Thursday, 2 March 2017


Being a bigger child than my children, I couldn’t wait to tell them that I had tickets for MineVention in the RDS last weekend. Although they didn’t really know what they were going to, there was salty tears of joys, especially when they found out that they would also get to hang out with their niece Sienna.
According to their Facebook page, the event was 'An afternoon of Minecrafters and Gaming Fans to come together and show off their game skills while meeting and greeting their favourite Youtubers.'
A disclaimer stated that 'This is not an official Minecraft Event and is not approved or associated with Mojang.' Neither myself nor my children cared about its’ lack of official ness. This was where it was at.
To explain to you non-gaming people out there, at this event, you get the opportunity to meet people who are well-known (not sure I would go as far as say that they are actually famous) for making videos of themselves playing games online. I know, it sounds as bizarre as a Fine Gael WhatsApp group.
Thanks to lovely step-daughter, Zara Kelly who more festival-fit when it comes to events like this than I, we had VIP tickets. This allowed us an earlier entry time, before The Great Unwashed arrived. The children boasted to themselves about being VIP's although they had no clue what this meant. In adult terms, the golden ticket provided that glorious ideal of 'less queueing'.
The thing-to-do at these events is to meet the Youtubers, who sign their names beside their avatar photos, mounted on a canvas we purchased and to get photos taken. In reality, my children didn't know who all of the Youtubers were, but they were star struck anyway. It was lovely to watch these usually shy little people walk up to strangers and ask for autographs and to receive such a warm reception.
It was one of those coming-of-age days when I had a pain in my heart watching them, getting braver as the day went on. They collected 17 signatures in the end, including some from 'FutureTubers', up and coming whipper snappers. I resisted making a total show of my children and being a total-auld-wan by asking the Youtubers 'do you make any money out of this'. I'm just so fascinated by this other world and by people who get off their bums (or in this case, sit on their bums) and make something out of nothing. Fair bloody play to them.
I brought my boy to the toilets, where it seemed that he needed to spill more than he needed to take a leak. In fact, he had himself in a heap. ‘Mam, how come I have only 8 subscribers on Youtube when Solly the Kid has LOADS? He’s sooo young (said the child who was born in 2007).
I had watched Solly on stage earlier that day - he is a beautiful kid, around 8 years old, who MC'd a stage and totally rocked the mic. 'A future in TV', I thought.
It was then, in the cubicle, that myself and my boy had a moment – I confided in him that I knew how he felt. I told him how I thought my blog would never reach the lovely rounded figure of 20,000 views. I lamented to the 9 year old that I can't capture statistics from Facebook to capture my readership. My boy, who can often be hard on me, looked into my eyes, with, what I can only describe as empathy.
Later that night I showed him the stats of my readership in Google Analytics. 'That many people in Russia read your blog Mam?' 'Yes', I said, and didn't bother to mention that they may be clicking onto my page by accident.
Online gaming will never be my thing, but the MineVention event was a total eyeopener for me. I noticed that a lot of children there were those that might be described elsewhere as geeks or nerds. There were a large proportion of young ones with sensory issues and disabilities. They all fitted in here, all connected.
I can see that I have passed on the I Just Want People To Like Me Gene to my son. It's a burden that he will carry throughout his life. If you would like to boost both my ever diminishing street cred and a little boy's ego, you can check out and subscribe to Leon's YouTube channel (and all 3 videos- get the finger out there son) 

Thanks a thousand

No comments:

Post a Comment