Minecraft is the highly popular sandbox game released by the Swedish game developer, Mojang in May 2009. The game has since taken the world by storm and had a renaissance in 2019 with various online personalities hopping back in the game.
I personally have been curious about the game for quite some time but never really got it until recently. This was helped by its growing popularity that has also increased my curiosity for a game that many consider a kid’s game.
Despite being eight years old and the blocky pixelated graphics, I now know why so many enjoy and have enjoyed the game. The endless possibilities that the game offers is just a refreshing take on playing a video game. I find digging away at a mine hoping to look for diamonds such a zen feeling, well until I come across water and/or lava.
The Sandbox experience
Minecraft, from what I’ve gathered by watching a variety of content creators on Youtube, has grown into a much more polished game that what it was when it started. What kept me playing it is actually its core gameplay mechanic: an open world sandbox joy of a game.
This isn’t my first time playing a sandbox game. I thoroughly enjoyed Minecraft’s 2D cousin, Terraria. Terraria has a much more pronounced progression system but Minecraft, as the OG, has its own charm with a wide variety of things to do. Among these things is the end game to beat the Ender Dragon which lives in The End. While this is the end game, it is a sandbox game and it isn’t necessarily something you NEED to do.
I enjoy building structures and get inspiration from a variety of sources. That’s just barely scratching the surface because I haven’t quite bothered with creative mode and Redstone. The Redstone mechanic allows you to build a variety of machines.
Playing mostly with friends that enjoy learning and building Redstone machines helps me avoid that mess of a mechanic but I’m bound to learn it and make my own machines as I go. That is what the game is all about after all. To mine, to craft, and build as much as your creativity can handle.
Even more fun with friends
Speaking of playing with friends, I don’t regret finding a group of friends to play with [Hi tech friends and thanks Gadget Pilipinas for the server. hihi] We have a server where we play in and have built our own compound each with our own corners to design and build as we please. We’ve also come together to build contraptions and farms for everyone that’s currently playing and will join the server.
It isn’t just about the community though. Minecraft can be quite a creepy game especially when you’re down in the mines and you see a hoard of monsters ready to greet you or when you’re quietly improving your base and you forget to torch up the place and Creepers start showing to blow up everything you’ve done. Knowing that someone’s there with you helps a lot, well for a scaredy-cat as myself.
Of course, there’s also the times where you just lack that one material for your building or crafting and the nearest source is miles away. The game also has an enchanting mechanic where you can enchant your tools with a variety of extra abilities like Fortune that gives you a chance to multiply drops with certain gems or Unbreaking that increases durability. Enchanting has a randomness to it where you’re not sure what you get. In my experience, having friends around helps because there are certain enchantments that I haven’t been lucky enough to stumble upon but desperately need.
I won’t forget the times where you just have a good laugh with friends after a prank or just something silly is played out in the game. We’ve done that a LOT and always makes for a good end to a tough day.
The joy of DIY
Minecraft also has quite a lot of customization options. I’ve made the switch from the base game to a version with SEUS shader that makes the game just look drastically stunning. I haven’t even bothered to look for a texture pack that will go well with the shader. There’s a wide variety of shaders and texture packs out there and it’s not very hard to find them too.
In addition, the game allows you to add a skin to your character as well and there’s just as much Minecraft skins as there are shaders and textures, combined. Not only is there premade skins by other players and fans of the game but also websites where you can make your own skin.
This all plays in with how you enjoy the game. On our server, we’ve changed our character skins quite a number of times, from Jollibee to construction workers, and Batman, to name a few. These skins may be hidden away underneath the armor your character wears for protection (because there are many baddies in the world), which I tend to wear all the time, but in times where I feel safe, I take it off and can’t help but giggle at which skin I’ve chosen recently.
I don’t see myself dropping Minecraft anytime soon. There’s just so much that I want to do and haven’t quite done and I’m not talking about all the other things my friends and I want to accomplish. Mojang has also announced the new version of Minecraft 1.15, which includes bees and an update to certain biomes. Based on this alone, it doesn’t seem like Mojang is stopping anytime soon with updating the game either. That means there will be a constant and steady flow of content. I haven’t even maximized the content that 1.14 (the current patch we have) has to offer.
I get the charm and openness that Minecraft has to offer. Even eight years after its release and its ‘dated’ graphics. It may not be a game for everyone but I’m glad I picked it up. It brings me back to being a kid and playing around with Legos, building and making things.