Well, the kids have discovered Minecraft. In lieu of forking out $27 x 4 for licenses or downloading illegal version of Minecraft, I did some research and found an opensource alternative: MineTEST
After downloading it and installing it on all the laptops and desktops in the house, Scott and I put together an old linux machine and fired up a MineTest server on it.
I’ll be honest, I had my doubts about how well the kids would like such a low-graphic game (They’ve balked at previous attempts to introduce them to awesome DOS games). Those doubts evaporated very quickly.
They love it.
And I’ll admit, I find the massive worlds fascinating from both a game play and code development standpoint. Truly genius tech behind these Mine* world generation algorithms. It’s provided weeks worth of research, poking at code, etc. All for free. (It’s amazing all the information and skills available to you for free).
Anyways, it’s a hoot. As a family, we’ve accidentally started a flood in Sandy’s house, built a 5km long ‘road’, hollowed out a floating island to build a secret base, built a 1km tall diamond tower, lost control of a lava flow and started a very large forest fire, built a 100 meter tall green zombie-creeper thing, as well as started work on deep sea research facility located 2km below the surface of ‘the ocean’.
And that’s just in ONE of an infinite number of worlds. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for some cheap fun.