Minecraft is what is referred to as an “open world game,” which essentially means that there’s no point to it. Or, at least, there’s no point specified by its creator. Millions of players the world over have decided for themselves what the point of Minecraft is, and they’ve made it one of the most popular games in the world.
Created initially in 2009 by Swedish programmer Markus “Notch” Persson and later distributed by Mojang, Minecraft was publicly unleashed on the world in 2009 for the PC. A version for Android was later released, followed by one for IOS. Eventually, the game was available on both the Xbox and Playstation platforms.
But how do you play a game with no point?
The primary interest of those who get sucked into the world of Minecraft is building amazing things. The basics of the game are such that players can build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D generated world. (I’ll get back to the building of things in just a moment.)
There are other options within the worlds of Minecraft. Exploring and mapping the world around you, gathering resources, crafting and combat. There are different “modes” one can play Minecraft in. Each mode changes the difficulty of certain aspects of the game or experience.
Survival modes are exactly what they sound like; the player must find and maintain resources to stay alive amidst a wide variety of threats.
A creative mode offers the player unlimited resources to do with what they wish as well as the ability to fly.
Finally, an adventure mode gives players the chance to created custom world maps that other players can explore.
A few weeks ago, the world found out how special Minecraft is, especially to Microsoft. The software giant bought Mojang, the game’s developer, and Minecraft in the process, for $2.5 billion. (Consider that Disney Studios paid George Lucas $4.05 billion for Lucasfilm, according to The Hollywood Reporter — that includes all of Star Wars and all of Indiana Jones. That means that Minecraft is worth more than half of Lucasfilm.)
Okay, back to building things. Minecraft’s creative mode give players the opportunity to be — in some cases — mind-blowingly creative. Here’s a few examples of those creations.
A company called WesterosCraft are building a complete recreation of the world built by author George R.R. Martin in his Game of Thrones books and the accompanying TV series. The detail in this world is amazing.
A Minecraft player who goes by the name Ohmganesha built a working 16-bit computer with tools from the game!
Someone created an entire Quidditch Pitch from Harry Potter via Minecraft.
One user named Patrix built this most impressive Cathedral.
According to Wired, Cody Littley, a computer science PhD student at the University of Texas in Austin, built this working hard drive via Minecraft.
Clearly, whether you’re building worlds or building microprocessors, the only limitations in the world of Minecraft is the edges of your imagination.
[Images via Minecraft Forum, Reddit, WesterosCraft, Wired]