Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Finding the willpower to write about Minecraft is difficult, because in order to do so, you have to stop playing Minecraft. This was intended to be a much longer, more in-depth review, but I think it cuts to the chase effectively.

You find yourself in a strange world which renders around you as arrive. The sun is out and it's a beautiful day. The graphics are blocky, but adequate. You take a moment to gather yourself and examine your surroundings.... but the clock is ticking. The sun is still rising, but when it sets... The monsters come.

When first dropped into Minecraft, this is what you know: "In 10 minutes, the sun is going to set and I will be set upon by monsters which will kill me. I need wood, I need coal, and I need it now." It's such a primitive concept, but executed beautifully. It's a virtual commentary on the theory of Human Motivation.

First: shelter, survival and safety - just the basic needs.
Second: Comfort, expansion of your safety and the accumulation of wealth and materials.
Third: Creating and sharing with friends, socializing etc.

The game comes together so organically, it's hard not to be impressed. The panic that sets in as night falls and you are still exposed; When you discover a new cavern deep in the earth and the zombie you've been hearing groan is suddenly RIGHT THERE. The mile-stones to mark your progress are plentiful and enjoyable, but almost all self-generated.

There's so much to explore and do, that it's easy to be overwhelmed by your options.
You can create a tree/wheat/sugar farm, develop a complex system of mining, create a portal to the hell world to gather rare materials, build elaborate traps to catch and kill monsters or just wander the world taking in the interesting sights and struggling to survive.

Should you decide to try the game, you will definitely want to view this video:

and you'll probably want to check out the information here:
Minecraft wiki beginner's guide

These will help you with the absolute basics. If you're worried about spoilers or developing your own strategies, you should still watch the video and view the basics page in order to get to a point where you'll understand how the game works.

Just remember: In 10 minutes, the monsters come.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some mining to do. And a farm to attend to. And I want to build a road to connect our various bases. Oh! And I want to explore that cavern! And I still need to figure out how to use mine-carts... We should open a portal to the Nether.... AH CREEPER! RUUUUUN.

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