image courtesy LEGO (and for the record, I think I actually had this set when I was a kid)

So I was recently hanging out with Alex.  He is the eight-year-old son of my first cousin which I believe makes him my "first cousin once removed" (although even with the help of some informative Wikipedia diagrams, I'm still not entirely sure that this designation is correct).

At any rate, he was busy playing Minecraft on an iPhone and although that particular game remains a complete and total mystery to me, on some level it seems to be about the creation of space within a world that you then inhabit and explore.  As such, what he was doing in the form of a game seemed to be similar to what an architect does in the form of a profession.  I thought I might use this observation to attempt to create a teaching moment.  

The conversation that ensued has been recreated below:

 

BRANTLEY

So basically in Minecraft you're building a world, right?

 

ALEX

(without looking up from iPhone)

Yeah.

 

BRANTLEY

And then you get to walk around and explore that world?

 

ALEX

Yeah.

 

BRANTLEY

So by designing and building things you're essentially doing what an architect does.

 

ALEX

(looking up from iPhone)

I thought an architect just made the instructions. I thought someone else did the building.

 

BRANTLEY

Uh, yeah... I guess that's true. We create drawings that other people use to build things.

 

ALEX

(returning to the iPhone)

So it's like you draw the instructions for a Lego set.

 

BRANTLEY

(diminished)

Uh, yeah.  I guess that is what we do.

 

For those of you keeping track, the score is Alex 1, Brantley 0.