While some kids enjoy spending the summer indoors and online, there are three Saline County kids who have taken their love for a popular online game out into the real world.
Eight-year-old Jozi Burris and her brother, six-year old Jase, along with their cousin, Madison Richards, also 8, are fiercely devoted to the popular online game Minecraft. The open-ended game is famous for its creative mode where players can use resources to build whatever their minds can imagine.
The kids loved the game so much that they decided to try and take what they have learned online and create projects in the real world.
“Well, we were going to build a brick house and make the squares out of mud,” Jozi said. “We were gonna let them dry and make a brick house, but it was going to like, take forever.”
Saline County Quorum Court Administrator Rhonda Richards is the grandmother to Madison and great-aunt to Jozi and Jase. When Richards saw that the kids were struggling to get their project off the ground, she suggested they use bamboo on her property to fulfill their dream of bringing their Minecraft creation to life.
“We used zip ties to hold it down and stuff,” Jozi said.
In the virtual Minecraft world, players collect resources, such as wood, in various ways including punching trees. The player can then turn the wood into planks and combine the planks to create a crafting table. Once that has been created, the players use the table to create tools which allows them to build whatever their mind can create.
With more than 90 million monthly users, players can create machines, homes, castles and cities. They can also gather resources or animals and hunt for treasure. Their is also a survival mode option where players must collect resources and defend the world they have created while managing the world they’ve created.
Richards said that once the kids began working with the bamboo, their project began to take shape.
“They have a little house with a table and a shelf,” Richards said. “It is amazing the things they have learned about survival from that game.”
Jozi said her favorite thing about the house that the group built is being able to play inside of it and have picnics with her cousins.
Richards added that she has been impressed with the fact that the kids have taken the skills and ideas that they learned in the game and chose to make them a reality.
“They have to hunt and gather their resources in the game in order to be able to create everything in the game,” Richards said.
Jozi said that her favorite thing about Minecraft is being able to create whatever she wants.
“I like building houses with stuff in it,” Jozi said. “I also like playing with my cousin and finding dogs and cats and stuff inside of (the game).
Although the kids had a fun time creating their playhouse, Jozi said that she thinks they are done with actual building in the real world for now, but plans to keep on playing in the house they built while playing the game online with her family.