Minecraft: A Gamer’s Space for Creativity

Minecraft is a simple game.  Simply collect supplies, build structures and survive hunger and the many monsters roaming the imaginary world presented in the game.  Even the graphics are relatively basic, the world being presented in a cube-like fashion.  And yet, if you haven’t played Minecraft already, its likely that you’ve at least heard about it.  In fact, it is probably one of the most popular games currently on the market.  How can this be?

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The very fact that Minecraft is simple is one of the biggest reasons for its popularity in my opinion.  The game doesn’t bog you down with quest after quest that get more and more difficult as you continue through the game.  The only quest, so to speak, is to survive; and depending on which game mode you play in, even this requirement can be avoided.   In addition, the controls are easy to master and consists mostly of left clicks and right clicks.  In fact, walking is probably the most complicated thing you will have to master.  This simplicity brings in a wider audience perhaps than other games, ranging from the most experienced players to the most basic of beginners.

Minecraft is a simple game.  Simply collect supplies, build structures and survive hunger and the many monsters roaming the imaginary world presented in the game.  Even the graphics are relatively basic, the world being presented in a cube-like fashion.  And yet, if you haven’t played Minecraft already, its likely that you’ve at least heard about it.  In fact, it is probably one of the most popular games currently on the market.  How can this be?

The very fact that Minecraft is simple is one of the biggest reasons for its popularity in my opinion.  The game doesn’t bog you down with quest after quest that get more and more difficult as you continue through the game.  The only quest, so to speak, is to survive; and depending on which game mode you play in, even this requirement can be avoided.   In addition, the controls are easy to master and consists mostly of left clicks and right clicks.  In fact, walking is probably the most complicated thing you will have to master.  This simplicity brings in a wider audience perhaps than other games, ranging from the most experienced players to the most basic of beginners.

While simple, Minecraft allows its players to express their creativity in an enormous way.  The player can literally build anything they want, as long as they have the supplies to do so.  Want to build a spaceship? An enormous castle on a hill? How about the house from UP? All of these are possible.  You just have to be able to imagine it, visualize it, and do it.  In addition, there are various texture packs and add-ons that are available for purchase that allow for even more creativity and allow for the creations of the player to be brought to life in a real way.

In a way, Minecraft’s creativity factor is one of the biggest challenges of the game.  The player is forced to not only come up with new ideas to make their Minecraft world more interesting, but they must also use spatial reasoning to make those ideas a reality.  Minecraft, at its core, seems to be a “brain game,” exercising your mental capabilities.  Accompanying the enormous range of creative building options, the world of Minecraft itself is enormous.  The world provides various terrains, such as oceans, forests, mountains and beaches, that expand what can be done and force the player to further think about how their creation will fit into the world.

When I played Minecraft, I almost always built extensive beach house that would start at the top of a mountain, with beach access from the master bedroom.  While this did take some level of creativity on my part, other players of the game put their ideas, interests and creativity to work in a much more stark way. My roommate during freshman year would literally spend hours, and in some cases days, building gigantic structures in the middle of a forest. One of his most impressive creations, which took him nearly a week to complete, was his rendition of a World War II military base, complete with barracks, a prison to hold enemy captives, and massive gathering halls that could have likely held thousands of characters.

Minecraft can also be a social experience, which undoubtedly furthers its popularity.  The possibilities of what you and your friends can do together are unlimited.  Towns can be built with great ease, and giant structures can be build in half the time.  However, what seems to be the most popular aspect of this social experience is simply damaging a structure or object your friend has been working hard to build.  In fact, there is YouTube channel dedicated to a group of friends who build impressive structures and then destroy them in equally impressive ways.  I, myself, have a humorous experience with this.  I had been working on building an impressive beach house for a couple hours when I began to notice that there were a lot of ducks/chickens swimming up and flooding my house.  My friends had build a boat in the ocean, equipped it was a “cannon” and set it up so that it would constantly spawn chickens.  Before long, the area was flooded with these annoying animals and the only thing left to do was abandon the house, while my friends rolled around on the ground in tears.

Essentially, while at the surface Minecraft looks like simple game that no one would be interested in, its simplicity is actually one of its most appealing features.  In addition, it requires creativity, strength of mind, and includes a social aspect.  These features make Minecraft both challenging and fun.  The only question remaining is why we ever questioned its popularity in the first place.

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Players often take lengthy amounts of time to construct startlingly realistic objects

While simple, Minecraft allows its players to express their creativity in an enormous way.  The player can literally build anything they want, as long as they have the supplies to do so.  Want to build a spaceship? An enormous castle on a hill? How about the house from UP? All of these are possible.  You just have to be able to imagine it, visualize it, and do it.  In addition, there are various texture packs and add-ons that are available for purchase that allow for even more creativity and allow for the creations of the player to be brought to life in a real way.  maxresdefault

Player’s creativity can be limitless

In a way, Minecraft’s creativity factor is one of the biggest challenges of the game.  The player is forced to not only come up with new ideas to make their Minecraft world more interesting, but they must also use spatial reasoning to make those ideas a reality.  Minecraft, at its core, seems to be a “brain game,” exercising your mental capabilities.  Accompanying the enormous range of creative building options, the world of Minecraft itself is enormous.  The world provides various terrains, such as oceans, forests, mountains and beaches, that expand what can be done and force the player to further think about how their creation will fit into the world.

When I played Minecraft, I almost always built extensive beach house that would start at the top of a mountain, with beach access from the master bedroom.  While this did take some level of creativity on my part, other players of the game put their ideas, interests and creativity to work in a much more stark way. My roommate during freshman year would literally spend hours, and in some cases days, building gigantic structures in the middle of a forest. One of his most impressive creations, which took him nearly a week to complete, was his rendition of a World War II military base, complete with barracks, a prison to hold enemy captives, and massive gathering halls that could have likely held thousands of characters.

Minecraft can also be a social experience, which undoubtedly furthers its popularity.  The possibilities of what you and your friends can do together are unlimited.  Towns can be built with great ease, and giant structures can be build in half the time.  However, what seems to be the most popular aspect of this social experience is simply damaging a structure or object your friend has been working hard to build.  In fact, there is YouTube channel dedicated to a group of friends who build impressive structures and then destroy them in equally impressive ways.  I, myself, have a humorous experience with this.  I had been working on building an impressive beach house for a couple hours when I began to notice that there were a lot of ducks/chickens swimming up and flooding my house.  My friends had build a boat in the ocean, equipped it was a “cannon” and set it up so that it would constantly spawn chickens.  Before long, the area was flooded with these annoying animals and the only thing left to do was abandon the house, while my friends rolled around on the ground in tears.

Essentially, while at the surface Minecraft looks like simple game that no one would be interested in, its simplicity is actually one of its most appealing features.  In addition, it requires creativity, strength of mind, and includes a social aspect.  These features make Minecraft both challenging and fun.  The only question remaining is why we ever questioned its popularity in the first place.

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