My son has been asking my husband and me for a Nintendo Switch for the past three years. But three months into quarantine and a week before his ninth birthday, he asked to be gifted a desktop computer instead.
With camps and sports cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, he spent much of this summer rekindling his obsession with Minecraft. The more invested he was in the game, the more limited he felt by his tiny iPhone 7 screen. Further, many of the group educational classes he wanted us to enroll him in, such as this game-design camp on Outschool, required students to use the PC or Mac version. Unbeknownst to us and, according to myriad Chromebook reviews, many other befuddled parents, it hasn’t been possible to play Minecraft on a Chromebook, even a “nice” one. (Well, not without a complicated Linux workaround—or nowadays, an Office 365 Education account.)1