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For the past days, weeks, months, and years; a new phenomenon was
introduced into the gaming table, quite possibly the simplest yet most complex
and addictive form of a game to be yet conceived. The name's Minecraft and it
sure as hell hasn't passed unnoticed these past years.
Is it a phenomenon? Well it sure has attracted an abnormal and unhealthy
amount of people. It has definitely changed the way we see games, and majorly
indie games. The simplest of premises turned out to be the next colossal
achievement in, not only independent gaming, but the industry as a whole.
Now, years ago I didn't even know what Minecraft was, neither was I
interested in trying it out but as time passed and its popularity grew a lot of
attention started to go into this new indie phenomenon and the persson behind it, Markus or "Notch".
Not too long ago I decided to try out the game itself, the attention it
was receiving was starting to be overwhelming, as well as the fan presence
surrounding it. Mods, skins, tutorials, playthroughs, even commentators (and
hundreds) were born because of the little game that could. So I decided to
finally boot it up on my computer and surprise, it was everything the press and
fans alike were uttering about it.
The depth of the game was astoundingly giant. The "go everywhere you
want, build anything you can imagine" premise was still there, but there was just
so much yet so little behind the rest of the game.
One of my favorite moments of Minecraft, or at least the time I spent
with it, was revolving around its rain. Something about starting building underground
with some torches lighting the path along you while checking every couple
minutes not one of those dirty bastards known as creepers rushed into your home
to make your day less than unpleasant, and, like I said, all while being
underground was a really fun and original experience. A true miner. It all felt too convincing and so innocent.
Sadly, the Minecraft appeal didn't really stick with me for long. For 2
weeks I was kinda heavy into the game, with my longest chain of hours into it
being around the 2 and a half just building stuff and exploring before I got
tired and bored and my session eventually ended.
The simplicity of the game continued to astound me, but it astounded me
even more just how many people liked it and even worshipped it. There was
something really magically amazing behind putting your blocks with the plan
of creating a new house while managing your inventory. And of course, beforehand,
trying to picture and imagine your new nifty residence before it became part of
reality. Virtual reality that is. Minecraft was really something different, new
and fresh a lot of people were waiting and begging since probably a long time
It's funny how the "follow-up" or "the virtual spiritual successor" to one
of the most famous and simple manual construction games, otherwise known as
Lego, hit so hard with players ranging from the 5-40 something years old.
Perhaps it was the more mature and grown up and more complex version than the
initial "manual" one, or perhaps it just added to the new times and new rules
of this modern age that are so demanding. Or perhaps it woke something that was
long dead. Or maybe it's just way too much fun by yourself, or online with
A lot of factors can be considered on what makes Minecraft the raging
success it is.
But whatever the case, Minecraft indubitably and undeniably succeeded
in one thing and one thing only:
Making simple, amazing.
-Instantly loved it the second I saw it.
Recently the Xbox 360 version of the game was released. And wow man,
what a success that was. I was not expecting that kind of "casual uprising"
from part of the lower echelon of gamers, casual/simple gamers that is. The
kids from the shooter field. The ones that can't unglue themselves from Halo,
CoD, Gears, and I have my living testimonies for this. My friends.
I seriously never thought and
couldn't even imagine my friends actually going out to buy a Microsoft points
card and purchase the full version of Minecraft on XBLA. And you can see this
was not only here, but also around the world. Selling a million digital copies
on the first week alone, I believe. That's surprising and pretty crazy.
Before, I would see 3 of them
hanging around Modern Warfare 3, or the other 2 still going at it on Reach or
the inseparable Gears 3 wingman couple who would play all night every Friday and
pretty much every weekend, all of them jumped into the Minecraft phenomenon bandwagon.
Now I see them playing pretty
much every time I get online, and they certainly spend a hell of a lot of time
in it. It really surprised me how the simplest of game titles managed to pull
people away from multiplayer-heavy franchises like the Call of Duty juggernaut,
Halo, Gears, and others. Makes you wonder what makes Minecraft so appealing
that other indie titles just could not.
As I was telling you about the
mods before, there's an insane amount of them, and not only of mods but of skins
too. The game's certainly loved and there's no doubt about that. Again, sadly I
could never try out the multiplayer portion of my Minecraft copy and I really
don't feel like going back again. Or at least not for now. Last time I played
was months ago, I had a lot of fun, but ultimately the game wasn't really for
me or my taste.
Precious memories from
Minecraft? Yes I have a few. And again, like I said earlier, most of them are
involving that moody yet kind of melancholic rain that invades your world once
in a while. There is something about Minecraft's world that is just so
immediately appealing and so calming. The colors, textures and views of the
game's world are certainly something else. Mixing that retro look of the good
old videogaming along the game's own personality and identity. This also was a
huge factor for the liking of the game considering the number of people that love that retro lifestyle. And again, like I
said earlier, it was something really fresh and new for an industry that was
and is still crowded and is king of the military/shooting fest genre.
was the most perfect unexpected solution at the right time and moment.
I would really, really love to
talk about multiplayer but I couldn't try it out, sucks I know. Probably the
biggest, most exciting and most popular part of the game. And I ain't planning
on getting the Xbox 360 version anytime soon, even if the online co-op or the
offline one are made even easier. I just feel like I lost my mood for Minecraft
a long time ago.
But still, I bet the
multiplayer portion must be something pretty interesting. To confirm that I
just need to look for the hundreds and thousands of Minecraft videos with
commentary on YouTube and have them as evidence to back that. Every time I get
into one of those, laughter and fun just bursts out every single second that goes
on there with the participants, it looks really fun. A calming and relaxed experience for
everyone on the room, while sharing the same virtual world and your creations
and constructions with everybody else.
It really is something else.
But what makes Minecraft so
interesting, so appealing, so fresh and so massively popular?
There is something mystical
about this game, something buried deep within everyone that just makes us
enjoy this so much. If it's about quality or "immersion" or fun, then why not
the dozen of AAA titles that are just as fun and dripping in more quality than
Minecraft? No, the little game has something special on its hands. I mean, why
choose Minecraft over say (just as an example) playing Horde mode on Gears of
War 3, delving in to any modern Fallout once again, enjoying the fast and intense
multi of Halo, or even have Skyrim labeled as a "pass" or "maybe another day"
when investing that insane amount of hours into Minecraft? Why? Why a game that
is so much less than the other hundreds of games surrounding it has players
coming back for even more than a game full of certified and quality fun? The
thing with Minecraft is that the whole experience and fun relies on no one else
but yourself. On your mind, and on your imagination.
Of course all of them have
limits, everything has limits, the human spirit has limits, but the fun of
Minecraft relies on exploiting and reaching that border or edge of our
seemingly endless imagination and creativity with all of the tools given to use
across the game. Imagination dominates everything else regarding memory. Memory is weak, in fact, passions drive our attention stronger than intelligence and memory. Because imagination builds representations that do not correspond to reality. That is where Minecraft excels. Other games do not give you
this, because it's all already imagined. By other minds. Part of Minecraft's world is
already "imagined" but it's up to you and your imagination to bring it to life
and make something out of it. To make it worth the time. And to reactivate that
long asleep imagination; but of course, this premise can turn into its own
enemy in some cases. Why? Because not everyone is looking for that kind of
accomplishment or experience. Ergo, the players that left Minecraft or didn't
even had an interest in it. But this proves quite the contrary, 6 million
copies already sold and that's a verified success on the market. People like
it, people want it. It's proved. It's popular and it has gained a massive
following. Indeed some people needed that reactivation. Perhaps, they even
So why did I leave Minecraft?
Honestly I'm not very sure. Probably was a thing of the time, of the mood I was
in by then and a negative image of the game just stuck with me since then and
has stopped me from coming back. And of course other games have gotten in the way
between us two. Mass Effect 3, Max Payne 3, Deus Ex: HR, etc. Those 3 are big,
long games with their respective modes and primarily besides all of that I've
just been too busy since the beginning of this year. School, family, friends,
socializing, going out, all that good and boring stuff. Now don't get me wrong,
I love games and I love to spend a lot of time sitting behind my 360, PS3 or my
computer. But these are just things that can't be avoided or ignored. Or at
least not that easily. I've missed a good chunk of gaming these past months
because of it, I've played my bought games but not with the depth I would have
liked if I had more free time, because honestly they are huge games. But I'm
derailing from the blog, whoops.
-Cuz they feel too. Y'know.
Minecraft was the great
intellectual saviour of the needy. And it still is. Gaining even more followers
as I'm writing, as you're reading and as we're talking.
I probably won't forget that
underground mining I had that day in my Minecraft world. Going underground in a
game is a rare thing as it is, and they way you do it in Minecraft, for your
survival and for the management of your own fake life just made it more special
and convincing. You were in charge of everything that happened in it, you could
change it however you wanted, you were a God of some sorts. But you were still
chained to that mortal side if you know that I mean, you still had to work hard
to eventually hit that spot where you would basically become the master of
matter and the prince of chemistry that the world Minecraft was yet to known. You had to
work your ass through some playthroughs to achieve that. And that was the
number one satisfaction coming from the game. Everything you see is a reward of
your effort, time, dedication and principally your liking towards the game. What you build
would stay there forever, and ever. Unless that dirty crazy green b*stard would
spoil that feel but that's why we have pickaxes usable as weapons.
a dreaming, and working man's game. A true achievement in the sandbox genre and
a step up for future iterations. If Mojang decides to.
The fan love behind the game is amazing as well. So many fan art, series, commentators, so many everything. It's so cool and just amazing. How the creeper passed on to be an instant internet icon, and how it will possibly go down as a cult game classic. I personally love the fan art, while I may have gotten tired of the game I have not gotten tired of browsing through those. So hilarious.
Once again Minecraft is a
thing of beauty, something truly original and yet so simple it amazed so many
people. Hooked them, and what a sane addiction that was. Probably the healthiest
addiction there ever was. If not, then shooting green moving exploding
cacti-lookalikes was. Seriously those bastards.
Minecraft's fun resides in
what you want to make out of it. The way you play it and how you see it of
course. But the amazing simplicity of Minecraft triumphed somewhere else, on
Something probably no one has
noticed, something that you can't consciously acknowledge the moment you put
the fun of the game into action. Everything in that game woke, evoked, and
spurred a thing that was master during a really long, special time of everyone's
The visuals, the textures, the
colors, the landscapes, the flow, the innocence, the simplicity, the enjoyment,
the easy fun, the noble distraction, and the easy construction and spawning of
your imagination and of your mind.
By just looking at it.
After all, the game is your childhood.
It seems your blog has more depth to it than the actual game. I have not played mincraft yet. I have seen my cousin play but I've never felt any urge to play it though. It hasn't seemed that appealing. The only reason I should try it is because everyone else is. But you see what I'm most afraid of if i try it is I'm going to get into it just the way you did. From an emotional, almost spiritual level after analyzing the support and simplicity of it all. At least that's the feel I get from what you've written. It's not just a game but an immersive reminder of a simpler time. I just don't know though. We'll see.
My cousins and I downloaded the 360 version after playing the demo. ( We played the demo for 3 hours.) And now we are hooked. One makes castles, the other loves to dig. Just last night we were building a boat. A big one. And on my alone file I have re-created the master sword, temple of time, the Mario bros, a tiny star destroyer, and pikachu....it's hard to pull away.
there is nothing like finding a spot with so much potential it literally begs you to build something there. maybe its a giant natural archway, asking for a cottage at the top, maybe its a canyon, wishing to be converted into a cliffside glass home, maybe its a valley wanting nothing more than to become a castle villa, or if your very lucky, maybe its a floating island allowing the impossible.
in minecraft, you forge your world, you shape the very environment to your liking, you fight for your life at night, and build by day, and its aesthetic feels like an old N64 game, making old school gamers feel right at home. Minecraft truly is something special.
Whoa man, another great blog for you Anti. I got bit by the Minecraft bug with the 360 version and have been playing steadily since release. It's a great game, one that lets you imagination boundlessly soar, and you can create whatever you want. Intensely thought provoking, this blog, I shall be reading it again when I have more time to savor it.