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Tech Tuesday – The Underground Gaming Hit Minecraft

I like playing games, but I am fussy and finicky about the money I spend on games. I have to have already played it in some form or another, or it needs to appeal to me visually, or have a lot of word of mouth. And if there are videos of it on YouTube showing it off, then I can really check it out and get into it, if I like it. Minecraft is one of those games that hooked me.

A waterfall I built in Minecraft
Minecraft screen shot BIG RIch

Minecraft really does have some fun elements to it, and even though it’s been out for a few years now, I recently discovered that I liked it. I had heard about it from friends who played it, but it didn’t sound very appealing. I tried a free version of it and kind of half heartily gave it a try. But after jumping in with both feet, I can say I do like it a lot and it’s very fun.

There’s 2 modes to the game, one is survival. It’s you, alone in a great big world, and you need to create tools and shelter from what is around you. Like some real time strategy games like Starcraft, there is a building tree. You take raw elements and build them up to more advanced things. Like you chop down trees for wood, then turn those into wooden plans and build a workbench that then in turn helps you build more advanced tools and items. Moving up the tech tree and along the way, building a shelter and improving it to make a house or castle. But there are creatures roaming around who’s only job is to kill you. Spiders, zombies and ghouls, and these nasty things called Creepers, who blowup when they get into proximity of you. Thus destroying your hard work. But if you kill these creatures before they get you, you do get some rewards. Like bones from the zombies, and silk from the spiders. All of which you would use to create more tools to build your defenses or home up. The other mode is creative. You basically build like in the other mode, but the nasty can’t hurt you. They are more of an annoyance then anything. But the things you can build are pretty cool.

The look of minecraft is different too. Everything is a virtual 1×1 meter block of material. Dirt, stone,wood,iron and etc. Using a workbench you can fashion tools to make your labors easier. But in creative mode, it’s like a sandbox. You just build what ever you want, and you have all the materials you would need. And very addictive too. I have found myself losing time playing this, just building an idea I had to see if I could do it.

The terrain in the game is all random. There is a equation that the game uses to build the terrain based on a seed word or phrase you type in when you create a new world, but those seem to change when newer versions and updates come out. I couldn’t possibly talk about every single aspect of the game. If I tried it would be an entire wiki site, which there is one just for Minecraft to help people get into it.

But I recommend this game if you are looking for something different. It’s quite fun and challenging. But read up on a some of the basics or watch a few videos on YouTube first to get a feel for what you will see. And if you do play, let me know, I would love to see what you built.

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