I’ve heard of Minecraft, you’ve heard of Minecraft, the whole world has heard of Minecraft, and now Mojang – the developers of the game – wants to hear about Minecraft. On the official site, Mojang requested fans to send in stories and reports that they think the developers should know about. Mojang will then pick their favourites and then share them on the site. The developers wrote:
“So much of what Minecraft is comes down to what you, the community, make. Over the last six months we’ve written stories about your monolithic megabuilds, your mini-games, your music videos, mapping projects, models, metaphors, modified mobs, medievalism, myth, masterworks, minor marvels and loads more things that stubbornly refuse to begin with ‘m’.”
This is a nice idea of involving the community at large, especially when a considerable amount of time and effort is put into various Minecraft projects. The blocky sandbox game has taken off in a way we’ve never really seen before, and it’s all down to people constantly finding ways to use the software for exciting new things. For one, director Ben Wheatley admitted using Minecraft to help storyboard his latest movie Free Fire, proof that the game has moved way beyond mindless fun at a computer, but a real tool to benefit creative minds. Minecraft is even being used in some schools and summer camps to help teach students about everything from programming to architecture. And let’s not forget Minecon – the yearly conference which celebrates all things Minecraft.
But of course, Minecraft is at its core, a game played for fun. Mods and specialised servers make up a massive portion of why Minecraft continues to stay popular and relevant on every major platform since its release in 2011, and that’s due to customisation and experimentation. Groups of Minecrafters have built entire cities block by block, fantasy worlds from works of literature like Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings, and even just digital battlefields, in which PvP or King of the Hill tournaments take place to the delight or frustration of the players (depending on which side you’re on).
The use of dedicated servers has been a huge boon for Minecraft, because players have been allowed to create their very own leagues if they wish and play a version of the game that suits them. These online communities have flourished and some truly exquisite worlds have emerged as a result of these servers. These 15 servers are considered some of the best, but the fascinating thing about making your own server is that you’ve got free reign over everything, such as the amount of players, the rules, and what the server will entail. Do you need players to help build your dream creation? Or do you just want somewhere to duke it out, like some Hunger Games-esque setting? This would be your first step to creating a Minecraft server, but as for what comes after, the old cliché of your imagination being the only limitation really does stand firm.
Funnily enough, the Minecraft lore is set to expand even more in the near future, as the game will receive its own marketplace and cryptocurrency (called Minecraft Coin) – it really is becoming a digital world to inhabit. Perhaps what’s most interesting about the continuous rise of Minecraft is that its creator, Markus Persson, might have made a very pretty penny after selling the company to Microsoft in 2014 for $2.5 billion, but is actually incredibly unhappy despite his wealth, something which he confessed on Twitter in 2015:
“The problem with getting everything is you run out of reasons to keep trying. Human interaction becomes impossible due to imbalance. Hanging out in Ibiza with a bunch of friends and partying with famous people, able to do whatever I want, and I’ve never felt more isolated. In Sweden, I will sit around and wait for my friends with jobs and families to have time…When we sold the company, the biggest effort went into making sure the employees got taken care of, and they all hate me now.”
So while Persson might lament selling his game to Microsoft somewhat (it’s probably okay being a billionaire some days), Minecraft seems to be flourishing without him, as well over 100 million users play the game and there are no signs of slowing down. Several sandbox games, including Lego Worlds and the upcoming Creativerse will try to take the throne held by Minecraft, but I’d like to see them try. It seems the future isn’t smooth and shiny like some sci-fi films will have us believe, but ultimately, blocky and pixelated.