A review of my 9 years playing Minecraft and why I can’t stop

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A review of my 9 years playing Minecraft and why I can’t stop

Hands down, Minecraft has remained one of the most popular and recognizable games in the world over the years.

Released in May 2009, the 13-year-old game is still played by millions today, and its content creators still get billions of views each year.

Unfortunately, I don’t remember the exact date I started playing. But at the time, it was already something of a cult classic. In the years to come after that, it would continue to skyrocket and become best selling game of all timeas reported in 2021.

However, in any case, my oldest correspondence involving Minecraft dates back to September 9, 2013, almost exactly 9 years ago.

All right, don’t call me too much about this.

So, in commemoration of that, here’s my ode to Minecraft, the game that never seems to die.

welcome to minecraft

The first time I played Minecraft was on a friend’s account. I liked it so much that I ended up downloading a cracked version.

At the time, the most recent version of Minecraft was 1.6. My cracked launcher could only run 1.5.2, but it didn’t matter, I was happy to play the game.

Still, I saved up for the actual game. At almost RM100, it was a distant dream. But finally, my friend’s mother bought me the game as a birthday present. (Thank you Aunt.)

Nine years later, I’m still playing on that same account. It is the gift that keeps on giving.

Throughout those years, I watched the sandbox world of Minecraft slowly change. Trends within the community went up and down. Netherite became the new diamond, Dream’s Minecraft Manhunt became the new meta.

As Minecraft has grown and evolved, so have I. I grew up, graduated and went to college. But once every few months, I find myself thinking about Minecraft, which ultimately leads me to start it.

Even the launcher looks so different from how I remembered it.

And every time I do, it feels like a homecoming. The world looks so different and somehow it feels like nothing has really changed. As always, I gather my wood, make my crafting bench, and start looking for minerals and other materials to build my new home.

Minecraft dutifully remains Minecraft, despite its strange new biomes and curiously unknown mobs.

keeps you coming back for more

While the sandbox genre easily allows Minecraft to remain relevant over the years, it has also been able to do so thanks to Mojang Studio’s own initiative to actively push updates over the years.

More than just adding new blocks, each update builds on particular themes that really work to sell this idea of ​​plot progression in a game that has no plot.

For example, the latest update, The Wild Update, seems to expand on the previous Cliffs & Caves update, which brought us deeper and more beautiful caves, absolutely essential for a game that partly relies on underground mining.

To keep the game interesting, The Wild Update increases the difficulty level of the game, giving players a powerful new beast to fight (the Guardian). It also provided new blocks (eg mangrove wood) and concepts (eg sculk sensors) to satisfy those who enjoy building and creating elaborate mechanisms.

And Minecraft doesn’t look like it’s going to hit any roadblocks any time soon. There are still a lot more things that the developers could add to the game.

In essence, what really reinforces the continued relevance of the game is the content that surrounds it. Being such a popular game, the Minecraft ecosystem is never short of new ideas and video formats to keep players old and new entertained.

Also, there are so many niches within Minecraft. There are those who build, those who create RPG videos, those who play player versus player (PvP).

With immensely popular creators present in every field who personally have an interest in the game of relevance, Minecraft hardly has to do much to promote itself at this point.

But of course it still does. For example, Minecraft also harnesses the power of its existing creators and players with events like MineCon (or Minecraft Live), an annual interactive livestream, and a fan convention.

In addition to meeting the best creators, this event gives players the opportunity to vote on new mobs in the game and participate in the direction of the game.

Solo-ing an infinite world

To some (like my colleagues), Minecraft sounds like an incredibly boring game, even though there are plenty of ways to enjoy Minecraft.

While I understand how playing survival in single player might sound juvenile and stagnant, Minecraft can be quite exciting.

After all, Minecraft was what taught me the ins and outs of video game culture. I had my first encounter with toxic players through popular servers like Mineplex and Hypixel. I also made my first online friend through them.

But removing the friendships, removing the servers, removing the current content cycle, Minecraft at its core is a single-player game designed for exploration and survival.

While I do enjoy multiplayer from time to time, single player is still my preferred way to play.

There is no real story, no real development, no real ending. There’s the Ender Dragon, but unless you’re a speed runner, killing it isn’t really the point.

However, the game works spectacularly well. As a sandbox game, Minecraft is designed to support unlimited replays. Players can set their own goals, whether it’s creating an automated mob farm or designing the most elaborate castle.

This creativity is what makes Minecraft so wonderful and so lonely. And I say this last as a compliment.

Because I think Minecraft hits harder when you play alone. And boy, have I played a lot alone.

There are a myriad of reasons why, but ultimately it’s probably because it’s the first game I really invested my time in, so it’s the first game I turn to when life gets tough.

However, this may seem somewhat ironic, because in single player Minecraft, it’s just you against the universe. It’s so trivial. It’s so… life.

So yes, it might seem counterintuitive to play it when you’re feeling particularly tired.

But what makes it work is the fact that the game knows.

the universe loves you

I know I said the game doesn’t have an ending, but it does have an end credit scene. After the player kills the Ender Dragon and jumps into the portal, an End Poem begins to play.

You can access the end credits after killing the ender dragon

It’s a bit heavy, so I doubt most gamers will actually read the entire block of text.

But the poem has stayed with me. It has stayed with me for nine years. If you’ve read it, you’ll know why. So here’s an excerpt, edited for length:

“…and sometimes the player believed that the universe had spoken to him through the zeros and ones, through the electricity of the world, through the words that scrolled on a screen at the end of a dream.
And the universe said I love you
and the universe said you played the game well
and the universe said everything you need is inside of you
and the universe said that you are stronger than you think
and the universe said the darkness you fight is inside of you
and the universe said that the light you seek is within you
and the universe said you’re not alone
and the universe said you’re not separate from everything else
and the universe said you are the universe proving itself, talking to itself, reading its own code
and the universe said I love you because you are love.
And the game ended and the player woke up from the dream. And the player began a new dream. And the player dreamed again, to dream better. And the player was the universe. And the player was love.
You are the player.
Wake up.”

Minecraft End Poem by Julian Gough

“It’s you against the universe,” he had written a few paragraphs above.

And yet, “The universe said I love you,” says the game. “You’ve been fighting yourself all along.”

Like the game itself, the poem could be interpreted in a variety of ways. I’m pretty sure most people take it satirically and would probably tell me it’s not that deep.

But I’m a bit cheesy, so I take it pretty honestly.

As an adult now, Minecraft and its ending poem is a reminder to take life by the horns. It’s a reminder that the world is lonely, but it’s vast, creative, and ours for the taking.

crafts, miners

A few months ago, my 11-year-old cousin in Singapore called me on a Saturday morning. He never calls, so of course I picked up.

The call connected, and all I could see was her not-so-small forehead on my screen. After a hurried greeting, she turned her camera around to show me her computer screen.

I recognized the window that was open. It was Minecraft.

I waited for him to say something. She spent a beat and finally asked me how to play.

I couldn’t help but laugh, the fun breaking through my weekend daze. Minecraft is still alive.

  • Read other articles we have written about gaming here.

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