21/08/2013

What's The Point Of Minecraft?

Mad Building Skills
Everytime I play Minecraft, whether it be on PC or Xbox 360 - I ultimately get to a point where I start to wonder why I'm spending my time playing this game that has no real point to it.










I know I'm not alone in this either. Minecraft has a very clever way of drawing you into a seemingly pointless series of events that culminating in you collecting blocks of wood, stone and coal so you can get some decent stone bricks to build your terrible plan for a house. This is because everything I build in Mincraft looks awful so I suppose that doesn't really help my cause. I tend to go for the "completely square" house. It's a good look.

There is a point though. Minecraft's "goal" is to kill the Enderdragon just as Skyrim's goal is to defeat Alduin. Just like Skyrim there are sidequests and things to do that have various benefits for your progression. Building an Enchantment table in Minecraft will allow you to get better weapons to have more of a chance to kill the dragon.

"I wanna know what love is..."

I've just proved there is a point, showed how it is similar to one of the largest RPGs available and yet I still feel an almost unexplainable urge to finish a level on a random game so my time wasn't wasted on the incredible time consuming Minecraft.

Is this a big deal though? It gets me thinking as to why I would play any game, especially one where I focus on fairly monotonous tasks to build something which I could already do for 'free' in creative mode. That's the thing though, it's the hunt and the accomplishment of saying, "I built that, I earned it." My other half says to me, "build something in real life," but I don't have the skill. I would actually love to go out, chop a tree down, get the wood and build a shed. I'm just not that guy!

So my biggest admittance. I've never killed the Ender Dragon, I've never even been to The End. I get sidetracked trying to find a cat in a Jungle Biome that's a few minutes walk from my mountain top hill. I don't play in servers, mainly because I don't know the people that play the game regualrly to warrant it. I think that if I knew someone could see and visit my creations that maybe I'd put more commitment into it. In the meantime though, when a Creeper sneaks up on me and blows me up when I'm 200ft down it's liek being jolted from a daydream. Better get on with something important.

Not a great day for Judy...
I have no issue with people playing games, pretending to be a soldier, warrior, cube of meat or spectral being. In fact I don't have any issue with anyone living out their "lives" in any of the Sim series of games or simulators in general. I suppose I'm a little uncomfortable agreeing to the fact that I play a game that is kind of linked to reality. If I come away from a session and say that I won the world cup, slayed a dragon and finally found what castle the damn princess was in, I feel separate and accomplished from it.If I build a house, get a job, manage an office or transport something for a truck sim - I feel like I could've spent my time more productively.

Where do you draw the line then? What's a game and what isn't? Any "game" (videogame or not) is for fun, for escapism or enjoyment. I find it interesting that we sometimes escape into something that isn't too far from our own reality. It begs an even greater question as to why we do anything for fun. The point of this article though is to question that why does Minecraft specifically make me feel like this. Is it because of the graphics? The simplicity? The isolation? I really can't put my finger on it, however I do know that I will play Minecraft again and I will have this inner monologue telling me to play Skyrim.

I don't know, maybe it's just me. Be good top hear some thoughts...

3 comments:

  1. "I feel like I could've spent my time more productively."

    When I read your article that line stuck out to me, because that was what I felt like after gaming. It used to be a huge part of what I did, and now I practically never game, my PS3 / gaming PC hasn't been on in well over a year... there are just so many 'real' things to do that are equally fun or more productive, rewarding, etc. For me gaming just lost that magic, maybe its not happening to you... yet?

    You mentioned Skyrim, to me it looks like so much fun (haven't played it), but then I think... wow, where can I find 100+ hours to play a game like that, what else would I do with 100+ hours of free time and gaming doesn't pop up as first, not even close.

    Anyways thats my rambling 2cents.

    P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ^ I'm with you on that… yet here I am reading about gaming.

      Delete
    2. I get your point.
      Skyrim for me has been a bit of a turning point because I know that game is going to last me a long time if I commit. I spare about 4-6 hours a week for it (which used to be a daily intake at University!) which keeps me going.

      I'm certainly getting my money's worth!

      Thanks for commenting.

      Delete