My Long, Strange Journey Writing About the Minecraft Universe
I was raising two young kids after my husband died, taking any writing gig I could. My 40 novels about dragons and exploding creepers helped connect us more than I ever imagined.
The last video game I played was Pac-Man, when I was 10 years old, sitting on the faded blue wall-to-wall carpeting of my family’s living room. Decades later, my 8-year-old son sat beside me in our cluttered Brooklyn apartment and announced that he had built me a house. “Really?” I asked, “Where?” It sounded sweet, but I knew it was a setup. At this point in his life, he was obsessed with Minecraft — a video game where players build and battle. Unlike games where you follow a rigid structure to reach the end, Minecraft is a “sandbox” game, allowing players to have a series of unstructured adventures. All conversations with my son led to him either recapping something that happened in that day’s game or trying to find a way to sneak in another hour in this dark universe, which many parents claimed was “semi-educational.” My Luddite personality left me resistant to that idea.
Despite wanting him to wind down and go to sleep, I let him show me the house he h…