chapter  8
22 Pages

Minecraft: Transitional Objects and Transformational Experiences in an Imaginary World

ByLori Landay

There’s a lot of excited shouting upstairs. My 10-year-old twin boys are playing Minecraft (2009) with some of their friends on a shared world over our wireless network (a LAN party!). For several years, Minecraft has been their favorite indoor activity. They’ve changed how they play, becoming more interested in building their own worlds or playing virtually with their friends on servers than downloading the mods that fascinated them a few years ago, and often select the challenge of Survival mode instead of merely Creative mode. My son Jason likes building more and Sammy prefers combat and blowing stuff up, so sometimes this makes for a good partnership, and at other times there can be considerable conflict. But at all times, they and their friends are engaged in play in which they have a higher degree of agency for actualizing their imagination than in other activities.