Aug 03 2012

First thoughts on Minecraft

Minecraft. A game that has seemingly taken over as one of the must-play games of the past few years. A game where you can build virtually anything, and do virtually anything. A game I never bothered with after a trial play a few years ago.

Back in early 2010, I started to see the game mentioned online. I didn’t know what it was, and honestly thought it was a Starcraft style game set underground. No context was given, so what was I to think? I got bored and decided to give it a shot, looking it up and learning it was a game where you mine resources and build things; basically, you mine and craft, thus the name, Minecraft.

“Oh, so its one of those games.” I thought to myself, as I loaded up the web browser based version. The game was still in a self-stated alpha phase back then, so I wasn’t expecting anything special. However, when the game finally loaded, I laughed. Looking at the ultra simple graphics, I just had to laugh. I couldn’t take it seriously, nor could I get immersed into the world. Yeah, the game had a nice world generation system, and sure, exploring was nice, but I didn’t see the point. This was, of course, what is now “classic” Minecraft, which was basically limited to mining, exploring, and spawning blocks at will. The thing is, I had pretty much no knowledge on what to do; the game explained nothing about itself!

So, I wandered around, mining some trees, building some random walls, and getting very bored very quickly. Again, this was back when the game was in early development, but I noticed that you could actually buy this. I laughed. “Who in their right mind would spend money on this?” I thought to myself, as I closed the browser and moved on about my gaming. I would continue to hear about the game online off and on, with people continually saying that I should play, but I shrugged them off and told them I didn’t care, that the game didn’t interest me at all.

Then, in early 2011, came Terraria. This game was gifted to me by a friend, so I was pretty much forced to give it a chance. Everyone called it a 2D version of Minecraft, which I certainly could understand, but the game was so much more different. Terraria had a heavy focus on combat, and exploration as a way to proceed in the games universe from the get go. The game actually had gameplay to it, which kept me entertained, but just like Minecraft, the game was rather odd to get used to, as it didn’t explain itself very well.

Time would pass, and I would have my fill of Terraria, all the while hearing more and more about Minecraft. I would make more friends who played it, and eventually, while hanging out with one of them, he would show me what he had built in the game, and give me an explanation on just what goes on, and what to do in the game. It still didn’t make me want to buy a copy, but I was armed with more knowledge. This was only a few months ago, after the official release of the “completed” game, and by then the game had somewhat exploded into popularity, memes and all.

So, a few days ago, I decided to finally purchase a copy of Minecraft. I haven’t done much but work since then, as the game has become highly addictive. It certainly has matured from my test play of the game a few years ago, and I have had quite a bit of fun just mining and building whatever I can imagine. Of course, I have hit the usual learners snags of just how you get X resources, or what you do to make Y item, but otherwise, with the help of the wiki for the game, I have had a fun time.

Of course, there are elements of the game I just plain dislike, but overall, once I got adjusted to it, compared to Terraria, I have had quite a fun few days. The real test is how often I will play the game in the upcoming months, and years.

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