Tower of Babel Team builder

Noticing

Looking back over 12 weeks since we started the Minecraft Church I have noticed a number of things. I will record them below as a first step in the Theological Reflection on Minecraft Church.

  • Movement from individualist building to co-creating and collaborative building
  • People hugly value praise and appreciation for their builds
  • Minecraft church is not necessarily a haven for people with spectrum disorders. Despite Boy made of Blocks, the need for interpersonal skills in collaborative play and building is vital for flourishing in the community.
  • Negotiation (who can build where and what) and Reconciliation (because of greifing) are very important to the flourishing of community
  • Grief is a prominent emotion
  • 'Amen' and fireworks go together
  • Players exist in a state of constant movement. When their head is held down they are typing doing something 'out of world'/thinking!
  • Greetings are very important, more than partings. When I arrive in world a "Hi" exists before I materialise. The server tells them I am there and they stop what they are doing immediately to type hi! When standing in front of someone it is polite to crouch quickly several times or to nod vigorously .
  • Leaving is not as important as arriving as you can be cut off from the server for a variety of reasons out of control. This is accepted.
  • Flying with elytras and hovering is utterly normal and human movement as common as walking or running. We have had to add a sit command in
  • Players love to decorate themselves with 'skins', hats and other items. This provides an important visual way to distinguish each other.
  • Players are known by their in server user name  and their actual names. It is confusing mapping them but we can use their nick name on the zoom. Puppymasters = Josh for example.
  • Dance and movement is really important. Musical worship is not sung to but danced too. The creation of animals and fireworks is important in this. It is amazing to behold and to be a part of! Psalm 98!
  • Building and Anti-building are both as important as each other for reflection.
  • Learning collaboration is not natural for all. Teenagers can forget how to do this but 7-8 year olds have not forgotten. They have much to offer to older players.
  • Players do not know how old other players are - its what they can do or build that is important.
  • People often need a few clues about the age of others and how to incorporate them in play.
  • MC church has grown week on week. Very powerful draw with 8-12's. Age range is generally 7-14 so far.
  • MC church has about 33% from same locality making up 50% from diocese, rest from outside?
  • Java / Bedrock split is a big problem not of our making. Java is actually cheaper than Bedrock on windows, but more expensive than mobile minecraft.
  • Java Minecraft (and our server) requires a keyboard to get the best from the community! Individual building does not require communication with others. Multiple players means community means a form of speech.
  • Numbers are increasing but there is a growing familiarity with the zoom breakout rooms and the team colours. Having teams with easy changing of team colours is helpful. Clear colour to team names helps. Command blocks are important ways to enable players to change colours. You can tp as teams and message as teams too. Added an alias to do team teleporting /teamgive needed too.
  • Players are good at helping players. They ask for help too.
  • Teaching each other how to build was noted as important (was placed as a sign when doing rules) and I often see that requested or remarked upon.
  • Reading a passage from the Bible may take 30 seconds. We tend to build the same passage in 20-30 minutes. We inhabit the story really well.
  • The world of Minecraft and the historical world of the bible are very close in technology. This makes building really evocative. we have little need for wheels for example, which there are none in Minecraft, but there are donkeys "Does God like donkeys as there are a lot of them in the Bible!"
  • Asking questions such as "what does this feel like for you?" "How would we build this if we were there?" "how do you imagine it was?" are effective questions and 'I wonder' questions of Godly Play.
  • Helping the players with negotiation and reconciliation skills is really important. The biggest blowouts have when coached resulted in strong reconiliation and deepened relationship. Getting parents involved and enabling them to see transcripts has really helped.
  • The chaos of Minecraft church seems to be not counter productive to spirituality but capable of producing spirituality 'That was the first time I have prayed an Amen' for example.
  • Being an adult who does not know how to do it all and needs to ask for help is really important. For Elaine and for Me to rely on our kids to tell us how the world works, to do better building than we can do. Our job is to facilitate flourishing and provide some essential boundaries (safety, server functions, payments! ) structure to the sessions.
  • Following the lectionary is tricky. The epistles are hard to build to, the subject matter jumps around a bit. Some narrative is easy to build to, (Jesus entry to Jerusalem), some is hard (The transfiguration). Have not had chance to build a parable yet. This will be interesting.
  • Sculpture (removal) is not as familiar as construction for Minecrafters. They do enjoy it.
  • Good team briefing for team leaders is important for running the sessions as we need to break down into smaller groups for discussions. threshold seems to be seven people. Some groups are hard if people don't wish to speak on the zoom.
  • Need to recruit more team leaders!
  • Weekly meeting has been a good decision as missing one week is not a problem.
  • Taking screenshots has been great fun. Requires compositions skills like real photography! Video capture has slightly better results due to the world being in motion.
  • Planting prayers as flowers in pots works when directed. Prayer is not flowing quite as well as dance worship which seems very natural.
  • Confession - not tried this yet.
  • Signs are great equivalents of post-it notes and a great tool for feedback/voting etc.
  • Builds are sacred.
  • TeenyPVP world is hardly used. Nor scavenger world. Boop arena less so. Building world and Boring world are where it is at!
  • Collaborative builds are valued highly - the banqueting hall and the skyscraper are both noted as important.
  • /hat plugin was really appreciated!
  • While we play games as part of MC what we do does not seem like at game at all, more like a different space to be in. What we do in that space is creative and dynamic. It is play in the sense that a group of musicians play together. Which is not childish.
  • Gimmick or authentic? Biggest concern I have is that people see Minecraft as a gimmick to grab the attention of children to do church to them.

Write comment

  • (will not be published)