Minecraft, mothers and sons all play in Theatre Replacement’s Mine


When: Nov. 14-17, various times

Where: Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, 6450 Deer Lake Ave., Burnaby

Tickets and info: From $15, shadboltcentre.com

Theatre Replacement’s latest work Mine is what happens when a performing arts parent gets actively involved in their child’s play — in this case, creator Maiko B. Yamamoto becoming involved in playing Minecraft with her 11-year-old gamer son, Hokuto MacDuff.

Developed over the narratives the two discovered playing the popular video game, the play involves a group of inter-generational gamers/performers between the ages of 10 to 45 enact different stories built up around the game and also transposed into real world events. Or something like that, in this confused digital realm.

“The show was inspired by a conflict I was experiencing with my son who, at around age eight, was becoming completely obsessed with digital screens and the game Minecraft,” said Yamamoto.

“We limited his screen time as we’d been advised, but it was still really hard for him to leave and it became this kind of Grand Canyon rift between the two of us. It was really hard because I didn’t want to be the one taking away this thing he was really into, but zoning out and spending all your time in a digital world isn’t taking care of him either.”

The conflict grew and, in seeking solutions to it, the parents found MCKids Academy, which uses Minecraft for learning positive and safe experiences. For many younger people, the building process is more important than the survival aspect of the game and the creativity exercised in making things in the online environment can become a means to positive play. Eventually, Yamamoto accepted her son’s entreaties to play the game.

“And I was such a newb, could barely walk in a straight line and kept breaking things while he was an expert running circles around me asking what he could show me how to do,” she said.

“He was the expert, but I was still the parent, as he would ask me if he could bring home a dog before he “tamed” one or put his bed next to mine. Suddenly, there was a possible work of theatre coming about.”

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Collaborating with game-savvy local theatre artists such as Hong Kong Exile’s Remy

Source:: Vancouver Sun – Entertainment


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