When the boom of Minecraft’s popularity happened, I was barely exposed to what had happened to keep track of it. I was either out of the loop or not around the gaming scene to remember much. But when it became popular, I realized that it wasn’t just some silly cube game, it was actually something quite remarkable.
Circa 2010, first semester of ETSU. I was in Color Theory class with a few other people. There was this one kid in particular called Coty. He was a bit of a nerd and we talked now and then. I remember that when we weren’t painting, he had his laptop out and would play games.
One week he kept going on about “Minecraft”. He had asked me to borrow $20 to buy it, which I agreed to lend him. He never followed through for me to buy it for him that evening, but when we had Color Theory the next time, he had it out on his laptop, running around and hitting cows. I thought it was rude until he explained that you needed to eat, so you had to kill animals.
Interesting. Up to that point, I hadn’t recalled a game except Skyrim that would allow you to do that.
Fast-forward two years later. I didn’t even pay attention to Minecraft or its progress. Somewhere in fall of 2012, I found that Minecraft classic was free. I’d go and play this now and then on my desktop.
From then I was hooked. There was some strange surreal feeling that I could make a house, put blocks together and build something and enjoy it. I remember back in 2011 that I wanted to do sculpture art but never really got to make anything I wanted. Minecraft gave me that outlet a bit, despite everything being squared.
One day someone at school let me play a copy of 1.4. It was much different than Classic; I had spent the whole day mining essentially. Nothing stuck out more to me than the ability to build a giant library in Creative mode. I loved to see the rows and rows of endless books.
The first few months of my job in 2013, I was too broke to even buy Minecraft. Fortunately I was starting to get something to my name above outstanding bills and expenses around my birthday. In August I got 1.7 and indulged in it for two weeks almost non-stop. Instantly I was able to play with a long-time connection on his server, having my first “regular” recurring game online with another person besides my brother.
Fall of 2013 proved to be very interesting for me. When I was home for holidays, Minecraft was a good relaxer when work was done, often farming, mining or building for hours on end. My Dell Inspiron 530 was just about handling it, but could’ve done better. When October hit and I gave it the last max upgrade I could, Minecraft performed a bit better.
One famous memory I had of that fall was when I was playing on my friend’s server. Everyone had gotten bored so he respawned the map for variety, and I was stuck out in the middle of nowhere. I spent about 30-40 minutes walking to his house, half of this through the Nether. Worrying that some Ghast would kill you, or the Spider was there above ground in the morning. The biome was huge as well, in addition to me starting out in a snow tundra. Food was a very valid concern.
I stopped playing Minecraft a few months after I got my new Alienware computer. Now and then I do dabble in it, especially when I hear there’s an update. Most of the time its in Creative mode to see what I can build, or just to “grief” the local populace of Creepers, Cows and Pigs.
It’s still one of my favorite games, and I even listen to the soundtrack on frequent occasion. I own my own pair of the foam iron pickaxe and sword, even a plush Creeper. My love of Minecraft even led me to play Telltale Game’s Minecraft: Story Mode.
Despite not really playing it anymore, I still haven’t forgotten the feeling it had left me with when I started playing it the first time. Even the End still fascinates me, especially with the highly-anticipated 1.9 update.
All of this resurfaced recently when I re-watched Mojang’s official documentary. It was a trip down memory lane for me again. The music helped a bit, especially the job C418 did.
It feels strange that I’m such an old guy and all these young kids are playing Minecraft, but its interesting how it seems to reach to people of all ages, genders and backgrounds.
Why not tell me about one of your experiences with Minecraft? I’d love to hear about them.