This week, Christy documents her time with Minecraft, looking at what is possible in the game and its developer’s recent acquisition by Microsoft.
“You don’t game at all? You must have heard of Minecraft, at least.”
“What the hell is Minecraft?”
From what I’ve grasped, the game is basically virtual Lego – with sheep and cows to be farmed, as well as zombies, skeletons and various monsters. Minecraft’s website describes it as “a game about breaking and placing blocks.” As a result, you can do pretty much anything. You’re only limited by your imagination.
Released back in 2011, it’s an open world sandbox with several ways to play. I discovered survival mode, where I was plonked into this new, unique world and tried to do what it said on the tin – survive. There were monsters to kill (or just scream at and punch the mouse), homes to build and a huge world to explore. Then I had a go at creative mode, and found people make crazy things like Hogwarts (above), Joseph Gordon-Levitt or rather cute anniversary art by Ollie’s brother for his girlfriend. That’s a lot of clicking.
It’s a beautiful indie game with a very strong fan base. So when Microsoft bought Mojang (Minecraft‘s creators), last month there was a lot of upset (and alliteration). It was acquired for $2 billion, which is almost unimaginable – especially since the company has only made three main games (Cobalt, Scrolls and Minecraft, its most famous creation), as well as four mini games.
I’m not sure how I feel about this. Founder Markus Persson (aka Notch) never intended this game to grow as big as it did – as a result, he just focused on making the game good, rather than making more money. But, as he wrote on his blog; “I’m not a CEO…I’m a nerdy computer programmer” – so I don’t blame him for leaving the company and handing it over to more experienced hands.
Minecraft’s brought a lot of people together and formed communities who build, explore and discover what else the game has to offer together. It’s worrying that we don’t know what will happen next; all we can do is look up as the big companies make decisions about all our virtual worlds.
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How do you respond to Microsoft’s purchase of Mojang? And what are the best, blocky works of art you’ve seen created in Minecraft? Let us know in the comments or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and then check us out, as well as everything else games and tech on Facebook and Twitter.
Next week, Christy’s experiences with Transistor from Supergiant Games.