Minecraft”: Creative addiction using cooperation and survival

Will you go down into the rabbit hole and enter the wonderful world of minecraft? (Stephen Benoit)

By Stehen Benoit/The Skyline VIew

Will you go down into the rabbit hole and enter the wonderful world of minecraft? (Stephen Benoit)

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You are a visitor in a strange place. On your first day, you will wander the blocky, Lego-like world, watching rectangular animals bounce around with unbridled glee. You will soon realize that basically everything in this world—the dirt, the trees, even the animals—can be broken into pieces and collected. Once you collect parts of this new, blocky world, you are free to reuse and re-shape them however you see fit, often combining certain objects with others to make tools and weapons.

However, when the sun goes down, zombies, skeletons, giant man-eating spiders, and the infamous and ubiquitous creeper will do everything in their power to murder you and ruin your buildings. Until the sun rises, you are forced to either fight off these terrible creatures or dig down into the earth, exploring naturally occurring caves and mining for rare minerals.

This is why Minecraft, an independently made game by developer Mojang, has sold over 1 million copies.

Priced at a measly $20.59, Minecraft continues the trend of games providing nearly limitless gameplay for a relatively small price. Even playing causally, I’ve already totaled way more time playing Minecraft than playing full-priced, $60 blockbuster games such as Dead Space 2. While plenty of these full-priced, blockbuster titles are in fact still amazing experiences, it gives me pause to consider continuing to pay full price for them, when the games I’ve been playing the most the past few months (Team Fortress 2, League of Legends, Minecraft) are all either free to play or under $20.

In Minecraft, there are no clear objectives to follow. You are completely free to do whatever you desire; there is no clear way to win or lose. The bulk of enjoyment for me comes from simply exploring the randomly generated worlds. Every world is completely different from one another.

Digging deep down into the caves will reveal natural cave networks, some of which will contain dungeons filled with treasures to collect and monsters to fight. The deeper you go into the mines, the more rare minerals, such as iron, gold, and diamond, you will find. These minerals are rare enough that finding them always feels satisfying but common enough that you are never frustrated by never finding anything good. After a certain point, it’s almost guaranteed that you will find something good if you take the time to discover it, and that keeps me coming back.

Minecraft can be played completely with other people via dedicated servers; however, the process to play with others at this point is not very user friendly. There is no easy-to-navigate server list like many games have; you can only join a server you have the IP address for. This can make playing with friends unnecessarily difficult, as hosting a server requires a fairly good deal of technical knowledge. However, the game is still technically in its beta form, so it’s possible that kinks like this will be worked out and multiplayer will be easier for the layman to access.

That shouldn’t discourage you, though: even when playing it alone, Minecraft is an unforgettable, addicting experience.