Friday, July 1, 2016

Minecraft Super League Recap...AWESOME!

This activity was sponsored via US Family Guide.

Play Minecraft in a theater

A few months back I shared with you a discount code for the Minecraft Super League coming to movie theaters all across the country. Today I'm back to share a first-hand review. Skipping all the way to the big picture, yes, we will definitely participate the next time it comes around!

Due to an unexpected scheduling conflict, I enlisted the help of my friend Wendi, and her son, Geoffrey, to attend the 4 week event. It might not surprise you that they volunteered un-hesitatingly...Here is their report:

The first week was primarily for working out technical issues. There were about 25 kids in our theatre, arranged in stadium-style seating, as well as 3 super helpful, positive, encouraging staff members. The participants played a series of building phase rounds and then combat phases while the staff quickly diagnosed and tweeked any problems. The final combat round was intense!
When signing up for Minecraft Super League you have the option of forming a team with other friends or joining an already existing team. We had received our information quite close to the event and so Geoffrey arrived unassociated with a team. Wendi reported it was not a problem:
Arriving the first day we picked up our badge and t-shirt and then had the opportunity to mingle and form a team. The teams were pretty fluid so kids could try out different groups until they found one they really liked. It was fun hearing all the fun gamer tags (translation: profile/character names). Two of our favorites were CheesecakeLlama and TheUnderMiner (that one's pretty clever, get it...?) 
Play Minecraft in a theater

 When I inquired about the logistics of getting set-up the first day, Wendi had this to say:

It lasted for about an hour & a half, but went by so fast! There were some power cords available but they strongly recommended we charge our laptops ahead of time. Also, Logitech (a corporate sponsor) provided a few mouses to borrow just in case kids forgot them at home (oops, that was us!) Next time we will come earlier to make sure we have plenty of time to get to know the other kids better.
So that was Week 1. At the end of the month, 4 sessions later, I caught back up with Wendi and Geoffrey to see what they thought after it was all over. They said:
The three staff members were very nice and responsive to questions or concerns throughout each session. I was especially grateful that they had some extra equipment because we forgot our mouse twice!
I noticed a few parents like me chose to stay through the whole time, and we were absolutely welcome to do so, but a bunch of the kids had parents who did the drop off/pick up thing, or just sent their kids as part of a school group. I especially enjoyed hearing my son interacting with his fellow team members, whether it was building their superhero homebase, fighting zombies, healing each other, or creating their group image for a guess-the-word game.
The pacing of activities during each session (such as combat, free build time, announcements, defend your wither, platform/winner's cheer, etc.) perfectly helped keep their interest the entire time. It was crazy to see how fast time flew by, even for me!
Each session lasted about the time of a standard movie, but it involved sooooo much more than just sitting and being entertained. The kids experienced teamwork, communication, problem solving, creativity, seeing locations/events from different perspectives (both their own laptops and the big cinema screen), performing under stress, long term project work (working on the builds all four weeks), and feeling a part of a group all across the nation (when the screen showed team names and scores from tons of different cities).
The whole experience sounded amazing! The only constructive criticism Wendi had to share with the company was a desire to have the event sponsored closer to where she lived. In Utah there were 2 options, but both fairly close to each other in Salt Lake City. It'd be great to have them spread out in outlying population centers. Your location may indeed have that, but ours unfortunately did not. 
Her only advice for other parents?
Form a team in advance and sign everyone up together so they can more easily communicate during the week or relay information if someone is going to miss a week.
That primarily was my fault this time because we signed up quite late, but I can say that the process to form a team and join together seemed very straightforward when I was logged into the system.

Doesn't Minecraft Super League sound awesome? I'd love to be able to play my favorite video game on an enormous movie screen. Click the banner below to find an event near you and find a $10 discount coupon.

Want more information on what 
Minecraft Super League is and how it works?