HAMPTON, GA—Local 8-year-old boy Samuel Larson informed his parents that his slate of basic handhold chores was “far too hard” and “way too demanding.” He made his statement as he built a vast civilization in popular video game Minecraft with ease.
Larson’s Minecraft world is jam-packed with buildings, functioning cars and airplanes, and citizens who roam his world, driven by some simple AI code he’d written in his spare time after watching a YouTube tutorial. But the second his parents ask him to do even the most rudimentary tasks around his real-life home, he becomes an uneducated simpleton who can’t even work a bottle of Windex.
“I would do the dishes, but I just can’t figure out how to operate the machine,” he said as he put the finishing touches on a fully functioning Turing machine using redstone in the world he’d created over months of intense labor. “The trash is too heavy. The lawn mower is a mystery to me. Even picking up my room is baffling.”
“Is this the way you hold the broom, or is this upside-down?” he asked his mom last week as he lifted up a vacuum cleaner by its wheels. “Ugh these things are soooo complicated.”
At publishing time, Larson was claiming his 3rd-grade math homework was too hard, though he had unwittingly used algebraic functions to code his Minecraft world.