The lights are on
Despite not having much in the way of a narrative, graphics,
or sloped surfaces, the thrill of exploring a never-before-seen world has kept me coming
back to Minecraft time and time again.
When I first heard of Minecraft, I didn't understand what
the big deal was. Interest in the game was just starting to build, and the
Internet had yet to be flooded with all of the insane
projects and pop-culture
that players have devoted countless hours to in the years since. Back then,
Minecraft was still just "a game about breaking and placing blocks."
When I finally tried out the beta, it didn't take long for
me to see the appeal. Starting a new game places you a wholly unique world,
created just for you. Thanks to Minecraft's use of procedural generation, not
even the developers – which at the time was just Markus "Notch" Persson – have stepped
foot in the world laid out before you.
Every world is fraught with danger. A variety of hostile
creatures threatens your survival, and if you haven't cobbled together shelter (usually
a tiny dirt hut unless your starting location is blessed with an abundance of resources)
by nightfall, you're a goner.
Behold, the bane of every explorer's existence: The Creeper
Once you've learned the ropes, a pleasant routine falls into
place. Craft a set of tools with resources gathered by hand, then build a
proper home. Explore your nearby surroundings during the day and dig a
mineshaft in your basement during the night. As days pass, the odds of survival
slowly turn in your favor. Discover a few pockets of ore, and you'll have all
the charcoal, iron, and (eventually) silver you'll need. Seeds planted from felled
trees eventually grow into an ever-expanding grove. Slay a few spiders and you
can craft fishing poles for an easy and constant supply of food. Build a fence to
keep deadly creepers a safe distance from your home and prevent peaceful
animals from trampling your crops.
With survival taken care of, you can start spoiling yourself
with amenities. Why not build a massive tower to overlook the landscape? Creating
a hidden bungalow behind that waterfall would be cool, too. Converting the back
wall in your underwater lair to glass would be a major time investment, but
totally worth the effort.
I don't know how much time I've invested exploring worlds in
first the PC version of Minecraft and then the XBLA port, but it never gets
old. Even the most mundane geological features still captivate me ("Look at how
this cave doubles back on itself! Amazing!"), as does building up civilizations
around them – even if there's still not that much to do once your work is
I've played countless sci-fi epics like the Halo and Mass
Effect series over the years, but none have ever come close to capturing the
thrill of "going where no one has gone before" in the way that Minecraft has. Some
promising indie games like Starforge
and Planet Explorers look to evolve the crafting-focused
sandbox formula (and sport sci-fi themes no less), and I still dream of what a non-voxel,
triple-A version of the experience would be like. In the meantime, I will
continue exploring Minecraft's engrossing worlds, one block at a time.
Check out the video below to see Tim Turi and I explore some of my creations in Minecraft.
Email the author Jeff Marchiafava, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.
There have been few games that have caused full days to just fade away for me like Minecraft has.
Yep, I've put at least a solid 1000 hours in MC on PC and Xbox.
I understand slightly how this got big its obvious especially with all the most famous youtubers having a channel comprised strictly of minecraft videos. I just really hate how people scream at an enemy that cant oppose any serious risks and at max only deal a half a heart of damage, Creepers arent even that difficult either unless caught off guard, but when its just charging at you and you have a diamond sword and can easily fend it off whats the need to yell? Thats my only gripe with minecraft -.- but I also dont see how that slender game is scary but thats another story.
I've never seen silver ore.
I don't understand the appeal of a world "created just for you" or "going where no one has gone before" when it's simply just lines of code programmed to randomly generate new terrain endlessly. Nothing special or fancy about that.
i still have yet to play this, but i've always been curious.
I really enjoyed this game when it came out on the XBOX 360, but I never spent a large amount of time with it. Mostly due to the fact that I just didn't have the time to try and build something really grand. Since Create Mode wasn't out yet, I had to painstakenly mine out and craft everything I needed, which really reduced what I could build. After realizing how long it took to build my one tower, I just knew I didn't have the patience or time to work on something more ambitious.
Always wanted to lose myself in Minecraft. Maybe for a Wii U Minecraft. . . someday I pray. . .
Im surprised that JeffM chose Minecraft, but I knew that someone would
Oh god...about a year and a half was lost to this game for me..just constant building and crafting..it was so addicting.I always did prefare the idea of online more though,Me and my friends building a little town on a server,just having fun in this little world..so ideal to me.I did eventually just get sick of it..now I can play other stuff thank god,But yes,this and kh1 would have to be my time sink definatly.
I've seen people play it and I've kind of screwed around a bit but it just isn't for me. I love open world games, but apparently I like open world games with a point instead of a game with no point.