Meet a Minecrafter: Theatre Replacement

What I noticed is that he was the parent
to me when we were playing Minecraft. He was teaching me how to build a shelter, he was telling me how to survive, so he was the parent, he was parenting me
inside the game. I just found that dynamic very interesting, and because I’m
a theatre-maker I decided to make a show with him about it. So today we’re setting
up for our tech run, our first run with all the full projection, lights and
sound and everything. Tomorrow is the opening night for our immersive play,
“Mine”. So, Theatre Replacement is my company and we’re based in Vancouver Canada and
we make experimental works and tour them around. So right now we’re on tour with a
show called Mine. So basically we’re telling mother and son narratives, found
narratives as well as stories from our own lives, but we do it only through
playing the game, through playing Minecraft. And it’s, you know, 99% just
playing the game. In fact I think it’s a hundred percent
playing the game. Say something. –Hiiiii! So for example we use Beowulf, we also
tell the story of The Terminator we tell the story of Bambi and his very
tender story between him and his mother and then we also used my own
relationship to my 11 year old son as we’re co-performing in the show, and
really the show was inspired by my relationship with him and a rift that
was caused through his obsession with Minecraft. She thought it
was – I shouldn’t do this and I was getting way too obsessed over it.
She felt that I was like getting way too into it. And we would have a lot of
fights and conflicts about it and over the course of our coming to terms with
his obsession with Minecraft we kind of came together and bonded about it. She saw that I was doing all this cool stuff and and I asked her if she wanted me to
join. One time she got on and tried playing and she liked it. Oh man it was really
bad. The first time I played Minecraft I was useless. She was like um how do I
walk again? And she was like mining blocks instead of placing them. And I decided it would be a really interesting form to explore making a show. So that’s
essentially what we did – we use Minecraft as a theatrical form to tell stories
about mothers and sons. So the show,
everywhere it goes to, it onboards four local gamer-performer kids between the
ages of 10 and 14. And so we work with them over four days to teach them the
show, teach them their parts. And I was really excited because it’s a
combination of two things I love to do Minecraft and acting. So I signed up for it straightaway. I think it’s a very good set of stories they’ve chosen for this,
and the overall set up they’ve got a good way on doing it, they’ve got a good way of
incorporating it with Minecraft. It’s kind of made me think of it in a
slightly different way so I’m not really looking at it it’s just a game you can
play and have fun, but more as a thing you can use for acting and stuff like
that, so it can be used in more ways than one now. Okay so we’ll run through the
whole show one last time before tomorrow night when audiences here okay? At the moment I’m just excited, but I’m telling you tomorrow I will be very very nervous! When my son, Hokuto Mac was seven years old, I wanted to take him on a trip that he’d remember for the rest of his life.
A trip that he’d always link back to. My generation has been growing up with
video games. It seems like the the adult knows more than the child but the
child truly knows more about video games than the adult. It flips the dynamic between adults and children it makes us realise that they are far more capable,
and that their ability to understand the language, the digital
language, is way more fast, faster than ours. And that’s just the way it’s gonna
be because they grew up in a different time. It is a very good balance though, I feel. And it doesn’t really feel like we’re children who are a part in this, we’re kind of all working together on this thing. You remember when I tell you to get off and you have to say “please wait I’m just trying to finish my game”? – Yes – Yes, so it’s
like that quite a lot in our house so, it was yeah, a good thing to identify with. I felt that it was really from deep down in the heart, and
I play Minecraft a lot, and I think it was such good stories, but in the form
of my favourite video game ever.


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