Thursday, December 22, 2011
Eeny Meeny Miny-CRAFT
Like the proverbial moth to the flame, I could feel myself being drawn in.
For those of you who didn't know, a "sandbox" computer game came out May 17th 2009 from Swedish creator Markus "Notch" Persson, by the name of Minecraft. Though it has achieved an almost cult like popularity around the world, I must say that I had never foreseen that it would become MY latest obsession.
I believe that I was the shocked most of all, to discover that a highly frugal me would be brought to the point of shelling out close to thirty dollars for a piece of software. Amazed at this turn of events, I decided that I had to document the chronology of the progressive events, just to see for myself how this bit of temporary insanity came to be.
- FIRST SIGHTING: Some time ago I saw a trending video on youtube and did not know what I was even watching. I was hard pressed to even confirm that it was actually a game. It featured some bizarre visuals of sheep, men jumping and digging into walls. I just chalked it up to just one of those strange thing out there.
- SPOTTED AGAIN: Many months later, I saw a cousin's youtube video and a couple of his friends related videos. I recognized the game from my previous sighting. The videos featured a creation of some amazing looking buildings that were made out of blocks. I had thought to myself, "Wow, that really looks like something that could consume a lot of a person's time." I made a determination then and there, that I should probably avoid getting involved in a game like that.
- THE TURNING BEGINS: I truly believe that I have pinpointed this moment in time as the beginning of the end for me. Darn you, Luclin Family! :-) I happened upon a really neat video where a father and son went through a Minecraft adventure together. They had recorded the dad's computer screen and both of their voices as they played. The four part video was entitled Father & Son Escape Island. It was a mesmerizing to watch these two guys interacting with one another while playing this game. Their charm started to win me over to Minecraft. (Note: I have since subscribed to their youtube playlist "Minecraft Family Adventures" and the Luclin Family channel "MinecraftWB" where they feature a new Father and Son adventure series and a new series where even mom gets into the action with them. It is really a lot of fun to watch, and I would highly recommend that you check them out.)
- IF YOU HANG AROUND THE POOL: Many more months and a couple videos later, I came across the minecraft.net website. I saw that in addition to a link to buy it, that you could actually play it "in browser" for free. This intrigued me. I played the classic single player and it was a decent experience, but truly, it was only a small taste of the product. Since I always detest creating logins for websites, I did not want to sign up to try out the multiplayer.
- MINECON MADNESS: Just recently, there was a lot of media hype about the gathering called Minecon 2011. I saw a promotional video and news story about the event, detailing that the full version of the game was going to be released. The price tag was pretty hefty and I wasn't budging, but I could feel the tug.
- MINECRAFT ON THE BRAIN: More videos. The Fine Bros. on youtube, host a weekly web show called "Kid's React" They show a group of kids various viral videos and such, and record their reaction to them. On this particular episode, they showed the kids the Minecon promo video, and talked to them about the game.
- OK, I'M IN TROUBLE: On the android market, a free limited version of Minecraft became available. I downloaded the app, but I knew that it wouldn't completely satisfy my growing Minecraft appetite.
- THERE'S NO TURNING BACK NOW: I went back to minecraft.net. Okay, fine. I guess since it IS free, and I guess it's just ONE more login. I tried multiplayer classic, and started playing the creative version. Aside from some "drive-by griefing", I had a blast with some of my creations.
- I'VE GOT A BAD FEELING ABOUT THIS: I had already told a friend of mine about the growing obsession with the game and that I was thinking of writing up an article on it. Then the last straw broke. I found a link to a PC pcgamer demo of the game and downloaded it. The free demo gives you 100 minutes of playing time (which you can reset with a new world). It was an older version of the game, but I knew immediately that I was hooked.
So one purchase and a few bleary-eyed nights later, I have to say that I am very happy with my temporary insanity. I don't know if it is the "man vs wild" aspect, the creative, the adventurer aspect of it (my skin, by the way, is a blocky Indiana Jones) or what, but I do love my Minecraft.
Try one of the links above at your own peril. You never know, you may not be able to resist the pull either. (did that sound like a dare?)
I guess that the ultimate proof of infiltration is that I heard my son the other day exclaim, "stinkin' creeper!" The invasion is now complete.