This morning, the internet was buzzing with some information that I selectively chose to ignore at first. Something about Minecraft having a user-created sex mod? Not something I could think about at 7:30 a.m. on a Monday as I was trying to scarf down some oatmeal and coffee while trying to not to keel over from sleep deprivation and the sounds of my cranky children moaning about wearing socks.
I mean, hasn’t 2016 been riddled with enough vulgarities and disgust already? Couldn’t just one thing stay decent and pristine?
After I dropped my kids off at school, I took a deep breath and googled “minecraft sex mods.” And fuck. Fuckity fuck fuck.
A ton of hits come up, mostly YouTube videos. Apparently, in the app version of the game, you can install user-created modifications that let you “craft” such cringe-worthy things as pixelated characters getting it on with each other.
I could only bring myself to watch a few of the videos. (OK, just one.) I couldn’t get past the “gangsta” Minecraft dude banging a bikini-clad chick in the back room of a Minecraft whorehouse. (Yes, really.)
I’ll spare you the rest because I’m a decent human being.
At first, I was just happy that my 9-year-old, a Minecraft aficionado for many years, doesn’t use the app version of the game. But then I realized, duh, the kid spends a million hours watching Minecraft YouTube videos.
As I scrolled through YouTube, I saw that some of the videos were protected by the whole “you must be 18 years or older to watch.” But others? They came up on my phone with literally no trouble whatsoever. How freaking easy would it be for my son to scroll past one of the sex videos, not know what on earth he was looking at, click on it, and watch?
I know what you’re probably going to tell me: It’s the INTERNET. What do I expect? There are a million sick fucks on the internet who don’t give a rat’s ass about all the innocent kids who are out there playing Minecraft. Why should I be surprised? Why do I assume for one second that my special snowflake won’t be exposed to that kind of crap?
Of course these are things I think about, and often. But Minecraft has always been one of the video games I thought of as wholesome. Heck, my son even takes an after-school class dedicated to the education edition of the game!
Minecraft is all about learning how to build stuff, right? An online Lego-style game that boys and girls alike enjoy. You learn about architecture and building. You build castles and tend to cute little baby animals. And you give your parents a freaking break, and they don’t feel too guilty because it’s quality, educational screen time!
And now, apparently, you can potentially meet half-naked women at your diamond-studded pink whorehouse for sexual escapades. Ugghhh. Thanks a lot, folks. Is nothing sacred anymore? (Don’t answer that.)
After my son comes home from school, and after I take about five showers, I know I will need to ask him if he or his friends may have come across this, ummm, sexual mod. Thankfully, sex isn’t a bad word in our house, and I can broach the subject easily, I think.
It’s just that I’m not quite ready to hear it if he has in fact encountered such things.
I think above all, this is serving as a bit of a wake-up call to me — and to parents everywhere, I suspect. The sobering truth is that no matter how much you restrict internet browsing, block certain sites, or lock it up in any way, there’s a very good chance that your kid is going to be exposed to sex or porn online at some point.
According to a study published in Pediatrics, 42% of kids ages 10 to 17 have encountered porn online, and of those, 66% said the exposure was unwanted. So really, it’s not a matter of if, but when.
I am relieved going into this afternoon that I have already had the “sex” talk with my tween. But it looks like I will need to have “the other” sex talk with him, the one that involves explaining that we live in a world where there are adults who think it’s OK to throw sex all over the internet in inappropriate ways, and that while porn/sex isn’t shameful for consenting adults, it is not something children need to be exposed to unwittingly.