Okay, we’ve had LEGO Batman 3 for a year and the kids have never played it. I tried it, but I found the puzzles frustrating and annoying. I told myself I would let the kids play it when we got a second controller so they could play together, but we never got the second controller, so that never became a thing.
Now Luca is playing LEGO Batman (as I write even). This has become Luca’s most favorite game. Most of the time Luca is just experimenting with various things in the environment, but trying everything (sometimes two or three times) ends up with results and Luca ends up getting further through the game. Sander does pretty well with it as well, but he doesn’t love playing the way Luca does. Surprisingly, there’s very little fighting because Sander and Beekee would prefer play other games.
I’ve got to admit, I’m finding I’m not as much of a fan of the other games the kids play with obsession in comparison to the LEGO games. Minecraft is just endless creativity for the kids. I know people build some awesome, epic stuff, but my kids just aren’t interested in that kind of stuff. I don’t like Minecraft enough to build a lesson around it. It just ends up being endless creative time. While Little Big Planet has levels which means the kids have to work together, work on their coordination, and actually get through the levels, it’s not the same kind of puzzling it out as you get in the LEGO games. I used to love them as kids games for their creativity aspects, but it just seems creative for the sake of creating. Even Little Big Planet with the possibility of publishing levels to the greater world just seems to be a playground to build in and the kids aren’t very interested in building levels of their own. While creativity is good, it’s not as much of a skill building, brain building activity if they’re just working from imagination.
Luca is definitely going to be the one to grow up as our resident gamer. Luca’s already playing Little Big Planet and Minecraft with the older kids, but the best of all is LEGO Batman. Part of the appeal is the characters. Luca likes Batman, so there’s that. You also get to play with Flash, Wonder Woman (a favorite of Luca’s) and a few other characters. Part of it is also the LEGO factor. Luca likes to watch things break as you hit them. Then there’s the level of experimentation that goes into it. Sometimes Luca asks for help from Sander, but Luca’s figured out a lot of it without help. I’m pretty impressed with the accomplishments Luca has made in the game so far. It’s really pretty good. Of course, Luca is probably playing on my profile, so if I want to play I’ll probably have to start over from the beginning, but it’s fine.
The best part of it all is this is a game I could probably play with Luca, once we get another controller. It’s going to be a while before that happens. We have to get Oz set up to get back into the military first. Once that happens we need to get a car. After both of those things happen we should be in clear standing to get another controller and to possibly pick up some more of the LEGO games. I bet Luca would like that. Apparently there’s one from the LEGO movie, as well as Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Luca’s never seen Lord of the Rings, at least not that Luca payed attention for, but we’ve watched Harry Potter together. It could be a fun series of games to get to play together. I’m pretty sure there’s LEGO Star Wars too. We could even get the first two LEGO Batman games. It’s a series I’ve come to love.
All of this makes me realize we do more unschooling than I really take credit for. Playing games is inherently educational, at least the kind of games we play here. There isn’t a lot of first person shooters, and even if there were, it wouldn’t be something I would let the kids play online. We’ve got a focus on creative play games and puzzle solving. That’s a lot of educational content right there. Flexing the imagination is a good thing. The ability to use logic to get through puzzles is huge. It may not be “school”, but it’s definitely the best part of our education.