A 10-year-old Miamisburg boy has co-authored an Amazon Kindle book on how to keep parents off kids’ backs about their video-game-playing habits.
His co-author — somewhat surprisingly — was his dad.
Josiah Blair, a fifth-grader at Medlar View Elementary School in Miamisburg, and his father Scott Blair collaborated on “Minecraft Game Addicts Book: A 10-Step Recipe from a 10-year-old Boy to Keep Your Parents from Becoming Creepers.” It has sold more than 300 copies online in at least three countries — the U.S., Great Britain and Canada — and as of today, Nov. 14, it was listed as the no. 1 “Amazon best-seller” in the “PC & Video Games Parental Guides” book category. It also has earned some glowing reviews on Amazon.com, including one dated Oct. 29 that rated the book “highly recommended” and said it “provides the guidelines that can keep both children and parents happy and game-playing obsessions under control.”
The book started earlier this year as a project from a father who wanted to keep his son engaged and learning over the extended summer break from school.
Instead of assigning his son rote memorization or some other drudgery, “I wanted to take something that Josiah was already fascinated with and turn it into an educational opportunity,” Scott Blair said.
That something turned out to be Minecraft, a video game that is quite popular in the U.S. and beyond. Josiah Blair said he enjoys playing the game. In fact, he enjoys it quite a bit.
“I used to not want to get off the X-Box because it was so fun and addicting,” the 10-year-old said.
Rather than resorting to the usual parental nagging, Scott Blair challenged his son to research topics such as how his diet might affect his Minecraft game-playing skills, and how obsessive playing time might affect a child’s health.
The book covers those topics, but also throws in 10 of Josiah’s best Minecraft strategy and gaming tips and advice on “how to keep your parents happy so you get more uninterrupted Minecraft play,” Scott Blair said.
Blair recalls asking his son how he would recommend making a parent “an ally rather than an enemy” when it comes to video-game play. “Invite your parents to play it with you,” was his son’s reply. So he did, giving him an understanding why game-players can’t just end a session abruptly, since they’re collaborating with other players, sometimes from all over the world.
“I now understand why you just can’t turn it off and walk away because you’re building something,” Blair said.
There are no immediate plans for a sequel, but the father-son co-author team is keeping its options open, the father said.