Minecraft is a fantastic game that has something special in store for people of all ages. Don’t let its pixelated nature keep you from giving it a try. In what our modern, technologically advanced world, abundant with games that aspire to become more and more visually realistic, I too was hesitant to get into this seemingly simplistic game. However, what Minecraft lacks in its visual appeal in comparison to its larger-than-life counterparts is made up by other means. I would even go as far to say that the art of Minecraft is perfectly suited for creating another world that doesn’t have to look like ours – an alternate world that we can explore extensively with others.
That’s because Minecraft is a first-person sandbox game. The game has no specific goals for the player to accomplish, giving players a large amount of freedom. As a kid, I played with Lego, but I was ultimately limited by the amount of blocks my parents would comfortably buy for me with their hard-earned cash. Yet imagine a world, unrestricted and continuously generating as you explore it – a Lego world with unlimited blocks where you can let your creativity run free. Within the world of Minecraft lie endless amounts of building blocks to satisfy the inner Lego-loving child within us all.
For those of us that are not extremely creatively gifted, there is still a ton of things to do in the world of Minecraft. This alternate world comes with a single curious protagonist – you. And in this world, you get to explore a plethora of biomes and environments, from mountains and deserts to underground mines and caves. You also share your world with numerous other inhabitants, including varying species of farm animals as well as monsters that are usually seen at night – skeletons, zombies, and creepers, just to name a few. The presence of these enemies allows the game to retain a combat aspect for those who enjoy the regular fight. However, if you’re more of a peaceful type of player, you can always disable monsters, thanks to the flexible nature of the game.
I found playing by myself a bit limiting fairly quickly. Part of the Minecraft experience is the opportunity to play with others through public and private servers. A simple server hosting a couple of friends can allow everyone to enjoy an adventurous time together, while a larger public server can open up an endless amount of possibilities. Want to create a structured world with laws and an economy? Or instead free-for-all world where the strong survive and the weak perish? Due to the malleability of the game, anything is possible when you set up a server. The creativity behind different servers really surpasses my expectations of what Minecraft can be. Every server that was crafted by the many talented and creative people out there becomes a unique alternate world open to everyone to discover, explore, and enjoy.
Minecraft can really be as fast-paced or as slow-paced as you would like it to be. And as a result, everyone has a different playing style and different expectations of the game. Still, regardless of the wide range of expectations, the game manages to cater to basically every type of gamer out there, which I find to be simply amazing.
How I approached Minecraft, an open-ended pixelated game, was to express my creativity to build whatever my imagination conjured up. It taught me that good things come with hard work, time, and a ton of fun. Minecraft not only represents a part of my youth but also another building block that made me who I am today. Hopefully it can bring some joy to your busy lives as it has for me time and time again. Enjoy!