Tuesday, 8 May 2012

The Thing About...Minecraft

 Writer's Note: The Thing About... is a new series of editorial articles from the creative team at the FuturePixel Blog. Each article in the series will be centered on a recent, popular title, and a feature of said title that may have been overlooked, ignored, forgotten about, or just interesting to the writer. Enjoy! 

If you haven't heard of Minecraft by now, you've obviously been living in the Nether for too long (or you're a cave spider and don't get out much). The creative indie title, sprung from the mind of a single man in Sweden, exploded into view back in 2010.

Since then, the game has grown into an internet sensation, with millions upon millions of people worldwide playing and collaborating. Community-driven, spread through videos, memes, forums, and word of mouth, Mojang's creation shows no sign of slowing down any time soon, with regular updates and new content.

The thing about Minecraft, though, is that if you step back and look at it critically, the game was really set up to fail from the beginning; or, at the very least, not explode the way it did. Gameplay-wise, it had no plot, no objectives, and no explanation. The only NPC in the entire game was named "Total_Freedom", and its dialogue consisted of a single line:

"You died."

The low-resolution, Java-powered game came out of a then-unheard of one-man team in Sweden calling itself 'Mojang'. It had no producer, next to no funds, and no popularity or recognition. Even in the best conditions, it should have only lasted for a week on the internet.

Then, somehow, it hit diamond.

I've been playing Minecraft since about January 2011, and even after all this time I'm still not sure what makes it such a good game. It's the kind of indie title that should grab your attention for a month at most, before fading out of sight forever. And yet it never gets old; I think over the course of  my Minecraft career, the longest I've gone without visiting 16-bit heaven is a week. The charm of Minecraft is indescribable and irresistable; it's one of those times that a writer finally has to give up and simply say, "You HAVE to play it to understand it."

But now, readers, it's your turn to express yourselves, your opinions. How is Minecraft staying alive? What makes it so great? Show what you think by leaving a comment or two below.

Thanks for reading.
Hit diamond, friends!



  1. I think you mean 'if you havent heard of Minecraft, you dont get IN much'. It is ridiculous that a game like Minecraft can be release in this day and age and the simpletons of the gaming world think its worth playing. Its laughable. its pointless and terrible to look at. What a joke it is.

    1. The interesting thing about your comment is that the points you make in it can be perfectly countered by about 20 million people.

      "its pointless"
      I'm guessing you're not a fan of sandbox or open-world games. The freedom that Minecraft offers is almost unheard of in games. Want a reason to play, an objective to check off? Make your own. It's part of the charm.

      "and terrible to look at."
      So you're a fan of visual presentation, right? You rate a game by how good it looks. But good-looking doesn't just mean that every leaf on every tree in the entire game is 1080Mega-HD. Minecraft's 16-bit graphics give it a unique look and style, and in its own way it's as stunning as Crysis 2.

      Also, you spelled "its" wrong in its context.
      Thanks for the comment,



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