First off, let me start by saying that Minecraft is AWESOME! For such a simple, straightforward game, it is truly an epic and mind altering, gaming experience. No other title has impacted me in quite the same way, and I have played A LOT of games over the years. It might sound somewhat strange, but if you’ve never played Minecraft, you have no idea how purely addicting it is!!!
Of course, this is just my opinion. I know that this game isn’t for everyone and compared to your average FPS series like Call of Duty or Battlefield, Minecraft just doesn’t get as much media attention. But, that won’t stop me from talking about it or fully enjoying the game. So, let’s dive in and explore the magical, open-ended world of Minecraft.
Minecraft is truly one of the only games that I know of, that contains such an open world. Truly, if you can see something in the distance, you can go there. You can scale any mountain, dig to the very bottom of the world, explore dizzying heights, search a myriad of tunnels and mine complexes, carve out existing caves, explore expansive ravines and even sail across massive oceans to unexplored and untouched lands. It is truly as “Open-World” as you can get. It has such a feeling of freedom, that it can sometimes be overwhelming.
Picture this, you are standing in the middle of a forest, surrounded by huge, ominous trees. You have no idea where you are, no idea where to go and no clue what to do. All you have are the clothes on your back and a will to survive. What do you do? Where do you go? Do you find shelter first or do you try and make weapons to fend off the coming night? Time is ticking and your next move could either spell ultimate disaster or glorious salvation.
Well, not to worry. Luckily, this is Minecraft and the world is yours for the taking. Whatever you can imagine, whatever you can dream up, you can create it in glorious three dimensions. You can mold and arrange every block of this world, into your very own personal vision and that is something, few games now-a-days, can claim. So it’s time to punch some trees, make some tools and start building your world.
I first came across Minecraft, a few years ago, in 2012, while I was browsing around YouTube. I kept seeing Minecraft this and Minecraft that. I thought, “I wonder what this Minecraft thing is?” So, I clicked on a video from the always awesome DOCM77, just as he was beginning his latest Minecraft World Tour series. It only took one video to become instantly hooked on both DOCM77 and Minecraft. I ended up subscribing to his channel that very day and just a few days later, bought my very own copy of Minecraft.
Since then, I have loved every block filled moment. Exploring, digging, building, questing… it has all been extraordinary. So far, I’ve started a handful of single player maps, had the opportunity to play on a few servers and have even completed several large and complex builds (at least large and complex for me). Still, I have only scratched the surface of this awesome game.
So, what is the allure of Minecraft? Whats the big deal with this game? Is it really all that awesome? Well, I can honestly say, YES it is that awesome! The allure of Minecraft really varies per person, but from my point of view, it’s the sheer expansiveness and open-ended nature of this game. Think about it, you can do anything you want, go anywhere you want, and build anything you can imagine. You can break the laws of gravity, mold the world any way you see fit and truly be the master of your own destiny. Aside from Skyrim, I have never felt as free or as unhindered as I feel in Minecraft.
Minecraft is not just a game, it is an epic, mind-altering experience. As strange as it is to say, there is a zen-like quality to many aspects of Minecraft. For example, recently, I have been spending hours upon hours just digging and mining. Block by block, pickax by pickax, slowly I have transformed my little home into a sprawling, underworld labyrinth of tunnels and hallways. These have been some of the most relaxing, contemplative moments that I have ever had in a video game. Hunkered down on my little island, I can just loose myself in the task at hand, allowing my mind to wander, decompress and re-evaluate things. It may sound boring and monotonous, but as a Minecraft player, it has a very calming effect. Really, with this faster-then-light pace that we all seem to live in, it’s good for your brain to have a bit of down time.
This is also true for designing structures, sorting materials and building your own visions. Placing each block, studying the ascetics of your work, redesigning if need be and blending your building into its surroundings, is amazingly relaxing. There is just an overwhelming calmness to the entire Minecraft process.
Now, I don’t mean to give you the impression that there isn’t any danger in Minecraft. It isn’t all meditative block placement and introspective mining. From zombies, to endermen, to bow wielding skeletons and exploding creepers, nighttime is your worst enemy. Everything is out to kill you! These creatures can shatter your newly found inner peace with an unexpected hiss, the twang of a bow string or a sorrowful, bloodthirsty grown.
Truth be told, I have had harrowing experiences with all of these jolly fellows and each time seems to be more terrifying than the last. Despite this, Minecraft holds a very special place in my gaming collection.
Even after numerous set backs, multiple deaths and the occasional server crash, I am undeterred in my search for Minecraft Nirvana. I have become a huge fan of this game, more so then any other modern/recent game. It is quiet an adventure, an open-ended, fully customizable game that has the potential to transcend today’s all-to-common and monotonous FPS genre. If you haven’t played Minecraft yet, I suggest you go give it a try. Head over to Mojang’s Minecraft site and check it out. It is available for the PC, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and even today’s mobile devices. I’m certain that you have never experienced a game quite like this one before.