The Essence of Exploration in Nature vs MineCraft

The essence of exploration lies in the unknown.

August 30th 2014, my sister, mom and I embarked parking at Jedadiah Islandon an adventure to Jedadiah Island, in this great archipelago near Nanoose Harbour off Vancouver Island.  Although it was a short three day, two night outing, the essence of exploration became apparent in regards to my research proposal.  I have decided to start blogging about my adventures because I think that some-how by sharing my experiences, the questions and answers will come for my thesis, which is due November, 2015.

What is it about exploration that gets humans so excited?  How can we compare the exciting feeling of exploring new territory in nature, with the feeling one gets while exploring new territory while playing a video game?

Mom says that exploration is about the thrill of the unknown, stretching your comfort zone, like driving a sail boat into a bay where the depth sounder is showing negative; -1.4 feet.-1.4 feet

Morgan says that it is the joy of fully being present in the moment, not knowing what will come next and having to succumb to that feeling.  I believe that exploration is something humans have sought since the beginning of our creation.  There is some kind of inner drive to go beyond the scope of what we know, to answer the question “Why.”

So why is it that children these days are excited about exploration new lands in MineCraft?  How will this relate to Environmental Education and Communication?  I think that the future generations are learning how to be in the world by the lessons they are learning in video games.  I don’t believe that this is wrong, but I do believe that there are things that one can only learn by exploring in real nature, and this is what I want to investigate.  Watch this MineCraft trailer, and tell me how you think a child might interact with the environment as an adult based on many hours of playing this game as a child?

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYoO9XkCCHg]

I am currently looking into the hype of the video game MineCraft.  It happens to be the video game that children ages 8-12 are crazy about, and are playing at the Boys and Girls Club these days.   Don’t get me wrong, I do not have any hard feelings toward this game, but I do wonder why the children do not crave to go outside, and that our only motivation for the children is “time to play their game.”

When I ask the children “Why is it so exciting?” they respond with “Because I get to explore into new lands.”  This ignites my interest in discovering the essence of exploration comparing real-live nature to video game land exploration.

I have grown up in the real-live nature and intense exploration, with only about 6 months of my life exploring video games, that I can’t imagine doing anything other than exploring in nature, but it seems that children these days are glued to their ipad’s and cell phones.

On a regular basis, I love to explore nature.  Sailing, caving, climbing, hiking, camping, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, anything into the unknown of this magnificent archipelago.  Here is a video of what I was doing last weekend, sailing from Jedadiah Island to Nanoose Bay after a two night camp out.  This is the kind of exploration I think ALL children need to be experiencing in order to truly value nature and want to be an environmental steward of the land.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3WEnnR7beg]

Sailing through islands Sailing close to rock island mom on her boat Jedadiah islands Jamie skipper to Jedadiah Island entrance to Home bay doggy dinghy Debra and Morgan sail

One Comment on “The Essence of Exploration in Nature vs MineCraft”

  1. Hey Jamie, as a nature lover and father of a 10-year old minecrafter (who’s very happy today cuz minecraft was just released for xbox one) I wish there was more nature and less video games in his life / our lives. Yet out of the various games I watch him play, minecraft is perhaps the most ingenious and brilliant. Adventure, sure. But that’s not the half of it. In a couple of hours this evening, my son and two of his online friends jointly built a huge mansion, with a room for each of them, and each one having a dog (or three) living with them their room. They did this from Victoria, Calgary and California–talking the whole time. My son has designed and built many minecraft worlds that amaze me. For a while he was into constructing amusement parks in minecaft. It is hard to describe in a few words, but he once designed a roller coaster that took you to the moon (paused to eat the cheese) and rode back down to earth. There is a lot of stuff going on with minecraft, with lots of creativity innovation, resourcefulness and cooperation in the mix. It is a virtual world, yet a lot of actual social experiences happening so it is real in that sense. THe minecraft video on your site is pretty flat and does not (from my viewing of it) represent the stuff that my son gets excited about. With all that said, I do wonder how the novelty and freshness of a somewhat ‘passive nature’ can compete with the novelty, flash and action of video games and devices. It is hard to live in an urban / suburban area and provide the nature experiences I wish I could (for both me and my son) There are studies out / coming out on the benefits of nature and these are good and needed. I think that a study that explores motivations and how to nurture self-directed motivations to go outdoors, whether parent led or teacher led or child led, would be relatively unique and very useful. Motivation is tough stuff. I have not heard of work that is happening in that area. (I’d be interested in it, though) Anyways, Jamie, more food for thought and some added perspective to chew on.

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One Comment on “The Essence of Exploration in Nature vs MineCraft”

  1. Hey Jamie, as a nature lover and father of a 10-year old minecrafter (who’s very happy today cuz minecraft was just released for xbox one) I wish there was more nature and less video games in his life / our lives. Yet out of the various games I watch him play, minecraft is perhaps the most ingenious and brilliant. Adventure, sure. But that’s not the half of it. In a couple of hours this evening, my son and two of his online friends jointly built a huge mansion, with a room for each of them, and each one having a dog (or three) living with them their room. They did this from Victoria, Calgary and California–talking the whole time. My son has designed and built many minecraft worlds that amaze me. For a while he was into constructing amusement parks in minecaft. It is hard to describe in a few words, but he once designed a roller coaster that took you to the moon (paused to eat the cheese) and rode back down to earth. There is a lot of stuff going on with minecraft, with lots of creativity innovation, resourcefulness and cooperation in the mix. It is a virtual world, yet a lot of actual social experiences happening so it is real in that sense. THe minecraft video on your site is pretty flat and does not (from my viewing of it) represent the stuff that my son gets excited about. With all that said, I do wonder how the novelty and freshness of a somewhat ‘passive nature’ can compete with the novelty, flash and action of video games and devices. It is hard to live in an urban / suburban area and provide the nature experiences I wish I could (for both me and my son) There are studies out / coming out on the benefits of nature and these are good and needed. I think that a study that explores motivations and how to nurture self-directed motivations to go outdoors, whether parent led or teacher led or child led, would be relatively unique and very useful. Motivation is tough stuff. I have not heard of work that is happening in that area. (I’d be interested in it, though) Anyways, Jamie, more food for thought and some added perspective to chew on.

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