Minecraft

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Updated: 15 Nov 2017 07:31

Minecraft

In 2011, I was enjoying a somewhat popular game called Terraria. I was taken in by this little gem because it was the first time, aside from modding and building structures in an RTS, that I felt like I could change the landscape of the game world. My only complaint was that it was a side scroller. Soon after I was smitten, there was a big update to Terraria that effected the game to such a high degree, but in a negative way, that I promptly quit.

The next day I was on Google and searching for "games like Terraria". Minecraft was at the top of the list. Minecraft launched two years prior in 2009 and although the name was familiar to me, the game was not and the only thing I knew about the game, was that it was popular with kids. So I watched a video on youtube and smirked at square cows as some squeaker gave a tour of his house in the hills. I remember that he was quite impressed with his hidden trap door but the first thing that I thought was "why is the hallway so narrow". As I continued to watch I eventually came to understand the premise, that the entire world could be changed, block by block. Ideas swarmed and I downloaded the free single player demo and learned the basics of crafting.

Minecraft is a Phenomenon

Minecraft defined a new genre of games known as Voxel based games. This came at a time when the world was ripe and ready for a new concept. And while I was right about the game being very popular with kids, I was wrong in assuming that it could not also be enjoyed by adults. In fact I've met plenty of adults while playing MC and many servers won't allow children under the age of 18. It's one of the few video games that can be equally enjoyed by mom and dad, son and daughter, as well as grandpa and grandma all at once.

This game tickles your inner engineer, it's like digital legos on crack. And the world is huge and procedurally generated so no two worlds are alike. It is considered to be one of the single most popular video games in history and at the time of this writing, Mojang, the conpany behind Minecraft has sold 27,172,689 copies at $14.99 each. Suffice it to say that Markus Persson Notch, the founder of Mojang is well off. One interesting note about Notch is that he played a significant role in the development and launch of a PBBG called Wurm Online. Like Minecraft, Wurm Online is also a sandbox game with an entire world that can be changed by players, except that WO is an MMORPG. If you're already familiar with Minecraft then the best way to explain Wurm Online is to describe it as Minecraft for adults. The world is not blocky, but it takes an incredible amount of patience to play Wurm Online, and for this reason it is recommended for a more mature audience.