Groggy Musings on Minecraft

I feel somewhat reluctant to talk about Minecraft, as it really seems to be an overdone topic, and because it’s half past midnight and I really have very little to say, but upon further thought, I remember that I’m writing for my own benefit, not for other people’s enjoyment. Minecraft is a game that I will always think fondly of. When I first played it in 2012, it was on my birthday. I had a few friends round, and one of them downloaded the client and logged in with his account so I could try it. I was instantly captivated; to me, at least, the freedom of building any structure in any place, and walking around inside said structure, was unprecedented. The closest I can recall seeing before was the LEGO Digital Designer, which was considerably less fluid to use and didn’t allow for the exploration aspect of Minecraft.

I recall that the first thing I built was a bridge. I used cobblestone stairs and slabs, with regular cobblestone being used as a pillar in the middle. It was only two or three blocks wide, across a small stream, but it felt like such an achievement. I had made a bridge, entirely by my own design, and it seemed effortless! One of my first endeavours in Minecraft was a castle floating in mid-air. I started with creative mode, and didn’t really take to survival until a while later.

Looking back at how the game was when I first got into it, it’s really changed quite a lot while keeping the same fundamental theme, and that is quite an achievement. Some people argue that adding more content is unnecessary and a waste of time, because the game was already good before. To some extent, I agree. I certainly understand the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, but having more options is always nice. Some of the new blocks are quite useful, even if only for decoration.

One thing about Minecraft, however, will never change. The ability to create whatever you want. That is precisely why I love this game so much. With a bit of time, I can make a castle from scratch, and it will be my castle in every way. Not just that it belongs to me, but that it was entirely my design. Even with the limit of Minecraft’s blocky nature, it’s rather a restorative practice to have a semi-tangible visualisation of an idealistic residence. All the hard work of mining and crafting pays off with an end result that truly feels like a home. Sure, I have a home in the real world. I have places where I feel at home in the real world. But I didn’t design any of those. It wasn’t my work alone that made them exist, and that takes quite a lot away.

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