Minecraft story, GenZ – thinBASIC – my longwinded intro to myself and Minecraft.


:) Minecraft is mentioned.

Well my son seem more interested in playing games than in computer programming.
He is addicted to Minecraft.[/QUOTE]

I’m new to thinBASIC.  Finally found it after a search for something that wasn’t trying to pretend my Windows machine was Linux and I honestly just want to _get stuff done_, not fart around with standards.

Anyway, regarding Minecraft, I ran a server for my nephew (who was 7 at the time, now 10) (that I ended up taking over ’cause he moved to Roblox for a while) – that ended up getting popular.  Never even gave it a proper name – just “Ken’s Server”.  In total, ended up with 27,000 unique users.

The age range of users seemed to be between 6-88 (some kid got his great grandpa into Minecraft for a few months – it was nice seeing multi-generations build together).

Anyway, I made it creative + roleplaying and let them do more or less what they wanted – the only rule was “No Bullying” (mean-girl behavior was especially forbidden, although teasing was fine).  The boy/girl man/woman ratio was about 50/50 and averaged about 35 players at a time.

I shut it down in Sept 2014 after 23 straight months on a cheap Windows laptop was KILLING MY HARD DRIVE… and I didn’t know that Minecraft wasn’t *meant* to have 96 Gigabyte sized worlds.  What did I know?  I just wanted to give everybody lots of real estate.

Anyway, these kids/teens/young adults contact me from time to time, finding me wherever I’m at online and I get to hear updates.  Went to college, learning programming.  In high school now, teaching-self LUA and Python… in middle school now, learning multimedia and making short films and movies… installing emulators for retrogaming on their PCs.

In short, I wouldn’t knock Minecraft as a gateway drug for future programming.  This is especially true if they start messing around with MODs or start their own servers.  They have to learn the OS they’re on and like all of us, get bored of repetition and so, learn ways to automate stuff.  They’re unfortunately stuck with bloated languages because the programming culture encourages GIT and all that marvelous sharey-share stuff, which is fine… but overwhelming crap when a kid that should be learning BASIC or using Scratch just wants a mod to turn arrows into rainbows or something.

Anyway, enough babbling.  I searched for Minecraft to see if anybody’s done interfacing with it.  I just downloaded thinBASIC 10 minutes ago and watched a test program work with Excel and I compiled it to an EXE.  As I’m an Excel nut, and with code that’s entirely legible to me (being a product of 80s BASIC and 90s Pascal), I was instantly sold on thinBASIC.

A PS – I’m 43 now.  Discovered Minecraft when I was 40.  I fell in love with it because it’s the first *new* thing in gaming I’ve seen in 20 years, and I haven’t been gaming for 20 years.  This GenZ is going to do amazing things that we can’t begin to imagine thanks to things like Minecraft shaping their way of thinking (in the same way that legos and “building blocks” likely shaped ours)  and I look forward to being an old man and seeing what they’ve done.

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