Remembering the ‘Minecraft’ soundtrack

Remembering the ‘Minecraft’ soundtrack

About a year ago, I ran into an old friend on the drive home from one of my classes. Given the state of the world in 2021, that trip was, of course, entirely virtual and involved simply moving a cursor from the big red “Leave Meeting” button in Zoom to the power off button in the Windows start menu. But during my cursor’s brief virtual transit across the screen, it passed by a familiar face, somewhat unchanged in the years since we’ve met: the “Minecraft” launcher icon.

It had been at least a year since he had played or thought about “Minecraft”, and that day he was looking forward to playing again. Gaming was a big part of my childhood, so I was hoping to get a part of my life back. my youth. However, as much as I remember loving it, the gameplay didn’t enthrall me like it used to. Despite the amount of time that had passed since I last played “Minecraft,” I still remembered exactly how to progress, which, by the way, made my achievements feel trivial. It’s hard not to compare this lackluster experience to my Herculean memory of my younger self, whose existence was largely defined by overcoming the game’s various obstacles. I sped through the start of the game with ease, but my game ended abruptly, not because I made a mistake in the game, but because I pushed too hard on the technical capabilities of my underpowered laptop. Trying to load Nether Dimension destroyed the game’s graphics performance and allowed a low level enemy to kill me before I could see it. I pushed the game to its limits; I broke it, and it broke me. Frustrated and disappointed, I closed the game for what remains, to this day, the last time.

Although I was disappointed in the gameplay of “Minecraft” during my last game, something else unexpectedly captivated me: the music, composed by Daniel Rosenfeld (aka C418). I had never cared much for the “Minecraft” soundtrack, but when I first heard C418’s smooth piano arpeggio “wet hands” fade in my most recent game, I was instantly transported from a soulless, resource-gathering game to another realm, one far beyond the chores (both in-game and in real life) that kept me tethered to this time dimension. I was instantly lost in old memories of the game, memories I didn’t even know I had. Inside my mind, I casually wandered between entire years of my life: I had become unstuck in time. I remembered the first few times I played the game, coming home from school and building big buildings on my own in creative mode. I remembered staying up late to play survival mode with friends and the genuine fear we felt while killing monsters. I even remembered the loneliest last few years, going back to playing alone while my friends gradually lost interest in the game, just before I did too.

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