Minecraft is one of those games that I used to love. I remember seeing it, back when it was in alpha and being enamored by the simplicity and potential of it, not to mention the sometimes absurd terrain I would encounter. I used to be excited about the new updates and experiencing something new. And then I started to see it as a game.
It is unfair for me to say that Minecraft is a terrible game. But, to be fair, unless you absolutely love survival games, it is. The strength in Minecraft lies in that, if you set your mind to it, you can make almost anything. A giant castle, replicate a city, build a CPU and so on.
Personally, however, I remember being fond of simply going from one place to another and building something. Then, once I was done, I’d just move on and look for the next cool place to build on. The update that brought snow was perhaps the one I was most thrilled with, considering how much I love that white look on the landscape.
But as time went on I stopped caring so much about going somewhere, and instead wanted to get better things. Better armor, need to get diamonds, so on and so forth. Truth be told, I’ve never been a fan of watching numbers go up1. However, it is hard when the person you’re playing with, and when you introduce certain mods, to simply not try to settle down and endlessly improve one area. After all, it provides a common goal.
I was listening to Idle Thumb definitely not episode 300, and one of the listeners had sent an e-mail that described the feeling of loading up a save of an old Minecraft world of their multiplayer server as that of walking in an abandoned house. The conversation regarding that e-mail made me remember how I felt about when I first played Minecraft, and why I wanted to play Proteus (even if I still haven’t played it), and lament in a way how I let myself be swayed by my expectations and habits of the medium.
So, perhaps I will pick the game up and attempt to travel the land once again. Maps are a thing now, so now I have one more thing to do before leaving an area: in the center of it, inside the lighthouse I always built as a navigational aid, a framed map. A proper record of what I’ve seen, even if it is only for myself.