“Block” Out the World

Posted: October 8, 2012 in Reviews

Any video gamer’s first thought when he or she looks at the hit PC game Minecraft is probably along the lines of “How the hell is this game popular?”

Such words of disbelieve are surprisingly appropriate to describe a game that is implausibly simple but has already sold over nine million copies since its release in 2009 (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minecraft). Weighing in at about a minuscule 60 Megabytes, Minecraft is unbelievably tiny when compared to a modern PC game like Crysis , which is almost 210 times larger with a file size of 12 Gigabytes (Source: http://www.videogamer.com/pc/crysis/system_requirements.html). When you look at the graphics of Minecraft, it’s easy to figure out why. It touts 8-bit graphics, making it look indecipherable from those retro games made in the 80’s. 

So how exactly does one play Minecraft? To be honest, no one really knows. Minecraft is a sandbox game, meaning the game provides the player with an environment completely devoid of any objectives or goals, and the gameplay relies entirely on the player. When you start Minecraft you are placed in the middle of no where in a randomly generated environment that’s composed completely of blocks. Everything from the water to the trees, to the clouds are all block-based, much like a Lego-World. Using the in avatar’s fists players can break apart these blocks and store them in their inventories for later use. With a combination of blocks, players can craft simple tools and objects like axes and torches that can be used for survival. Depending on the difficulty, monster such as skeletons and zombies can spawn at night so it’s usually best to build a house when first beginning the game. Much more could be said about the gameplay but it truly is a unique experience that should be enjoyed first-hand so my description ends here.

Minecraft in its developing stages was originally a single player game but when multiplayer became available, its popularity rapidly increased. Along with its popularity, Minecraft’s social capabilities took off as well.   There are two types platforms for Minecraft players to mingle: web-site based communities and in-game servers.

Online, there are a huge number of minecraft websites dedicated to modifying the game. The developers of Minecraft, Mojang, designed their game to be customizable, granting players great freedom in changing the layout of the game. Because of this, many players have created their own mods and posted them for others to try. Within these online communities, players share their mods with their peers and collaborate to produce new creations.

In-game, player can create private worlds to include only their friends or join in public worlds to play with strangers. With multiplayer, players can build massive buildings or even cities with their friends or just explore the practically endless world.

Here is a time-lapsed video of two friends building a enormous structure:

The success of Minecraft has shown us that in the modern world that has grown so complex, we desire the simple life in a simple world. A world in which it’s possible to just hang out with a friend in the wilderness or build a house with your own hands.

  1. jlee1210 says:

    Its true that even gaming has evolved and developed throughout the Internet. Traditional video games allowed players in the same room to play games together, while now you can play with a gamer from virtually anywhere in the world. Gaming has become more than just playing games – it has become a place to connect with friends, or strangers who have become friends. Online games like omgpop and draw something is popular not only because of their value as games but because its fun to play with your friend or other people.

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