating Brain

I don't care what it is just as long as it doesn't need me to update any files.

I’ve already ruminated on my tendency to ruminate. This topic has been a big hit, especially for  those with parenting questions in the Ukraine. Я приветствую вас с рыбой! According to Google Translate, this means from Portland to Kiev with love.

Over the last day my brain has been afflicted with the disease of Minecraft. No, I don’t have any interest to play the damn thing – but my son does.

He’s eight-years old and, to his credit, has made serious efforts to educate himself about computer use and the game. But he's still a kid. So when he needs to make changes, edit files, or download something he often has problems.

I spent considerable time setting up the computer for him last week. This week I decided to tweak the computer in an attempt to speed it up, as the graphics-heavy program stresses the machine. The attempt ended badly with the loss of many Minecraft files I had driven myself to distraction to install.

Yesterday I spent several hours trying to undo the damage, all the while wishing I could somehow learn from the experience other than how I am cursed with no impulse control and am doomed to walk the earth in a semi-lucid state destroying perfectly operational electronic gear.

Part of the time was spent removing the copious amounts of spam-ware files that accumulate when an uninitiated dad tries to do anything Minecraft related. The computer was junked up with viruses that hovered fake download buttons over pages  that did indeed have downloads. I then would click these decoy buttons and install even more crap advertising widgets on the computer.

I felt really stoopid yesterday. 

I thought of all the other dads, and children, who have no problem with Minecraft and find it an easy and enjoyable pastime. Also, my son finally had the game he desperately wanted and I screwed it up with my “improvements.” When it occurred to me my kid would probably become a juvenile delinquent because of such idiot parenting I vowed to set things right.

Early in the morning my ruminating brain got me out of bed and I began futzing with the computer. I watched endless videos of how to update the files, each video missing one crucial aspect or release number so I never understood exactly where I stood. 

Eventually through trial and error I got the different files to work together. My brain relaxed and it seemed I had a remote chance at a productive adult life. I hugged my son and made him promise not to change any settings or ask me to for one day.

He’s already making the list for tomorrow. Maybe I’ll be smarter by then.

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