(picture cropped from iNegacion’s wallpaper on Deviant Art)
If you’re into games in general, you should know about Minecraft.
If you’re mostly into WoW, you need to know about Minecraft.
The next week or two, I’ll be blogging about Minecraft, but first I’ll make an effort to introduce you to this game. Hey! It’ll make you look cool in front of your friends, this game is a force to be reckoned with.
Minecraft is an open-ended (and open-world) video game, meaning there’s no clear state of having won. It’s like WoW in that sense – is there ever a time where you can claim you’ve really won WoW? MMO’s tend to be open-ended, other examples are The Sims series and the roleplaying game Oblivion. I think my love for Minecraft has something to do with this fact, I love games with a freedom to do whatever and go wherever (hence my weird way of playing GTA3).
Minecraft won’t tell you what to do, ever, and most of my friends found this very confusing. There is no tutorial or introduction to this game (There’s a Minecraft wiki though, which is extremely useful).
Instead you are dropped into this computer generated world, largely made up of square boxes of varying material.
You are able to break the boxes down and use them as building blocks, and what you can build with these, is a matter of infinite possibilities plus your ability to envision and actualize them.
This is what puts your brain to work and why people call it addictive, although I’d rather just call it involving, both while you’re playing, making you lose sense of time, but also beyond the playing session itself. One of my friends joked that Minecraft had become Mindcraft to her, she thought about it so often, felt inspired at random times and even dreamt about it. So have I, this game brought me that same exhilaration I had when I started playing WoW – extremely engaged, wanting to play all the time and enjoying every second of it.
(by SilverSliver17 on Deviant Art)
This world of Minecraft is populated only by you (in singeplayer mode), a range of randomly spawning farm animals and at night: zombies, sceletons and spiders, creating an opposition in the game. The animals, the enemies and the land itself are all forms of resources, that you can extract to create something new. If this sounds a little like the history of our species, then yeah, I agree, I would indeed argue there is a sort of evolutionary direction in the game play.
Here’s one of my screenshots from Minecraft:
A very simple but easy-to-learn interface, and what? You think it looks outdatedly ugly? The 8-bit graphics might decieve you at first glance, given the current times of ever improving graphics, but trust me on this one, good gameplay precedes graphics… and actually, I wouldn’t even call it ugly, it’s a charm.
Believe me when I say that players, including me, actually marvel over the beauty of the landscape, structures they have created themselves or just the sunrise and sunset. To me, this game has some very beautiful moments.
Besides the single player mode, you can join a server and play with others, which was what me and the rest of my course mates did, and yes, this does make Minecraft into an MMO also. The multiplayer experience is different and definately worth trying. The game is currently in its beta stages, but is nonetheless fully functioning at this time.
Minecraft is what in daily speech is called a bedroom or basement developed game, created by the programmer Markus “Notch” Persson, making it a prime example of a popular indie game. Later he joined forces and created the small game company “Mojang” consisting of 7 people:
As of March 7, 2011, Minecraft had over 1,520,000 purchases – keep in mind that this was achieved without the use of any advertizement or marketing, the game spread purely by word of mouth/social media.
I’m very impressed by these guys, they keep a close interaction with the players through the Minecraft forums (at least by WoW standards), where they talk about their development plans for us to follow where the game is heading.
And here I am, doing that same word of mouth that initially spread the game to the magnitude it has enveloped. You should try playing it too ;)
Want to read more? Maybe these other Minecraft posts I wrote will interest you: