When my good friend Mike finally got me into Minecraft, I went into it like someone who decides to take up recreational heroin. Of course, that was also the reason why I resisted buying it for so long: I knew it was insanely addictive. And now that I have it, it is exactly as addictive as I had expected, although in a good way (unlike heroin, in case someone thought this was a convoluted endorsement of hard drugs). Now, I find that anytime I have trouble writing or am just feeling too tired, the lure of the game beckons me. However, despite the slight loss in productivity, I still don’t feel that lingering feeling of regret when I finish playing, like that sour feeling you get when you eat an entire bag of gummy bears in one sitting (hypothetically). Here’s why:
1. It’s Totally Creative: drool… This is the kind of program I have been looking for for a long time. This is the reason that I want to have a room full of Legos someday. A very long time ago, I had a Lego computer program that was similar, except nowhere near as powerful. After one house, the landscape started disappearing as the computer ran out of memory. But now, I can create almost anything that comes into my mind. And believe me, I can come up with some pretty freaky stuff. The only sticking point is time, since I like things big and you still have to place every block individually. Currently I’m working on a setting from the first novel I ever wrote. It’s a pool, surrounded by five temples, on top of a fortified hill, in a huge city in a deep cleft of a valley. After about an hour or so, I’m almost finished the pool.
2. It’s Open-Ended: I’m using both the creative mode to make the aforementioned pool/city, but also playing in survival mode, where you have to find food and not get killed by monsters. It is way better than most games because you can manipulate everything . Currently, I’m at the bottom of an abandoned mineshaft with monsters all around. In a normal game, I’d have to fight my way out to get back to my house and recharge. Not in Minecraft. There, I can block off a shelter, dig it out bigger, make a crafting table and make more weapons and armor, even smelt ore into metals, all while I’m stuck at the bottom of a mine. I can make my own staircases or ladders, dig straight in any directions or basically do anything I want.
I realize I’m late in the game (as usual with technology; I just got a smart phone a few months ago) and that over half the world has already played Minecraft. But to those few out there who haven’t played it, I would just say that it’s awesomely creative and awesomely addictive. I’m still exploring what I can do, but I would like to make stories and set them in a Minecraft world that I create, recording the whole thing on video. So we’ll see. You never know what will come out of the Green-Walled Tower.