How Minecraft Effectively Ended My Life

That’sssss a very nice houssssse you’ve got there…’twould be a shame if something happened to it…

So, you know, I have this stuff that I do in my life. I write, I blog, I do video reviews, I hang out with friends, that kind of stuff. At least I did, until I gave Mojang $21.95 and my soul for the glorious addiction known as Minecraft.

Two things set me on the path to buying this game: the insistence of my little brother, who is a mod on a fantastic Minecraft server, and the dynamic duo of Simon and Lewis over at The Yogscast, a wonderful YouTube channel chock-full of amazing Minecraft videos and features on mods for the game. Even though I finally gave in and bought the game, I figured I’d get bored of it pretty quickly.

Boy, was I ever wrong.

The first day I got it, I bought it in the late afternoon. I got a hold of my brother, and after finally convincing him that I actually did finally buy Minecraft, he logged onto the server he moderates and helped me buy a plot of land of my own from the admins so I could build my very own house and get myself set up to do some mining. I thought that the crafting was going to get overwhelming for me, but most of it is rather logical, and I even figured out how to craft some stuff on my own just by trying combinations of things. I made a plan for a simple wooden house, took some materials that my brother gave me to start off with, and went out to explore the wilderness.

By the time I looked away from my computer, it was one in the morning.

I knew I was in trouble at that point.

Since then, every time I come home and try to play another game, or watch a video, or write, I can’t concentrate; I simply have to fire up Minecraft. It’s insane how quickly I became addicted to the game. I found myself asking, what is it about this game that draws me in so deeply?

First of all, it’s my kind of game. I’m one of those rare gamers who actually enjoys item crafting, and exploration has always been a big part of video games in general. So, the two biggest points of the game happen to be two aspects of gaming that I love. That obviously makes it a good fit for me to start off with.

What’s also amazing about Minecraft is the community. Literally thousands of players have spent hours creating player skins, adventure maps, and texture mods, and even game mods to add or alter things to the game. What’s also great about this is that Notch, the game’s creator, encourages all of this, and closely pays attention to the community, implementing many of the best ideas the players come up with into the official game patches. In fact, the last patch added pistons into the game, which actually started as a player-created mod.

Another thing about this game that makes it so addicting is the fact that it is truly a sandbox game. You can go anywhere, and do and create almost anything. Don’t believe me? There is a specific kind of Minecraft server out there called a ‘creative server’, which are totally dedicated to people building statues and pictures of all sorts. Go check some out, they are incredible! I also recently downloaded my first ever adventure map, which is a fairly faithful recreation of Castlevania, pieced together from the best parts of the NES titles in the series. Not only did the creator do an amazing job, but he made an 8-bit Castlevania-themed texture pack to go with it, and specifically designed the level so that, once you’re done with the puzzles he’s included, you can make the castle your base and go out exploring like you would in any other Minecraft map. Absolute brilliance!

But the morning sun has delivered this awesome texture pack!

(You can nab the map and texture pack for yourself here.)

Notch also put a lot of effort into making the game friendly for all players. You can choose different difficulty levels to play maps on, or you can put it on Peaceful mode and remove the monsters completely. Regardless of whether you want to simply build, or go killing hoards of Creepers, you’ll be able to get your fix.

This game also inspires true emotion in its players. To illustrate this, allow me to tell you about a dig that I went on last week. Brace yourselves.

There are different towns on the multiplayer server I play on. My brother came to me and said he wanted to show me a new area that the owner of the server had created. It’s a beach area called Sexy Cove (yes, it’s a stupid name). It was beautiful, with an awesome view of the setting sun, beach towels and umbrellas that everyone could claim as their own, and to top it all off, my brother built a beautiful house for the two of us on the edge of the water out of lapis and diamond (they later made him change the lapis. Sigh.).

It was so beautiful…;_;

My brother then proceeded to tell me that there was quite a bit of untouched wilderness very nearby (people are only allowed to dig in wilderness areas, the town areas are protected). I gathered my armor, my weapons, a diamond pickaxe, some torches and some cooked pork, and I was ready to go!

As I’m digging, my brother suddenly appears underground with me (he’s a mod, so he can fly and stuff. Lucky bastard.). He then says ‘Here, I’ll help you dig’, and proceeds to bust out some TNT. I immediately panicked, screaming at him over Team Speak as I’m running and he’s laughing and my mineshaft is being blown to pieces.

He found a natural cave pretty quickly using the TNT, where there are lots of monsters and lots of resources to mine. I started going crazy, mining red stone, lapis, and my first ever deposit of gold that I’ve ever found! My anger at my brother was quickly forgotten, and I was in awe of all of the goodies I’d found.

I should have turned around and gone back up to stash my new shiny things.

But no, instead, I decide to start digging a bit lower. It isn’t long until I hit bedrock, indicating that I’m pretty much as far down as I can get. It also means that lava is very close by. I of course wind up finding some, but I’m not a moron and I don’t dig directly under me, so I was totally safe. I went to go turn around to leave and finally put my new stuff safely away in a chest.

Then, a skeleton came out of nowhere and shot an arrow at me, pushing me into the lava.

I died.

I lost all of my stuff.

The best part is, there happened to be water right next to the lava. I could have jumped into the water and put myself out and saved myself, if I hadn’t panicked and tried to get on a ledge instead.

I sat there in silence, fighting back tears. All of my hard work, for nothing! My brother simply said to me ‘Well, that’s Minecraft. Just go make more tools and try again’.

So I did.

I found gold again.

This time, I turned around, went back to the surface, and put it in my chest. And it was awesome.

It really is amazing how a simple game can illicit such emotion. Notch really did a beautiful job of creating this game, giving people the power to build anything, with some effort, and to put your heart and soul into it, and then cry as a Creeper blows it to smithereens.

So yes, I am horribly addicted to this game, but it isn’t a bad thing. I’m a creative creature by nature, and the process of mining and creating is actually relaxing enough for me that I often turn to it when I want to play something nice and relaxing.

Until a skeleton knocks you into lava. Douchebags.

So, go ahead and buy Minecraft yourself and play it. It’s 25% off since it’s still in beta, so now’s the best time to pick it up. You’ll want to learn the basics before the next update; it’s an adventure update, adding experience points, a hunger meter, and a bunch of other challenging aspects to the game.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some diamond to mine.


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    snipsnap said,

    hey, i wanna go on the server your brother is mod on! whats the ip?

    • 2 It’s the Minecraft server for the DirtNap Gaming group (they play a LOT of games, but this is their MC server). My brother and I rarely have time to come on anymore, but the people there are amazing, the towns and worlds are awesome, and they have really good griefing protection and other stuff, so it’s pretty damn secure. Enjoy! 🙂

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