Minecraft: the simpler, the better

Many video game designers favor incorporating complex story lines and detailed graphics into their creations. One designer, however, has taken the video game industry down a level with his block-building game called Minecraft.

Minecraft is a three-dimensional world made of blocks. A random number generator creates the landscape of Minecraft and the types of blocks that build it. From these blocks, users can find themselves collecting, creating and communicating with other cubic characters in the online world.

Markus “Notch” Perrson created this LEGO-like game in his free-time. When he released it to the world in May of 2009, it received immediate attention from the video gaming community.

Unfortunately, I did not come across this video game until a friend introduced me to it earlier this semester. Minecraft is a game of creation and destruction. I erected buildings, structures and monuments but destroyed much of the free-time I earned due to its addictive nature.

Minecraft is currently in its beta version and costs $21.66. The beta has single player and online multi-player modes that focus on survival rather than creativity.

While online, users may join each other’s servers. Playing online can be a different experience. There tends to be difficulties in servers that contain both serious and flippant players.

Each server is controlled by a moderator. In the world of Minecraft, the moderator rules. The normal users can build, destroy or roam in the domain of the moderator.

Every now and then, Notch will release another patch, or update to the game, filled with new features that can range from cakes to guns. Since Notch releases patches every month or so, the game remains constantly changing and interesting.

Minecraft is like a step back in time. The graphics resemble those of the early 1990s, and the concept is relatively simple.

When compared to modern video games, a standard high school gamer would more than likely prefer to play a game with hi-definition graphics. Minecraft has no such quality, yet it is growing more popular than games with much better graphics.

It is because of the simpleness and creativity of Minecraft that puts itself above the rest. Building structures with friends online out of small lego-like bricks clearly attracts people of all ages.
It just goes to show that no matter how simple a game’s graphics are, a gamer should focus on the concept when looking at video games.


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