Recently, a girl I have gotten to know over the last 2 years while volunteering passed away. Her name was Erica, and she was one of the children I participated in my Extra Life Marathon for (Go Team GIO!).  One of her favorite games to play was Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition.  We would constantly play every time I would visit. She was also a fan of Timesplitters, which still confounds me with her being that young and knowing about that specific series, but still very cool nonetheless.  So the day I found out she passed away, I decided to pick up Minecraft again after taking a hiatus due to the huge fall releases. When I woke up the next morning and had time to think, I decided I needed to do something in honor of Erica. I decided to go on a Minecraft Adventure and build her a monument while blogging about everything that goes on.

A little about me before I continue; I truly love kids.  I am currently working at a middle school with Behavioral Discipline students.  I volunteer at a children’s hospital.  I fundraise and do various activities and events for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and most recently Extra Life.  And I’ve been a volunteer little league coach since the start of college.  So when I lose a child that I’ve gotten to know extremely well over the years (and one that called me her big brother because she was an only child), I feel the need to do something for them rather than sit around and mope about even though it does hurt.

Now getting back on track to the point of this blog; some of my friends told me to build this monument in Creative Mode, since it would just take the night.  But that’s not the way to adventure in Minecraft.  And that is definitely not the way Erica would want to play.  She would’ve told me to ‘man up and stop being a baby!’ I started up a new world in Survival mode and cranked up the difficulty to hard.

After toying with ideas for the monument, Ryan McGinley whom I met through the Overblood and Replay Communities suggested making a giant gold heart and writing her name above the heart in diamond blocks. I loved this idea and started planning out dimensions.  The heart would be made out of 46 gold blocks, which would take 414 gold ingots.  Erica’s name would be made out of 54 diamond blocks, which would take 486 diamond ingots.  The monument dimensions made me realize that this task would take a good amount of time.  I put out an open invite to all my friends to join me if they feel up to the task whenever I was logged on.

Before anyone asks, I’m not looking for any type of monetary donations or gifts.  I am only looking for people to listen to my story, support what I’m doing, and keep up with my blog if they choose to.  I am truly excited to do something like this for someone that meant a great deal to me and had a huge impact on my life. 

So in short, I’m honoring a child I’ve gotten to know over the years who passed away recently by adventuring in Minecraft on Survival Mode, Hard Difficulty and building a massive monument out of gold and diamond blocks in her honor.  I will always have an open invite to anyone who would like to join and adventure with me.  I am also doing my best to take screenshots and record some nice video clips of this journey.  Thank you for all your support.  I really hope this inspires some of you to go out and do something special for someone you truly care for!


  Erica's Monument-al Adventure: Day 1

I started out the day spawning at my village, and figuring out what supplies I had.  I already had a great deal of coal, a set of iron armor, 15 cooked steaks, and enough iron weapons and tools to begin a cave excavation.  I made sure to grab some extra wood to make planks and sticks before heading down.  I started excavating the cave, coming across much more coal and a few iron ore, and into a massive ravine filled with water, lava, and a boatload of monsters.  Across the ravine, I found my first wall of gold ore.  I made a makeshift bridge to carefully get across and mine the gold.  Once finished, I rushed back to my village on the surface, dodging three separate Creepers on the way up.  I managed to smelt five gold ingots, only four hundred and nine to go!

Before heading down, my friend Tim Smith joined me in my world for the adventure.  I made sure to equip him with what extra items I had, set his spawn point in my village, then finally showed him the way down the cave.  We instantly ran into trouble with Zombies, Cave Spiders and Skeleton Archers.  But I made sure to channel my inner Michael from Achievement Hunter and release Mogar on the enemies! Needless to say they were no match for the Mogar in me.  Tim was stunned by the ravine and quickly learned that the lava was everywhere by burning himself a few times.

The next hour or two wasn’t very exciting.  We both ventured around the ravine, dodging the water and lava, building bridges, and mining the massive amount of iron and coal found.  I did manage to kill myself in lava twice, but was able to retrieve all my dropped items.  Tim had the smart idea of making a base of operations for this cave right above the ravine.  We nicknamed this base, ‘The Crib,’ and filled it with chests, furnaces, a crafting table, and 2 beds.  When trying to rest in the beds to set our spawn point, enemies kept attacking us in our sleep because Tim kept forgetting to shut the door and closing up a wall!  We died a few times, but I managed to sprint back down the cave and fist the enemies to death.  We learned our lesson and closed up the base before setting our spawn for the night.


We found a few more pieces gold ore to mine and smelt down, but no diamond.  We finished up the night by doing a dig-down, making a staircase next to the base down to bedrock.  This will be used to create a system of underground tunnels and caverns.  Mind you we both lost our maps in lava and yet to make new ones. We were winging it on direction.  Maps would be one of the first things to craft the next time. 

We managed a total of 25 gold ingots in the 4 hours played, but no diamond.  Not the best start, but we were getting our bearings and exploring for most of the first day.  We’ve hardly touched the world, only exploring around and under the village.  There is still 90+% of the world to explore (above and below ground), and the more people we get to help out the next few days, the better chance we will have of actually finding some diamond and maybe hidden strongholds and mines with useful items.