Everyone who plays video games will know about Minecraft, even people who don’t play video games will have heard of it. For those few that don’t know, Minecraft is a sandbox game developed and published by Mojang Studios in 2011. Being almost entirely a sandbox game, Minecraft offers limitless player creativity, players gather materials, craft items to assist in the gathering of more materials and build whatever they want. Many players will build small things such as a house or a farm where as a few impressive people will use their imaginations to create entire cities, landscapes, anything. I wish I could claim credit for the below Minas Tirith creation from The Lord of the Rings which was originally posted by a member of the Reddit community in 2013.
My story with Minecraft started in early 2011, before it was officially released and in BETA. To be honest, at the time I was working in a boring dead end job and I was looking for something to do to occupy me during periods of down-time where there was nothing to do. I only had a mediocre PC with no dedicated graphics card to work with. At that time however and to a degree even now, Minecraft requires very little system resources and ran fine on whatever my employer supplied me with, along with another game FTL: Faster Than Light. Since leaving that job I think in 2013/14, I haven’t really played any Minecraft but have heard about some of the various updates and additions including new biomes, mineable resources, enemies, items, play modes and ease of access for communities of players.
This time around I started playing the game using the ‘hardcore’ mode where if you die you have to start again from scratch. After dying and needing to re-create my game several times, I decided to play the game on ‘normal survival’ mode where if you die you will at least respawn and be able to continue. Since I started to play Minecraft this way I haven’t died, but at least I know if I do I will not have to start over. Compared to the accomplishments of many builders in Minecraft, what I have built is very simple and humble, I am almost too embarrassed to share it but here is a screenshot of a two story building, a wheat farm and mine shaft that I have created. The building serves as a haven to store items and resources, the wheat farm provides me with a consistent source of food and the mining shaft is what I use to go deep underground to farm materials.
In my defence, playing in survival mode does mean that all resources and building materials need finding. As such spent a lot of my time in my mine finding underground caverns such as the one below. These are rich with coal, iron, gold, copper, diamonds and other important resources.
What impresses me most about Minecraft is the community behind it. People of all ages find something fun about this game. Some people have even built careers creating content associated with Minecraft, not just streamers or YouTubers, but also people who have built intricate worlds, texture packs, interactive stories, educational pieces and much more. If I was interested in a career in the gaming industry, I would seriously consider using Minecraft to build my own game within the Minecraft engine to show potential employers my creativity. Perhaps even design my own texture pack to change the look and feel of the game. As it stands, I don’t have the creativity to start a career in the gaming industry, but I will be keeping what I have accomplished so far and maybe even expand upon it someday.