Almost everyone can admit to either playing or at least hearing about the fun little building game known as Minecraft. This admittedly advanced game with a simple premise captured the hearts, minds and souls of so many players around the world. Those players with a simple dream – to build and create whatever popped into our minds without limit and without reservation…except for the monsters, hunger, lava, falling too far and drowning.
But what made Minecraft so successful? What took it from the small scale operation it was at release to the massive mainstream phenomenon that has entered in so many markets?
Do you remember Lego? Perhaps you are like me and wish that you could surround yourself with those little blocks of countless possibility. The one draw of Lego was the fact that it was not held back by any sort of constraint, other than the one that surrounds our creativity. Minecraft follows that same principle, you are not limited in any regard, whether you want to craft something from another hit videogame or a TV show, much like the below photo.
You may recognise the Mines of Moria from the Lord of the Rings. All I have to say is that one fan was dedicated. But this is what I have been saying, Minecraft isn’t an amazing game on its own or even a new concept, but what it allows for players of all ages is rather remarkable. In this regard, every dream you could possibly have in reality can also become a virtual reality in this quite fun game. Want to own and run a rather unique castle? You can. Want to be a sugar cane farmer? You can. If you even want to be a space cowboy, that dream is easily within your grasp. Just reach out and take it.
Although it can get quite lonely out in the procedurally generated universe that Minecraft calls home, you can share it with other players. Both ones that you know and the ones that you don’t. You can share your own creations with specialised servers so that other players can enter your world with you and either explore what you have created or even build it ever higher.
But the co-op fun does not stop there. If I may return to Lego for a moment, some of the greatest memories were the ones that were shared with friends or family. Maybe you re-enacted the battle of Hoth between the Imperial forces and Rebel Alliance with a sibling, or duelled Voldemort in the grounds of Hogwarts with your best friend. The same camaraderie is extended in Minecraft with player created servers. Whether it is simply a base world with a few developed villages or a massive arena for armed Steve’s to go and fight each other in, the Minecraft servers that are created foster both creative and cooperative play. I remember a long time ago I played in a large scale Minecraft version of the Hunger Games. That was definitely a fun few hours.
Minecraft was released in its very first form over seven years ago, and since then it has undertaken many changes and evolved to have the massive fanbase it holds today, both online and offline. The game itself has an almost laughably simple concept but just like Lego it holds to the core of what a lot of gamers want. That thing is freedom and choice. The freedom to create whatever they desire and do it wherever they wish, is a part of the magic that has captured many a soul since we were all quite young. It is this creative freedom that has allowed Minecraft to thrive and bring so much joy to so many people.