Minecraft is a virtual world invented by Notch. You can load it on a computer, start a new world which can be in survival or creative mode. In creative mode you have mostly unlimited resources and can’t die. This mode is fine for building beautiful houses and fancy technology but survival is probably more interesting for this essay. There is no aim as such with this game except for what take in yourself, which I find quite fascinating.
You start with nothing in a beautiful wild world and have to survive the first night as zombies, spiders and skeletons try to kill you – you must make a shelter before night falls to keep yourself safe. You can cut down trees, you can dig up dirt and rock. You can build with what you’ve collected.
You could use a stick and some spider web to make a fishing rod and catch some fish to eat. You could make a bow and arrow and hunt for pigs. Kill a skeleton, wave a bone at a wolf and you gain a loyal dog who will follow you and attack your enemies. Find a flint and you can start a fire. Find some coal and iron ore and make yourself a metal sword. Catch some pigs, round them up with fences and double gates, breed baby pigs to save going out hunting or start growing a wheat field.
Over the summer holidays my 12 year old son Hooty and 10 year old daughter Sasha progressed by themselves from Primitive man to Stone Age, Iron Age and by the end were making electric lighting using redstone wires with switches. Pistons, trap doors, canons & beautiful architecture.
A fascinating run through human history except each player was alone in their world – await the next installment!