Meinkraft

So unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about this thing called Minecraft. Google should immediately yield results to you that should probably incite an eyebrow raise as your first reaction when you hit the Google Images. “That’s Minecraft?” may be your first thought. And yes, indeed it is. That blocky game that looks like a throwback to 16-bit games is Minecraft.

Anything farther than a Google Images search will probably take you to the Minecraft home page itself, where its creator, Notch, lets you try a free version of an earlier release of the game where all you did was place blocks of crap all over the place. And, like me, if you first started to play the free Java version, you were probably thinking, “Well, I don’t see what all the fuss is about.” But you keep on playing. And you keep on laying down blocks. And then you build yourself a little house. And soon the house becomes a tower. And soon the tower becomes a fort. And soon the fort becomes a castle. And soon you have a lava moat surrounding your castle and you’re busy building the rooms in it.

Which is probably about the time you realized that there’s actually a better version of what you were just playing. Known now as Minecraft Alpha, the game is an actual game with gameplay to it, including fighting, enemies, health, armor, and resource-collecting. Think of it as SimCity meets Doom. Yes, I did just ask you to picture demons and undead things in a city builder world. That’s pretty much Minecraft.

And before you know it you’re reading about this damn game on Kotaku and Gamasutra, and you’re seeing it popping up in comics all over the place, and, Christ, it’s got a huge following at Facepunch, and—wait a minute, this guy has made HOW MUCH off of this game? Millions? All by his lonesome? And he’s making a company out of his earnings to develop the game in full? That’s when you go back to that dismal Google Images photo you found and then you wonder how it translates into a giant following and bags of cash. Somewhere, right now, Bobby Kotick is trying to figure out the answer to the same question.

I can only guess from my own personal experience, which is to say that it brings out the creationist in all of us (and no I don’t mean Adam and Eve). Someone drops a mention how the world in Minecraft can cover the distance of the planet eight times over and you suddenly realize that the game world is the largest ever conceived. You then couple this in your mind with that fact that you can literally build cities if you had the time and patience. And then there’s also that Oblivion sensation of exploration—of just going out there in the wild and seeing what the world has to offer and marvel at how you can be so taken in by a game with such shitty graphics.

You start to find out about logic puzzles. Or maybe the minecarts. Traps maybe? Or maybe the simple life of farming. Either way, Minecraft just finds a way for you to have fun in a little time-waster that never has an ending, which pretty much means you can leave it and come back to it whenever you want to keep on playing and progressing. Granted there’s not much to do at the moment, considering the game is dubbed in alpha testing, but Jebas, the gem of 2010 this certainly is. And a monument to indie developers, no less. Here is a testament to fact that indie games are not set to fail if they aim to some degree that is able to sweep across communities on the Internet.

So is Minecraft for you? All I can say is—don’t knock it until you try it. The worst that could happen is that you like the game and find out you’ve become addicted to it. Which, unfortunately, is my scenario. I must now return to the depths of my mine and look for the fabled diamond resource, for my diamond shovel is on the verge of breaking…I have mountains to move!

Backtrack: Slightly Relevant

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About Agamemnon
Started blogging back in 2007 amidst that whole Hellgate: London fiasco on a blog known as flagshipped.com. Eventually moved on to do my own thing in December 2008 at gameriot.com and started Caveat Emptor there. Wrote there for six months, gained some notoriety, and then left. Now I'm back.

4 Responses to Meinkraft

  1. LeQuack147 says:

    Hahaha, it got you too I see. Thankfully, I was forced to quit MC cold-turkey when my laptop died.

    • Agamemnon says:

      Force quit…Minecraft? Does not compute.

      And hey, what ever happened to the folks at halo2sucks.com/halomonks.com?

      • LeQuack147 says:

        No idea, I stopped hanging around there.

        • Agamemnon says:

          The h2s domain was sold a long time ago apparently. Dunno what ever happened to the new site though–given the likely suspects I wouldn’t be surprised if they sort of tore each other apart. 😛

          Anyway, Minecraft quit’d me when Notch decided to add climbing spiders and didn’t make it specific to difficulty level. Apparently I was supposed to create a “lip” on all of my buildings and walls that span a full length greater than the Great Wall of China. In other words, it ain’t happening.

          I heard he added beds though. /whippitydo

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