Friday, November 8, 2013

Our Trip to MineCon

I thought I was a pretty cool mom already.  We eat McDonald's, which is apparently the same as admitting we eat directly from a dumpster.  The kids can have candy, soda, and chips; all in moderation of course.  They can watch stupid cartoons, like the ridiculous Uncle Grandpa and the Regular Show.  And they get to participate in their favorite activity....playing video games, particularly Minecraft.

And then my Cool Mom status was elevated to its all-time high with one simple promise.  The question was "Mom, if MineCon ever comes to the East Coast, can we go?"  The answer was an ignorant yes.  I never thought that this year's convention would be held in Orlando, just 8 hours away.  When the location was announced and he came running into my room to ask, I knew there was no way I could go back on what I said.  Tickets were ridiculously expensive and turned out to be extremely difficult to get for most people that tried.  (My experience with purchasing was very simple but I know we were an anomaly.)  But the days passed, the convention got closer and closer and then we were on our way to Orlando.

Having the ability to take time off from school made the decision to head to Orlando for a week a no-brainer.  I got a super deal on a weeklong resort rental.  Snagged free tickets to SeaWorld thanks to their amazing military appreciation program and through the help of my awesome aunt, we got tickets to LegoLand for the best price ever!  Our headliner on this vacation, however, was MineCon.


I wasn't sure how I felt about sitting in a convention center over a two day period listening to people talk about a video game that I didn't like or understand.  Truthfully, I wasn't looking forward to it at all.  As a mom, though, you make sacrifices.  We got up early, donned our Minecraft tees, and headed to the convention.  I won't give you an hourly rundown of the weekend, but I'll go over the highlights.

To my oldest son, the "YouTubers" that were at the convention were his version of meeting real celebrities.  I didn't get it at first.  Then, I realized that these videos are the ones he watches every day, these people are the ones who show him how redstone works, and these people (who are several years my junior) are the people he admires for their awesomeness in his favorite game.  So I get it now.  And we spent several hours waiting in line to get get autographs.

We learned about a lot of things over the weekend.  We sat in on a panel about making videos, one about learning how redstone works (I still have no idea), and heard about the difference Minecraft is making around the world.  I saw my oldest son come alive when we asked questions about the game, the community, the life.  It was more than a convention, it was a validation.

I also realized that I wasn't doing my job as a homeschool teacher by not using this opportunity to my advantage.  Here's a game that many people are using to educate children, a game I have seen firsthand teach my children things I had no idea they were learning and I was doing nothing to capitalize on that!  What a mistake.  But I've changed my mind on that and now I'm ready to learn as much as I can about how the game works and how to use it in our homeschool.  Adam is ready to play.  :)

MineCon was busy and chaotic.  There were so many  people there (and SO MANY that wanted to be there) and it was a little difficult at times to navigate to the next part of your schedule.  The meet and greet sessions were very overwhelmed by fans.  The exhibit hall was packed to the gills with people.  It was unlike anything I've ever done (those homeschool conventions aren't nearly has exciting!).  We'd do every minute of it all over again!  :)  We had a great time as a family and I'm so glad we went.

I'm also writing about different parts of our vacation, look for those posts if you're interested!

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