bit-gamer.net

A Letter to Minecraft

Posted on 28th Nov 2010 at 09:59 by Paul Goodhead with 103 comments

Paul Goodhead

Dear Joe

Thanks for your kind letter the other month, it was very nice of you to think of me and Harry while away on your Minecraft excursion. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to turn down your offer to join you however.

I don't mean to appear rude by turning down your offer, but believe me when I say I'd rather stab rusty forks into my own eyeballs than toil away away in an imaginary world, building nothing of any value, consequence or benefit.

Please, go back to your ridiculously low resolution world, build yourself an awkward, blocky looking imitation of a cliff, and jump off it.

Sincerely,

A Letter to Minecraft A Reply from the Real World

P.S.

Seriously though, am I the only person that doesn't see what the fuss is about Minecraft? It seems like the whole world has taken leave of their senses to play a game that, in my eyes at least, looks like a complete waste of time.

'Hey, come look at this thing that I built'
'Nice. How long did that take'
'Oh, about 20 hours'
'Wow, what does it do'
'Oh nothing, it just is'
'You're kidding'
'No, I just get to look at it'

The easy comparison of course is Lego, but at least when you've built a Lego stealth bomber you can zoom it around the house like a 12 year old, making ridiculous noises as you go. Once you're bored of doing that then you can chose to crash your model, shattering it into hundreds of pieces on the kitchen floor - which, believe me, is fun.

In Minecraft though it just seems to be creation for the sake of creation. There is no end benefit apart from the fact that what you created now exists. It serves no purpose. Not that this is a problem, art tends to exist for no purpose other than to just be. It bothers me when people tell me I should play the game and then say I 'just don't get it' when I say no.

I'm not going to tell anyone they shouldn't play Minecraft, its not my place to tell people what to do in their spare time. I just wish I could get through a day without a newly converted zealot trying to get me to play too.

One could easily argue however that you get little tangible benefit from playing any game - what am I getting from playing Black Ops that lets me say that playing Minecraft is pointless? The point is entertainment, right?

Its actually this argument that I find most interesting, though I guess it comes down to what you personally want out of your downtime. When I play a game I need to feel like I'm working towards something, whether its improving my aim, my reactions or my KDR, even though I'm playing to relax. I like a game in which I can chart my progress, whatever metric that may be measured in. Just look at F@H to see how much engagement a simple progress metric can generate.

Minecraft doesn't have this. There is no reason to build, there is nothing to work towards, there is no end goal in sight. This makes me question why you would play the game at all, the simple question of 'why?' seems to be the hardest one to answer when it comes to Minecraft.

I'll never play it. I respect those that do of course, but I'll never understand them.

103 Comments

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cgthomas 28th November 2010, 10:07 Quote
An article to my heart - well said
adidan 28th November 2010, 10:13 Quote
WTH is minecraft?

* quickly googles *

Seriously? Sat in a minecart in 1980's graphics hell?

It takes all sorts.
CardJoe 28th November 2010, 10:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by adidan
WTH is minecraft?

* quickly googles *

Seriously? Sat in a minecart in 1980's graphics hell?

It takes all sorts.

There is another side to the story...

http://www.bit-tech.net/gaming/pc/2010/11/15/a-letter-from-minecraft/1
Meanmotion 28th November 2010, 10:31 Quote
I'm mostly of the same opinion though I'm a bit more willing to conede that creating stuff for the sake of it can be fun, or at least I wished I found it to be so - I'm actually a bit lazy for such things.

I think what puts me off most is having to pay for the privilege of doing all this creating. I appreciate all the hard work that has gone into creating minecraft and that it should be rewarded but it does feel a little bit like going to a fine restaurant then paying for the privilege of cooking the food yourself.
billysielu 28th November 2010, 10:35 Quote
I agree that Minecraft is a waste of time. I'd go so far as to say the same for Black Ops - you have nothing to show for your time. I'm almost at the point of saying that for every single game (after all, how many games actually get you excited these days?).
cjb119 28th November 2010, 10:49 Quote
I think a lot of people are still forgetting the game is *not* finished!

At the moment we've got something that is a basic sandbox, with a hint of survival. This morning Notch is talking about making the survival a bigger part, needing to eat, having item weights etc.
Tribal combat has also been mooted, esp in multi-player.

If the developers can keep working to a goal of a proper game, without the masses of asshats that complain at anything ruining things, I think MineCraft has a very good chance of turning into an excellent game.
smc8788 28th November 2010, 10:56 Quote
Ah, another opinion of a game formed from looking at screenshots or videos on Youtube and thinking "zomg look teh crap graphics i can see teh pixelz", "what the hell is the point of this" or some other short-sighted phrase. I was very reluctant at first, but I just took the plunge and soon found out why the game is so popular.

The game appeals to two different type of people IMO - those who like to build, and those who like to explore. I'm not much of a builder, I mean building stuff is fun and quite satisfying, but I'm not that creative. I love just going down into caves and exploring the randomly generated world, looking for dungeons to build traps, and battling the skeletons, zombies and ninja creepers along the way. I get the same thrill from descending into the darkness with just a sword and some torches that that I would in any other game. The only difference is that Minecraft has no overarching narrative or definitive endpoint (yet - Notch is supposedly adding these soon).
alpaca 28th November 2010, 11:03 Quote
you can build blocky youallknowwhats. (for this is a family forum).

also: minecraft got me to first base. that's more than i can say of any other game.
adidan 28th November 2010, 11:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
There is another side to the story...
If there is I'm missing it... :?
Material 28th November 2010, 11:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjb119
I think a lot of people are still forgetting the game is *not* finished!

Does anyone else think that by the time the game actually is finished everyone will already be over it? I get the feeling it peaking a little soon.
DeX 28th November 2010, 11:22 Quote
I would say most minecraft players probably had exactly the same feelings before they tried it. I.e. there's no graphics, there's no aim etc. why am I going to spend €10 on that?

It seems to me that your colleagues have done you a disservice by putting so much pressure on you to play. If you try it and you like it you will have 'lost' the argument. If you try it and you don't like it, you'll be scorned for 'not getting it'.

The way to explain something like minecraft is not to try to analyse it, or create pretty postcards but to just say "just try it".
Material 28th November 2010, 11:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeX
It seems to me that your colleagues have done you a disservice by putting so much pressure on you to play. If you try it and you like it you will have 'lost' the argument. If you try it and you don't like it, you'll be scorned for 'not getting it'.

I agree, it's all Joe's fault :p
Nexxo 28th November 2010, 11:51 Quote
You just don't get it. :p


Actually, this started as a quip, but thinking about it, perhaps indeed some don't get it.

Nobody can tell me that playing Black Ops is a more meaningful and constructive passtime. You are not really saving the world. You are not really developing important life skills (quite the opposite, possibly). Improving your skills at delivering head shots with a mouse and a virtual pixellated approximation of a gun is not improving your real life marksmanship in any way. And once you've finished the game it's finished.

Minecraft equally is entertainment. It is building with virtual Lego. You develop no real life skills but at least 'building' something in minecraft is creative. It is basically the same as using a level editor in Doom, Quake or Half Life to create a new environment with clever traps and challenges, which IMO is always more fun than just playing a level. It's like some of the more beautifully surreal levels you can find in Active Worlds. I've seen mile-high baroque crystal palaces. I've seen beautiful Japanese gardens with waterfalls. I've seen floating cities in the clouds. Sure, it doesn't get you anything in real life but at least it is creative entertainment. I'm not sure that can be said of all the closed-story FPSs that people do seem to get the point of.

And to complain about the graphics? Please. If you remember 8-bit you weren't there. Every game ever worth playing was programmed in the 80's. Everything since is just derivative.
ffjason 28th November 2010, 12:08 Quote
Is minecraft not just a new form of art?

A form of art where the creations can be shared and viewed from anywhere in the world.

Pretty unique in my opinion. Although the game might not be for me, I think the functions it has are incredible.
LionheartDamacy 28th November 2010, 12:18 Quote
Creating for no other sake than for creation itself denotes a pureness to the action unattainable by those done for ulterior motives--no matter how pure or well-meaning those motives may be.

Be aware that you don't like something which appeals to the general public. Your dislike for those newly converted zealots (disliked only for their love of the game) is mirrored by all those who dislike you for not admiring the game. It's just two sides of the same coin, so you can't complain.

And by the way, you should really try the game before publishing something about it (good or bad). A friend of mine despised Katamari Damacy... Hated it, refused to play it, and repeatedly told me how annoying it was. One day he watched me, and others, play. After an hour, he asked for a turn. And then... He really liked the game. Point being: Opinions can change quite easily from experience. You may still hate Minecraft after playing, but at least it will lend more credence to your words.
asura 28th November 2010, 12:28 Quote
Perfect example for designing for designings sake can be found right here in the modding section. Yes there are rewards for the SketchUp design competition's that mnpctech keep on sponsoring, but those are just the icing on the cake. Some of us just can't stop designing...

Never even looked as to what minecraft is, this is purely about design.
Pliqu3011 28th November 2010, 12:41 Quote
Why would you make a drawing?
Why would you make music?
Why place some beautiful statue in a park when just a bench is more efficient?
Why would you even have a park when parking space is more useful?

Minecraft is all about the achievement of building something you yourself find beautiful. "Creating beauty" is in itself one of the most satisfying things you can do in life, it's a kind of satisfaction you can't get from shooting some terrorists. That's what Minecraft's all about. When I was still playing with Lego I experienced that kind of satisfaction multiple times: I put lots of time in a something and, when I was done, I could look down on my work and think "Wow, did I just make that? I'm awesome!"
Valinor 28th November 2010, 12:42 Quote
Grrr... power cut... time to re-type this ridiculously long message.

So... thinking that a game (minecraft, for example) is a good game is fine, but trying to coerce others into joining you and then implying that they are a douchebag who doesn't understand anything when they decline to join is not.

I haven't played minecraft much, I'm just speaking from the point of view of someone who knows others who play minecraft and has been asked several times to join. In the short time I was playing I managed to complete absolutely nothing of use - I realised after I stopped that I had wanted to stop ages beforehand, but just couldn't for some unknown reason.

Does being unable to leave a game even though I wanted to make that game fun? Or just addictive (in the same way some drugs are - just less dangerous)?

Oh, and by the way, playing FPS games does help slightly with real-life shooting - when I first used air pistols/rifles I was better than other people who had never played any FPSs.
adidan 28th November 2010, 12:43 Quote
Indeed.

Oh hello Mr Emperor, what lovely new clothes you have.
alpaca 28th November 2010, 12:59 Quote
Also: there is a kind of satisfaction to be had in that somebody walks up to your structure and says: "that's pretty impressive alpaca." and then i can say: "hey, come with me, i'll show you a nice and nifty room, or a clever way i used that or that kind of block." and then they say, "waw, cool." later on, when i pass by their structure, and i see they copied the way i used that block...

somehow, i get more satisfaction out of that than out of some guy in CSS or COD:MW saying: "nice shot" if i score a headshot across the map.

Also: the map is constantly changing. you can just go exploring and find a nice cozy treehouse or maze or spleef arena that somebody built since the last time you went there. it's refreshing.

EDIT: but these are just the things why i like it. this is an encouragement for all of you to just try it. and i will see you in no way as a lesser person if you don't like it. I didn't like deus ex, and i don't think you guys consider me less for that (however, i DON'T get that much rep...:D)
adidan 28th November 2010, 13:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpaca
Also: there is a kind of satisfaction to be had in that somebody walks up to your structure and says: "that's pretty impressive alpaca." and then i can say: "hey, come with me, i'll show you a nice and nifty room, or a clever way i used that or that kind of block." and then they say, "waw, cool." later on, when i pass by their structure, and i see they copied the way i used that block...
So it's used as a way to bolster feelings of insecurity through the admiration of strangers?

Whatever helps I guess.
Nexxo 28th November 2010, 13:16 Quote
What clothes do you wear? ;)

Let's not get too hung up on a game. Those who enjoy: enjoy. Those who don't: enjoy something else. It would be a boring world where everybody liked the same things (I've seen ITV, and what has been seen...). Let's revel in the creativity of our differences. It's all good.
StoneyMahoney 28th November 2010, 14:38 Quote
Different stokes move different folks. There, wasn't that much easier to say without all the bashing that made up the bulk of that article? Shame you don't actually seem to show much respect for people who like Minecraft. Between that satirical conversation and your claim in the last paragraph, I'd say that makes you a hypocrite.
sear 28th November 2010, 14:56 Quote
I don't really like Minecraft either. It irks me that it gets so much attention and that I can't go a day without hearing about it, and yes, people constantly ask me to play too, and I have to explain to them that I just don't find it that much fun. I have to admit that there are a lot of cool things to do with it, and I think that it's great that people are having fun while creating things, but... I need more than that. If I want to create, I'll draw, or write a song, or come up with a new article. It seems a bit more productive to me, and more engaging.

That said, anyone is entitled to do what they think is fun, and I hold no grudge against those that do just that. It's when it starts to impinge upon me that I begin to feel annoyed.
DragunovHUN 28th November 2010, 15:20 Quote
Paul, you is trolling.
Loafers 28th November 2010, 15:43 Quote
Minecraft was boring to me several months ago so I decided to wait until more features were implemented, namely pvp. I must say, it's quite fun now :).
Blassster 28th November 2010, 16:11 Quote
I was apprehensive at first. If you stop analyzing its existence and just go in and play it, you'd probably realize that there's some fun to be had. I've only played multiplayer so far, though. Just borrow a buddy's login to test it, if buying an unfinished game is a barrier.
Nexxo 28th November 2010, 16:21 Quote
It's a sandbox. People end up doing unexpectedly new fun things with sandboxes. Give it time.

It would be cool if future iterations allow people to create their own lifeforms to roam the place. Then we'll see some interestingly crazy **** happening.
kameltoemunch 28th November 2010, 16:28 Quote
The problem is that Minecraft has become the newest "lol look at me iz indie" thing among PC Gamers, who seem to think that playing the game elevates them another level up the elite ladder. Wrong.

I may have some irrational annoyance that the bit-tech minecraft thread gets a post every 10 minutes when we could be discussing better games, but I don't think thats really it. The game is simply fairly boring imo, in comparison to the vast array of other games I could be playing.

The best part is that Notch has owned you all to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Gogo Notch.

P.S. I hope that people don't get the impression that I'm anti PC gaming, as I'm an avid PC player myself. What I do depise, however, is the pure elitism that so many of said PC gamers display, especially towards console gamers. Its true that Xbox Live is filled with mouth breathers, but all gamers are living out virtual lives within virtual worlds to some extent or another. Stop it.
kameltoemunch 28th November 2010, 16:39 Quote
Also, this:

"And to complain about the graphics? Please. If you remember 8-bit you weren't there. Every game ever worth playing was programmed in the 80's. Everything since is just derivative."

is crap. More elitist bullshit, and unfortunately for Mr. Old School, gamer its completely and absolutely wrong. The best advancements in gaming have taken place over the last 10 years. I would rather play STALKER than Space Invaders any day of any week ever. Games in the 80's were bad, stop trying to pretend the art was perfected and lost 20 years ago.
nemo 28th November 2010, 16:42 Quote
"Do not feed the trolls"

Exploration and creativity can be rewards in themselves, and do not need high-score tables.

Notch was a one man (now small) indie dev team, implementing what they think is fun as they go along. A whole bunch of people love it. Good luck to all of them.
Nexxo 28th November 2010, 17:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kameltoemunch
Also, this:

"And to complain about the graphics? Please. If you remember 8-bit you weren't there. Every game ever worth playing was programmed in the 80's. Everything since is just derivative."

is crap. More elitist bullshit, and unfortunately for Mr. Old School, gamer its completely and absolutely wrong. The best advancements in gaming have taken place over the last 10 years. I would rather play STALKER than Space Invaders any day of any week ever. Games in the 80's were bad, stop trying to pretend the art was perfected and lost 20 years ago.
Undoubtedly today's games often look a lot prettier, but I'd dispute that this necessarily makes them more playable. Stalker is undeniably a decent game, but basically Doom or Quake prettied up, and I have just as much fun playing those. Stalker adds nothing new to the gameplay.

The technology has made many things possible, but few of them are new ideas as such. Ironically a lot if the new ideas come from the console industry: Nintendo's motion control system; Sony's EyeToy.

.
Jipa 28th November 2010, 17:01 Quote
First reaction "Oh ffs not Minecraft again". Seeing what the story is about made me happy again.

I don't get it, I don't want to get it and I just want it to go away so I don't get force-fed any Minecraft ever again.
zpikez 28th November 2010, 17:05 Quote
has everyone forgotten garrys mod or something? half life 2 graphics contraptions that do things and awesome building capabilities and physics... and it costs around about the same as minecraft
DragunovHUN 28th November 2010, 17:15 Quote
I love how whenever something different comes out and people end up liking it, everyone else jumps on the "i don't participate in this increasingly popular thing so i'll just get mad at its community for not doing the things that i prefer doing instead" bandwagon.

Seriously, why you so mad? Just leave us to it and move on with your life. Everyone's happy then.
Jipa 28th November 2010, 17:21 Quote
I wouldn't have any problems if I didn't have to hear about the game all the time. I don't mind a lot of things, but try to stuff them down my throat and you will get a response.
DragunovHUN 28th November 2010, 17:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jipa
I wouldn't have any problems if I didn't have to hear about the game all the time. I don't mind a lot of things, but try to stuff them down my throat and you will get a response.

If something becomes popular in your community, sure, you'll inevitably hear about it. But why not just ignore it like everything else you're not interrested in?

I'm an entrenched Nvidia user due to my bad experiences with ATi but you don't see me complaining that bit-tech discusses ATi cards a lot.
docodine 28th November 2010, 17:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by zpikez
has everyone forgotten garrys mod or something? half life 2 graphics contraptions that do things and awesome building capabilities and physics... and it costs around about the same as minecraft

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVU6FAt2Viw
DragunovHUN 28th November 2010, 17:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by docodine
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVU6FAt2Viw

Epic win tbh
Skiddywinks 28th November 2010, 18:03 Quote
I love the survival aspect of Minecraft. While I can see why some people would like to join an online server, not need to mine, and can just start going nuts with their imagination, I much prefer loading up a new single player map, and just surviving. Dig through the night, explore above ground during the day. My first bow, by first diamonds; it's wicked addictive and fun.

If only multiplayer was that, just with more people.
Canon 28th November 2010, 18:34 Quote
Well done, you have demotivated me as much as is possible.
Yemerich 28th November 2010, 19:02 Quote
Minecraft is a example of something: depth. NO other game gave you the same sense of depth as minecarft. And it is in alpha. I can imagine LOTS of potential in this game.
Imagine a "capture the flag" with this... Think of the possibilities.

I have to agree thou that the game as it is now is kinda crude. Too few monsters and nothing mutch to do besides construction.

But if you care just a little about building things, the game will be endless.

For example, I hate HL series. I don't see any fun in those games, but still other people love it...

BTW, by the looks of you signature, you don't care about beauty :D
JUST KIDDING!
DeathAwaitsU 28th November 2010, 19:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpaca

also: minecraft got me to first base. that's more than i can say of any other game.


No one else seems to have asked so im going to,

explain?
DragunovHUN 28th November 2010, 19:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeathAwaitsU
No one else seems to have asked so im going to,

explain?

Oh, fond memories of the old server.
cgthomas 28th November 2010, 19:18 Quote
are we done yet - can we play Crysis now?
Canon 28th November 2010, 19:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeathAwaitsU
No one else seems to have asked so im going to,

explain?

You see, this is why Mr. Paul doesn't understand, nor like the game. You have to be in on it. It's actually a rampant orgy when you get in.
wiggles 28th November 2010, 19:28 Quote
Minecraft is a good vessel for fanboi culture
DragunovHUN 28th November 2010, 19:29 Quote
sigh, haters.
Valinor 28th November 2010, 19:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragunovHUN
Just leave us to it and move on with your life. Everyone's happy then.

As long as you leave us to it, and don't constantly ask us to join and claim "you don't get it" when we refuse...

Then it's be fine.
DragunovHUN 28th November 2010, 19:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valinor
As long as you leave us to it, and don't constantly ask us to join and claim "you don't get it" when we refuse...

Then it's be fine.
I don't remember asking you to play minecraft. It's not my fault that your friends don't respect your taste.

But your original post wasn't hateful at all, so i don't know why you're posting a retort to my post which addresses haters.
smc8788 28th November 2010, 20:30 Quote
People are strange. A game suddenly becomes popular, but because they're not interested in it they expect the entire Internet to be devoid of articles and people talking about it :|

What's stranger is that people take these articles to be some kind of personal campaign against their disinterest in their game, and so great is their disinterest that they must not only read every single one of these articles, but also comment on them, further explaining their disinterest to those who play the game and enjoy it.

What I don't understand is why this only seems to affect Minecraft and not other, even more popular games. Why are people not commenting in all of the Black Ops threads in the Gaming forum (of which there are several times more than the single, more popular Minecraft thread in that forum, which has also garnered hate in the comments section of this blog for people having the audacity to post in it!), telling us how much they don't want to play that game?

In short, I'm confused.
Fizzban 28th November 2010, 20:47 Quote
Minecraft is great for those who have a need to spend hours creating things out of little building blocks. And some of what I have seen is very impressive. But I'm sitting firmly in the other camp. The camp that thinks a game like that is unbelievably dull and pointless.
Canon 28th November 2010, 20:59 Quote
I don't get it. How come an obvious majority of those that dislike the game are so bitter about it? Fair enough if someone has bound you to your chair and ballgagged you and made you play it then you're not going to be overly enthusiastic about it....but I assume that isn't usually the case.
Kaldskryke 28th November 2010, 21:28 Quote
I think the strange part of the article is that Paul says there are no goals in Minecraft to inspire him to play and then proceeds to say that his goals in codblops are things like improving his aim or KDR.

When I normally talk to people who say (in not so few words) "Minecraft has no goals" they are mostly referring to how Minecraft has no story and never tells you any mission objectives/what-have-you. There's no "campaign" of closely scripted theme-park missions that lead up to the player winning the game. Without being told what to do these players feel as if there is nothing to do. Whereas I feel the beauty of Minecraft and other sandbox games is that as a player you pick your own goals and they are limitless although arbitrary. You don't get nice cutscenes as a reward when you complete your own goal, but I feel that when I am working on something because I thought it would be cool that it's a much stronger motivation and much more addictive. I don't have a lot of fun in Minecraft if I'm simply wandering around aimlessly. If I decide I want to make an underwater city or a contraption that automatically kills monsters and harvests their loot then all of a sudden I can't stop playing until I've achieved my goal.

So if Paul had said that his goals in codblops were to do things the game is telling him to do (beat missions, unlock achievements) I would think that maybe he doesn't "get" how to make his own goals. But Paul wants to improve his aim and KDR, things which he can't "win" without setting his own arbitrary definition of success.

I don't mind that Paul doesn't want to build with legos that he can't play with afterwards (although you can certainly smash them with TNT instead of a kitchen floor) and I'm not going to coerce him into playing. But the best part of minecraft isn't building a stealth bomber with blocks and destroying it. It's building something because you want to, and maybe having other people come and help you with it.
javaman 28th November 2010, 22:25 Quote
Quote:
Just look at F@H to see how much engagement a simple progress metric can generate.

Im still trying to complete Folding@Home. that game has way too many achievement points on offer!!
nicae 28th November 2010, 23:36 Quote
What point is there in minecraft?
I don't play it. But I'll ask you what point is there in Counter-strike, Starcraft, Hearts of iron, etc.?

Ultimately, what point is there in life?
DragunovHUN 28th November 2010, 23:46 Quote
^Deep
Canon 28th November 2010, 23:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragunovHUN
^Deep

Not as deep as the hole I can dig in Minecraft.
xrain 28th November 2010, 23:59 Quote
Just go play Garry's Mod, It has the same sandbox creationism, but after you do spend 10 hours working on your awesome stealth bomber, there is a slight chance it will turn into a whirling black-hole of props and crash the server. But if it doesn't black-hole then you can take your stealth bomber, and proceed to drop nuke a on your mates as they try to shoot you down with surface to air missiles!
LordPyrinc 29th November 2010, 00:16 Quote
Building things is fun whether it be virtual or in RL. You achieve a sense of accomplishment when you look at the finished product. I haven't played minecraft, but in recent years I have revived my childhood love of Legos. Building something from a set of instructions can be fun, but building something spontaneously using only your creativity and imagination can be so much more fullfilling, regardless of your age. From that perspective, I can appreciate why people enjoy minecraft.
Plugs 29th November 2010, 00:31 Quote
I can understand why people may like minecraft... I just get bored
Reitau 29th November 2010, 00:45 Quote
I really like it but once it has carts and other active parts to create machines it will really have mass appeal.

Reminds me of Garrys Mod for Half Life 2.

Alex.
DragunovHUN 29th November 2010, 00:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reitau
I really like it but once it has carts and other active parts to create machines

It already has, to some degree.
Stickeh 29th November 2010, 01:04 Quote
Its hard to 'get' what the fuss is about the game, and even harder for someone to explain to you what it is that holds you in the game, from screenshots and videos my first thoughts were exactly the same...what is this? why are the graphics so blocky?
But i read alot of hype about it, saw some awesome things built, played a bit on creative mode, and was ultimately impressed that it was a one man show, built in java with randomly generated worlds (yes that was the biggest lure to the game for me)

Best 10euros i've ever spent tbh. and yet its still so difficult to explain why.

In perspective this is not a game that would appeal to me, i'm primarily an FPS kinda guy...i'm not big on RPG's MMO's, don't play too much RTS's, but this game has drawn me in far too much, and yes its too easy to sit back and think, well that was pointless building that, but its hell of a lot of fun to plan and build on a busy server, (we have an official bit-tech one now btw) the community is great and it takes away plenty of hours, both in game and out.

And not all things are built to stand still and do nothing, there is redstone, a sort of binary logic gates, whereby people are creating automatic machines even CPU's within the game, there are minecarts in which people are building elaborate train stations, and slowly the community is coming up with games inside the game.

For example spleef; a game whereby 2 or more players play on a limited size field and try to remove the floor beneath the opponent to make them fall into a pit, last one standing wins!
I could talk forever on this subject, but yes thats because the game has got me, ( i haven't got it however..) and i enjoy the time i 'waste' on it, one of my better purchases of 2010.
sausages 29th November 2010, 01:47 Quote
It's pretty easy to understand. It's basically just a 3d version of MS Paint, and every little kid I've ever known is happy to be plonked down in front of paint and they can lose a few hours drawing stuff. Space ships, flowers, boobs, whatever.

This is basically just a slightly more evolved version of that. So instead of a few hours, it's 20+ hours, and instead of 2d stick figures, it's 3d stick figures.

You have to understand that probably 90% of the people playing minecraft, are people who just got sucked in by the immense hype, and bought it because it's so cheap. That is no reflection of how good the game is, it's a reflection of how over hyped the game is. Then, the majority of these people are very young and don't know a whole lot of other games. They have never experienced the simple joy of games like Mario and Sonic and they have never experienced the creative freedom of something like the Neverwinter toolset or SimCity or The Incredible Machine etc... So to them, this is their Mario. (only easier, and simpler, and dumber, and not as good.)

It has great potential to be an actual game at some point, and a really good one, but I don't know if it will ever get to that point. For now, it's just a kind of 3d Lego simulator for easily amused people.
Canon 29th November 2010, 02:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sausages
It's pretty easy to understand. It's basically just a 3d version of MS Paint, and every little kid I've ever known is happy to be plonked down in front of paint and they can lose a few hours drawing stuff. Space ships, flowers, boobs, whatever.

This is basically just a slightly more evolved version of that. So instead of a few hours, it's 20+ hours, and instead of 2d stick figures, it's 3d stick figures.

You have to understand that probably 90% of the people playing minecraft, are people who just got sucked in by the immense hype, and bought it because it's so cheap. That is no reflection of how good the game is, it's a reflection of how over hyped the game is. Then, the majority of these people are very young and don't know a whole lot of other games. They have never experienced the simple joy of games like Mario and Sonic and they have never experienced the creative freedom of something like the Neverwinter toolset or SimCity or The Incredible Machine etc... So to them, this is their Mario. (only easier, and simpler, and dumber, and not as good.)

It has great potential to be an actual game at some point, and a really good one, but I don't know if it will ever get to that point. For now, it's just a kind of 3d Lego simulator for easily amused people.

Very good analogy! Although, when I bought it, it was for the sake of community, when I realised the multiplayer could actually work. As a matter of fact, when I first played, it was through browser during REALLY early stages, and I hated it, I told the guy that introduced me it was a pile of <insert profanity here> and he should never speak of it again.

However, I've now chucked a good 60+ hours away on it. The construction is great fun but when you can have a chat with people in real time about their own ideas and collaborate it's 10x better. So in essence, I got what I paid for, messing around with blocks, with other people messing around with blocks.
DragunovHUN 29th November 2010, 02:49 Quote
Sausages, thanks for taking the time to explain why minecraft players play the game, especially since your explanation is basically that it's because we're stupid.

Frankly, i think your post is based too heavily on assumptions to be taken seriously(or in more simple terms you're talking out of your arse for no reason). I for one have played Mario aswell as Sim City and i discovered minecraft on my own. I saw some gameplay, i liked it and concluded that yep, i want to buy that.

It might be overhyped, it quite possibly is, but what do you think is the reason for that? Couldn't it possibly be because a lot of people enjoy it?
general22 29th November 2010, 03:20 Quote
I think the reason people who don't like the game get so angry about it is because it seems to have gotten a lot of coverage for no reason. I mean all you are doing is playing with lego and while this is fun I don't see anything particularly new about it.
Canon 29th November 2010, 03:26 Quote
Can somebody please show me this hype? I have been playing since the early stages and read/heard nothing of it apart from minecraft.net (odd place to hear about it, don't you think?) and right here at bit-tech..
docodine 29th November 2010, 06:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canon
Can somebody please show me this hype? I have been playing since the early stages and read/heard nothing of it apart from minecraft.net (odd place to hear about it, don't you think?) and right here at bit-tech..

Reddit mostly
Valinor 29th November 2010, 07:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragunovHUN
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valinor
As long as you leave us to it, and don't constantly ask us to join and claim "you don't get it" when we refuse...

Then it's be fine.
I don't remember asking you to play minecraft. It's not my fault that your friends don't respect your taste.

But your original post wasn't hateful at all, so i don't know why you're posting a retort to my post which addresses haters.

Yeah... Just because you have a point :-)

So, if minecraft "floats your boat", as I'm sure a gratuitous number of other people have said, then fine, go tell people it's great as it's an opinion - just like many people would do with most games.

P.S. I only replied due to having been very recently asked to play minecraft and so was ever so slightly annoyed. Slightly. A little bit. A smidge.
Unicorn 29th November 2010, 09:21 Quote
I haven't played it yet but as an avid Garry's Mod player at a time, it looks like something I would really enjoy.

As for all the "hype"? Meh, just something for people to get excited about for a while. I have more important things to do with my time than argue about whether or not a home-made game is revolutionary or not.
[USRF]Obiwan 29th November 2010, 09:33 Quote
People playing the game who are "trying to explain to me why they play the game and what it is all about and why I should play" is just like Jehovah's witnesses at my door trying to make me believe in a book about some sort of god.
alpaca 29th November 2010, 13:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeathAwaitsU


No one else seems to have asked so im going to,

explain?

as dHUN already mentioned, memories of the old server.
also: chicks digg games. they just don't like the violence. they dig artists too. even bad ones. so they like a game that allows me to show how arty i am, and meanwhile show off how arty my friends on the server are.

but ultimately, i don't minecraft for the chicks. i minecraft because i can't be bothered to clean up my lego afterwards.
karx11erx 29th November 2010, 13:38 Quote
In my eyes this article is hypocritical. How many of the things we are doing every day are of lasting value (or at least serve the purpose of sustaining ourselves so that we're capable to pursuit such things)?

Playing "cool" (as opposed to Minecraft) computer games? Watching TV shows? Tuning our cars, or all the other nice time fillers we're keeping ourselves occupied with?

If your ambition and ethics is to create something lasting, become a saint and bless mankind, or at least invent something really useful.

Ok, that's quite a radical approach. Leaving that aside, the article still is a gross oversight of what Minecraft is: A huge virtual playground for creativity. Not everything people do needs to have an immediate value.

So, dear letter author, you can have your opinion on Minecraft and deem building Lego spaceships more fruit- and purposeful than playing Minecraft, but don't push your short sighted and ill conclusions on us.

Thank you.

PS: I think Minecraft is ugly, and it doesn't attract me at all. But I (think I) do understand why it attracts people.
javaman 29th November 2010, 13:56 Quote
Tbh I couldn't care about minecraft, I just don't have the time to "play" it. While I understand its appeal I do follow discussions on it since they're far more interesting than the cod fonboi dribble. What mine craft represents to me is what I like most about pc gaming and that's the modding community. Without such a playground that will help develop their skills and idea we would be left with cod 5, 6, 7 + 20 dlcs for each title which to me represents the corporate rip off machine that gaming has become. I would rather support mine craft than any activision based game simply because of what I've outlined above. What I don't get is why don't all mine craft players down load TES or a source development kit and create even more content for fallout new vegas or even the next team fortress or portal that way everyones happy? Just think, minecraft meets half life
yakyb 29th November 2010, 15:03 Quote
put 100+ hours into minecraft , COD or WoW

all have the same end result (nothing really gained)

its enjoying the process along the way that matters
StoneyMahoney 29th November 2010, 15:46 Quote
@karx11erx: I agree with you. Computer gaming is becoming increasingly entrenched in consumerism and has been for decades. Titles that have creative toolsets built-in do so to increase their perceived value by engendered feelings of pride in our creations, no matter how little creative merit they have or how limited and conformist the audience.

True art can have no purpose but itself. Minecraft itself cannot be art, but that doesn't mean things created in it can't. Of course, given just how limited Minecraft actually is, creating a true work of art within it is likely to be an almost impossible challenge.

What I find truely disturbing is the standard of what is considered "art" in Minecraft. Imported textures? Sprites from computer games? Geometric arrangements? Blocky landscapes? Images from film posters? The word "Minecraft"?

Culture-starvation among avid gamers leads to reduction in artistic recognition and appreciation. Now that's an article worth writing.
Sloth 29th November 2010, 19:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by StoneyMahoney
True art can have no purpose but itself.
Good luck selling that one, particularly to the artists themselves. Painters, scultors, authors, architects, you name it. Most create their works with a purpose.

Take authors in particular. Classical literature is often looked to as being sophisticated and refined, worthy of being called true art. But was a single noteworthy piece written simply for the sake of being art? No. They all serve the purpose of conveying a meaning. The "art" is just a vessel.

The difference today is the lack of meaning. Paint splattered on a canvas to "mean" some vague, imperceptible emotion. Pixel art in Minecraft simply to prove one's capabilities. Daytime dramas designed to pass the time and immediately be forgotten.
dudwasup 29th November 2010, 19:47 Quote
its a fun game, but i think everyone could spend there time on something more usefull.
StoneyMahoney 29th November 2010, 20:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
Good luck selling that one, particularly to the artists themselves. Painters, scultors, authors, architects, you name it. Most create their works with a purpose.

Wrong meaning of purpose there. You mean "usage". Paintings, sculptures and literature can't be used for anything, their only purpose is to exist as art. They can be exploited for a purpose, like making money or a political point, but the actual objects themselves do absolutely nothing but sit there looking pretty or taking up space on the coffee table. Oh, and meaning is not a requisite for something to be considered art so what you said about art being a vessel is just rubbish.

Sorry, I should have attributed my semi-quote there, I expected people here to know it already (duh). Rupert Maas said that "an object d'art can have no other purpose than to exist as art" and he should bloody well know what he's talking about (look him up on wikipedia). It's the current viewpoint of pretty much the entire art establishment, although the more fringe sections of the art world would disagree and there are always arguments about whether certain things are exceptions to that rule (eg: cars, buildings).

Considering they can't even decide whether a building can be art, computers will never get anywhere near classified as art in the eyes of the art establishment. Artistic - yes. Art - no way in hell
Canon 29th November 2010, 20:57 Quote
I dismiss the existence of art, yet I really enjoy Minecraft. C'mon then Columbo.
Fizzban 29th November 2010, 21:37 Quote
Calling things art is sketchy anyways. You could take a shit on a door mat and put a cocktail umbrella in it and call it 'art', and there would be people who would agree.
Sloth 30th November 2010, 00:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by StoneyMahoney
Wrong meaning of purpose there. You mean "usage". Paintings, sculptures and literature can't be used for anything, their only purpose is to exist as art. They can be exploited for a purpose, like making money or a political point, but the actual objects themselves do absolutely nothing but sit there looking pretty or taking up space on the coffee table. Oh, and meaning is not a requisite for something to be considered art so what you said about art being a vessel is just rubbish.

Sorry, I should have attributed my semi-quote there, I expected people here to know it already (duh). Rupert Maas said that "an object d'art can have no other purpose than to exist as art" and he should bloody well know what he's talking about (look him up on wikipedia). It's the current viewpoint of pretty much the entire art establishment, although the more fringe sections of the art world would disagree and there are always arguments about whether certain things are exceptions to that rule (eg: cars, buildings).

Considering they can't even decide whether a building can be art, computers will never get anywhere near classified as art in the eyes of the art establishment. Artistic - yes. Art - no way in hell
I'm glad someone from the "art establishment" can confirm that art is useless and may even be meaningless!

Quoted from Wikipedia, "Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging symbolic elements in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect". Specific to this definition, a symbol must have a meaning (it must symbolize something to exist!). Additionally, emotions (with some exceptions, such as cold colors making people sad) and intellect require a meaning to be influenced, so I'd say that's not exactly rubbish. Literature, for example, is calligraphy when you take away its meaning, or at best an interesting story. In order to evoke emotions and thought it must mean something to the reader.

Of course, to continue with literature, conveying a message to the reader must strictly be forbidden to be art because it is another purpose. Social commentary, for a common example, could not exist because it serves the purpose of informing the reader of the author's observation. Unless conveying a message is to be defined as influencing the intellect, in which case a great deal of publications are art.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fizzban
Calling things art is sketchy anyways. You could take a shit on a door mat and put a cocktail umbrella in it and call it 'art', and there would be people who would agree.
It serves no other purpose than to exist as art, so it seems so. The scent certainly influences the senses!

Remember, the words "good" and "art" are not mutually inclusive according to the powers that be! Just wait a few years until someone comes up with a new clause to keep your **** on a doormat out of the clubhouse.
felipemorse 30th November 2010, 02:13 Quote
I think the single player mode is really fun, this is the one you can adventure yourself through the game's world, killing monsters, crafting weapons, tools and stuff. It's the multiplayer that has no purpose imo.
Blackie Chan 30th November 2010, 02:55 Quote
I LIKE DO BUILD A CASTLES IN MYCRAFT
Reitau 30th November 2010, 03:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackie Chan
I LIKE DO BUILD A CASTLES IN MYCRAFT

Awesome.
StoneyMahoney 30th November 2010, 04:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
I'm glad someone from the "art establishment" can confirm that art is useless and may even be meaningless!
After a long discussion with my other half, I should clarify that the definition is for *a work of art* rather than art itself. Bad Stoney
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
Quoted from Wikipedia: "Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging symbolic elements in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect"
I would dispute the use of the word "symbolic" in that definition and point out that only one of the other definitions of art you can get from the first page of a Google search for "art definition" actually even uses any form of the word "symbol". Plus MC Escher and Mondrian would be most disappointed if we downgraded much of their most influential and ground-breaking work from being art merely because of a badly worded Wikipedia entry.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
Of course, to continue with literature, conveying a message to the reader must strictly be forbidden to be art because it is another purpose.
Purpose in this context refers specifically to a practical outcome of an object's use. Cars are transportation and buildings are shelter, it's their primary purpose and any artistic merit they may have is secondary to that. Damn, considering all this really makes you think about how words are used, no wonder there's so much argument over all this ;)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
Remember, the words "good" and "art" are not mutually inclusive according to the powers that be! Just wait a few years until someone comes up with a new clause to keep your **** on a doormat out of the clubhouse.
My other half brought up the installation by Tracey Emin called "My Bed" in our discussion. The word "installation" in that sentence seems to be what makes the whole thing count as art, rather than merely a collection of carefully arranged crap, so I'm guessing "Poop sur une Doormat avec petit Umbrella" will be sitting in an art gallery near you soon and possibly for a very long time.
Fizzban 30th November 2010, 12:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
The scent certainly influences the senses!

haha yes it does! And I'm sure an artist could come up with what that piece of.. 'art' represents. Would all be baloney though as it came to my mind in an instant flash of brilliance (grossness).
Quote:
Originally Posted by StoneyMahoney
so I'm guessing "Poop sur une Doormat avec petit Umbrella" will be sitting in an art gallery near you soon and possibly for a very long time.

If that ever happens you will know that the idea was stolen from me. That, or I have changed careers to become une artist lol.
sausages 30th November 2010, 23:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragunovHUN
Sausages, thanks for taking the time to explain why minecraft players play the game, especially since your explanation is basically that it's because we're stupid.
You're welcome.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragunovHUN

It might be overhyped, it quite possibly is, but what do you think is the reason for that? Couldn't it possibly be because a lot of people enjoy it?
It could be, but it isn't.
SinxarKnights 1st December 2010, 04:39 Quote
To be fair, unless your playing a real cash online game (Entropia Universe comes to mind), its all just pixel crack and completely worthless.

Don't get me wrong I sink a LOT of time into MMOs, but ultimately - to each his own.
Wicked_Sludge 1st December 2010, 06:06 Quote
i cant believe this has turned into a 5 page argument (or can i?).

the fact is, this is an opinion thread. noone here is right or wrong because there is no right or wrong answer here.

people who like minecraft like it. people who dont, dont. whats the big deal? why does everyone feel the need to justify their personal opinion?
karx11erx 1st December 2010, 07:59 Quote
Sloth,

so you're happy now that your dull prejudices have been confirmed by a (one) "member of the art department", allowing you to happily live on in its stench?

Art has a purpose, but usually it is a "transcendental" and not an immediate one.
timmehtimmeh 1st December 2010, 20:49 Quote
You like improving your COD7 KDR and skills? Good for you, you could do that in COD1-6 too by the way.

Finally, a game with a bit of originality comes along and you bash it over the head.

Why is this article on bit-tech btw?
jodah175 2nd December 2010, 00:58 Quote
So, lemme get this straight? People who love the game play it and adore it, and people who don't bash it? Well, welcome to the freakin world! To each their own. Besides, arguing online....well, I'm sure you all know where that one goes.
infi 2nd December 2010, 02:03 Quote
wait what? ... what the hell are you implying?

why play any video game then, or watching a movie... or do anything at all were "nothing of value" is actually created... I really don't get your way of thinking.
sausages 3rd December 2010, 21:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by infi
wait what? ... what the hell are you implying?

why play any video game then, or watching a movie... or do anything at all were "nothing of value" is actually created... I really don't get your way of thinking.

That's the best argument that can be made really. It's what it all comes down to, and nobody can really argue against that. Unless you are playing a game that can make you real life money, then they are all just about the process of playing and none of them really achieve anything.

My angle on the argument though, is just that I just think there are better games to play. Whatever it is that you get from Minecraft, there is likely a far better alternative. If you like the spooky dark depths filled with monsters, then play an RPG or MMORPG where some of them have incredible intricate dungeons, far more advanced, far spookier. Or Condemned, or Doom 3, or something like Amnesia The Dark Descent, pretty much crap your pants scary according to most people. Or if you like creating and crafting things, look at something like Vanguard where there are thousands or recipes and you have a gigantic gorgeous looking world to travel and you have to harvest the materials and then there is a real crafting process on a real workbench, with mishaps that you have to solve and stuff. Then you can sell your items to real people. In fact you could actually make real money in that game by doing that. Or building, there are games like Sim City 4 where you build entire cities, and it has more depth because you have to balance your income and expenditure, and you have to provide everyone with sufficient police and fire coverage and water. Or Tropico 3, or a TBS game where you have to expand your race. Or if you like fighting the zombies, there is stuff like L4D2 or Resident Evil or Dark Messiah or even WoW or whatever.

It's just hard for me accept Minecraft because I'm a big RPG player. So I've got games going back 20 + years that have crafting, exploration, combat. They are like Minecraft but better.

To me Minecraft is just a very basic building and hole digging game but without all the challenge and action. It's an alpha so... hopefully they will add the good stuff in the future, but for now, I can't go along with all the hype. I think it's nuts.
timmehtimmeh 6th December 2010, 22:30 Quote
have you tried building logic gate traps yet? I have never discovered a game like this where the principles allowed you to build simply whatever your imagination wanted. Can you build 7 segment displays and tickers and rollercoasters or lava pits in Vanguard? Nope :-)

Its the open ended-ness that makes it soo much fun. You can create whatever you want - and the law defying physics are great too.

Minecraft is definately not just a "very basic building game" if you tried it you would notice this about it. If all you could do was build a castle - I would find it pretty boring. It seems that's all people who haven't played it much seem to think you can do in it.

Hell you can even build an Arithmetic Logic unit in it. Don't tell me you don't think that sounds like fun!
sausages 8th December 2010, 06:51 Quote
I've seen the logic gates, it's nerd heaven but it's not for me. So yeah, to me it's still just a very basic building game, but I even find it hard to call it a game. Until they patch in some kind of challenge, I struggle to call it a game at all.
Wicked_Sludge 8th December 2010, 16:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sausages
Until they patch in some kind of challenge

claiming this game has no challenge shows that you obviously havnt spent any considerable time playing it.
Stickeh 8th December 2010, 16:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wicked_Sludge
claiming this game has no challenge shows that you obviously havnt spent any considerable time playing it.

I think he means achievements....
sausages 9th December 2010, 01:58 Quote
Nope I mean challenge, and I have spent lots of time.

I built an enormous castle in the sky, which had clouds travelling through it and a glass floor that let me look down on the world. Then I built a base inside a mountain that would make a James Bond villain proud. Then I connected the two together with a massive walk way. Then I built a third base in another mountain, and I have several tunnels going from that deep in to the ground to mine all kinds of resources. Then I built a boat and travelled to a distant island and used it's materials to build an underwater house.

Then I came to my senses and installed a real game :o
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