Thursday, January 29, 2015

The #Minecraft craze: what IS it?

Minecraft. Apparently, it is a gaming craze that is devouring children by the minute. I hear about it often, from friends talking about their kids' obsession to seeing a gazillion Pinterest pins for Minecraft birthday parties, t-shirts, and crafts.


Minecraft.net

So... what exactly is Minecraft? If you navigate to the Minecraft home page, you will find this description:

"Minecraft is a game about breaking and placing blocks. First, people built structures to protect against nocturnal monsters, but as the game grew players worked together to create wonderful, imaginative things. It can also be about adventuring with friends or watching the sun rise over a blocky ocean. It's pretty... you can also visit a land of mushrooms if it sounds like your cup of tea." 


...and if you are anything like me, you still have no idea. What is Minecraft?! 


Over 18 million people have purchased the PC/Mac version of Minecraft so surely I am missing out on something amazing. The game is also fully mobile so it's reach is now astounding. 


The smart folks who developed the Minecraft web page apparently heard my plea before I ever asked it. The site navigation includes a "Game" section and lo and behold, they address the big question right there. Er... sort of. See for yourself by clicking over to "what is Minecraft" on Minecraft.net




Wikipedia explains the game further in a simple non-tech manner. This sentence was the big one for me:

"Minecraft is an open world game that has no specific goals for the player to accomplish, allowing players a large amount of freedom in choosing how to play the game."

..because it finally made me understand why there is no one answer to "What is Minecraft?".


Minecraft can be whatever you make of it, sort of like Sims and other virtual world adventures. I am not a virtual world gamer myself, so I have a difficult time understanding the awesomeness that is, apparently, Minecraft. (Confession: I am still happily reliving the early 2000s playing Mario Kart.) From what I can gather, you can traverse various terrains throughout a 20-minute day and night cycle. You can build, craft materials, and hunt animals for food. So the older person in me thinks... is this the "new" Oregon Trail?! Minecraft can be played in three different modes: Creative, Survival, and Adventure. This also explains why the game can be completely different from person to person. It is entirely what you make of it! Now that's cool. 

In my not-so-serious investigation into this video game craze, I came across many Pinterest pins with a Minecraft theme. The three below cracked me up! 



You say Peeps, I say Creeps! 



Who doesn't enjoy a good cupcake fail?



A pretty awesome Elf on the Shelf.


If you play Minecraft, enlighten me! What makes it so addictive? Maybe I will go try it out. If I never write again, you will know: I'm playing Minecraft.



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