Minecraft has taken the gaming world by storm, and analysts are still scratching their heads as to exactly why. The graphics are blocky and primitive, there doesn’t appear to be any storyline or plot to follow, and the single player game is a lonely, quiet environment. So, why is Minecraft so much fun?
It’s hard to look at the basic principles of Minecraft and not think back on the early days of Second Life. Both of these games (or virtual worlds, if you prefer) are based around the principals that you are given tools with which you can build things. Unlike Second Life, a Minecraft server is completely managed by the players who are hosting it. Currency is non-existent (except possibly for trade on multiplayer servers), and there are some basic limitations to exactly what you can build. For example, you may not be able to build a tiny necklace with intricate sculpted shapes, but you can build a life-size replica of the USS Enterprise. You may not be able to play movies on giant screens, but you can automate moving blocks that create images in synchronous motion.
The first moment you set foot into a new generated world (which can be many times larger than our Earth), you are greeted with several different terrains and environments. There are mountains, hills, trees, sandy beaches, oceans, ponds, rivers, lakes, caves, volcanoes, and several different weather climates to explore. Animals litter this world and provide you with food and materials to build various items with when you hunt them. At night, the creepy crawlies come out and give you trouble.
Like any uncharted world with dangerous animals about, the first thing you need to do is establish a home where you can begin your life in safety. Some people choose to build elaborate palaces while others enjoy more humble cabins. Whatever your choice may be, each home needs materials to build. You’ll need to chop down trees, dig in the dirt, and even mine using handmade pickaxes you’ve crafted out of materials gathered. The materials you mine, chop, and dig for can be used as a foundation from which to build virtually anything you want to.
If you dig deep enough, you might find the center of the earth, a giant cave, or even multiple giant caves. Inside these dark places where the sun doesn’t reach lurk dangerous creatures that can attack you in various different ways. Some of them explode, others shoot arrows at you, and still more just walk up and bite you. You may come across a dungeon that houses a flaming cage that spawns these creatures en masse. Taking out that flaming cage is one step toward securing your area and making things safer.
With all this in mind, is there any wonder why Minecraft is so much fun? It’s a game of exploration and creation. In an environment where you can freely explore and build without traditional game limitations; Minecraft is just a good way to wind down after a long day.