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I guess I just like liking things

Cuz I'm a creep I'm a weirdo...

Cuz I’m a creep
I’m a weirdo…

Last week I bought Minecraft for my XBox One. I feel I’m pretty much the last person on Earth to play this game, but I’ve come to understand that’s how it works: stuff I like before other people do never lasts and stuff other people like I don’t get around to liking until pretty late in the game. No matter, I still end up enjoying things.

Any experiences I had with Minecraft before I bought it were mostly meh. I didn’t see the appeal and I had no interest in it. I’m not really into games where you “make your own fun!” (Reference also: Little Big Planet) Turns out, you can play Minecraft however you want – you’re not required to recreate the Starship Enterprise or build a working computer. Once I figured out what was going on and how I could play it, I started enjoying it.

I’m not actually going to list 2.5 billion things I’ve enjoyed about the game so far. That number is in reference to Microsoft’s announcement yesterday that they’re buying Minecraft for that much. That’s a mind-boggling figure, but there’s no denying how popular the game has been for a while now. Today’s list is eleven entries long, and it’s “stuff I like about Minecraft” and it’s in no particular order.

1. Animals – So far I have seen wolves, sheep, cows, chickens, pigs, mooshrooms, spiders, and an octopus. I really enjoy seeing them wander around, and I feel bad when I need to kill one of them to get food, leather, or wool. Sorry, animals :(

2. Monsters – So far I have seen zombies, creepers, skeletons, spiders (yes, they get put on both lists!), and an Enderman. My response to most has been “Aaaaaaaaaaaaah!” and to run away as fast as I’m able – or, in the case of creepers, lead them away from my house and trick them into exploding somewhere harmless.

3. Upgrades – There is something very satisfying about getting your first stone tool after having used wooden ones. I should see about crafting some iron ones tonight…

4. Exploration – The world is huge. Apparently the worlds on PC are basically infinite, but the XB1 version is 36 times as large as the Xbox 360’s version allowed. This is ridiculous. I will never see a tenth of that. Doesn’t matter, though, as there’s plenty to see close to home.

5. Building – After I built my basic house (and then upgraded the walls to double-thick stone so Creepers wouldn’t blow it all up), the next thing I built was a Q*bert pyramid, because of course. Everything is cubes in Minecraft, so it seemed the logical choice.  Then I made it an all-around pyramid. Next up, I’ll make pyramids out of other materials. Pretty much this could be an “all-Q*bert pyramids all the time” thing for me.

6. Understanding explorers of the New World better – We give a lot of (rightful) grief to early explorers (and those who came after) who came to the New World and took down forests and strip-mined and dug out every resource they could find. “How could they!” we exclaim, incensed at their selfishness and lack of care for the environment. Thirty-seven played days into Minecraft and I understand them now. I look around my more-useful-because-it’s flattened-and-free-of-trees home area and see what will eventually be as deep as the Mines of Moria behind the house, and I understand them now.

7. Surprises – Wandering around my randomly generated world has yielded a lot of “Oh, wow” and “Yikes! Run!” moments. The first time I saw an Enderman caused me to catch my breath. I’m curious to see what else is out there (my guess: more monsters).

8. Community – There are so many helpful videos and tips out there, and friends who’ve been playing long before I started really enjoy talking about projects they’ve undertaken in the game. Now that I have more understanding about how it works, I can appreciate the time and effort they’ve put in a little better. I think the community as a whole is nicer because the focus is on building and exploration rather than blowing each other up or getting eaten by aliens.

9. Sleeping – Before I was able to build a bed to sleep in (and fast-forward to morning), I had to wait through every night, nervously watching through the door for things that go bump (or KA-BLAM) in the night. Having a bed is awesome, just like in real life.

10. Confusion – I still don’t really understand what’s going on all the time. Crafting things gets very complex, it seems. I’m also confused as to why I like wandering around and flattening the land so much. Makes no sense to me.

11. Fire – I recently got enough materials to craft  what is basically a lighter, so now I can burn things. I’m… not completely comfortable with how much I enjoy it. Forest in my way and I don’t want to take the time to chop it all down? Burn it and stand back to watch the flames. It’s a weird kind of beautiful, but I can’t help feeling a little like Donald Sutherland’s character in Backdraft.


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