Why is Minecraft the best video game?


From Minecraft Press Kit

Screenshot of a player feeding the panda bamboo.

Megan Cox, Graphic Design Editor

Minecraft, first launched in May of 2009 and developed by Mojang Studios is arguably one of the most popular games around the world today. The game consists of one player (or more if friends join your world) who has to create their life from the ground up. You can build using the plethora of blocks and resources the game has to offer.

Mining (hence the name “Mine”craft) is also a big part of the game with caves you can explore for materials in. There’s also a ton of biomes with different creatures or “mobs” that spawn in them for you to adventure in. The game continues to lure old players back and new players in by introducing new updates where mobs, biomes, blocks, etc are added periodically.

I can confirm that each time Mojang introduced a new update I was always curious to try it out. When I started playing the game there wasn’t even placeable water, but now I can travel to two completely different dimensions (The Nether and The End). I can confirm that each time Mojang announced they were putting a new mob into the game I blocked out a whole week of my schedule to play it. I mean when I started playing the game cats didn’t exist, but now I can encounter animals like parrots and pandas.

A large part of minecraft is the different game modes it has to offer. There’s creative mode where you have infinite access to all blocks, tools, mob spawners, and everything else the game has to offer. I mostly used this mode to build stupid shit I wouldn’t waste my time on in survival. It’s also the mode mainly used by the Minecraft players that are scared of the hostile mobs. Hostile mobs are just the mobs that in survival mode would attack you. Speaking of survival mode, this mode is kind of the opposite of creative. Just as it sounds you must survive using the resources that you collect on your own using tools you “craft”.

Minecraft help center sums it up pretty well as, “Unlike in creative mode, you must work for everything. (“Differences between game modes”)” This mode (in my humble opinion) is much more fun and engaging although creative mode is fun for different reasons.

I very vividly remember downloading minecraft for the first time. It was very soon after my parents got divorced and my dad moved into a condo. I begged my dad for it and he finally caved. I created my first survival world then immediately got to work. When I tell you I was unhealthily obsessed with this game. I spent day and night crafting, mining, hunting, and building. You name it I probably tried to do it in this world. I would even go out and tame animals to name them after my childhood pets.

One thing that I loved about minecraft was also the way that my brothers and sisters could join my world and play with me. Sometimes minecraft did feel a little bit lonely. I mean it was just you in the infinite world. My siblings and friends’ presence in my world always felt so warm and nice. Like I wasn’t so alone anymore. 

What I would later realize is that this game, specifically this world, became my comfort. When it was time to switch houses between parents, or when my dad decided to move for the twenty eighth time I always had my world. It was like a permanent home whilst my parents cycled me through houses like a long game of hot potato. I still remember the world very well. I had this cute little house made of wooden planks and the landscaping was actually pretty good for an eight year old. I was an avid flower and animal collector. I also recall the first time I found a diamond in that world. The way I found it is actually controversial according to Minecraft culture.

If you decide to join the minecraft community you’ll begin to share the sentiment of “never dig straight down”. This is to protect you from potentially digging into a pool of lava and losing all your stuff. I thought I was hot shit the first time I found a diamond because I did so whilst digging straight down without once hitting lava. I told my whole family (most of them didn’t even know what minecraft was) about it like I’d just graduated medical school. 

One thing about digging into lava or dying in any other way is that yes it sucks, but you can always respawn. You can always keep playing. If you get bored of one world you can create another one and start from scratch. If you want to try your hand at survival mode after playing in creative for awhile you’re welcome to do that. The real world isn’t the same. You only get one run, and you have to make the best of it.

One of my personal favorite book quotes is from the book Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, she wrote, “You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible. (Moyes)” Growing up and watching my childhood slip away is teaching me how important that idea is. You don’t get infinite respawns. I’ll never get to start over and be eight again just beginning to play minecraft. You have to keep moving forward and choosing what to do in order to get a rich experience out of life. Taking risks is part of the journey too. Sometimes you’ll find that digging straight down led you to diamonds, but other times it leaves you stranded in lava. 

Minecraft, while I suppose boasting the opposite of this important lesson still benefitted me. In a way it taught me a little more about myself. Are you a flower picker or a builder? Do you like to collect pets or hunt animals? The answers to these type questions (minecraft related or not) prepared me to be able to live my life in a richer way than maybe without the influence minecraft had on me. With the exception of Minecraft’s infinite lives, in the real world you only get to live once, so you should try to get the richest experience out of it as possible. Even after all the good things I said about this game…it is seven dollars on the app store.