Minecraft: More Than Just A Game?

While reading the New York Times article titled Portrait of an Artist as an Avatar, the idea of a video game as an art form brought me to think about a game that has been increasingly popular since its creation: Minecraft.

Minecraft, as defined by the official Minecraft Wiki, is “a sandbox construction game, inspired by InfiniminerDwarf Fortress and Dungeon Keeper, created by Markus Persson, the founder of Mojang AB. The game involves players creating and destroying various types of blocks in a three-dimensional environment. The player takes on an avatar that can destroy or create blocks, forming fantastic structures, creations, and artwork, on multiplayer servers and singleplayer worlds across multiple game modes”.

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This is my avatar. I do not have the luck to play the game on my laptop, but the game itself provides  a simple escape. It allows you to enter a world where you can create anything. It allows for you to build a home, battle monsters, and even fly through the pixelated skies. It allows for one to forget about the world where they have deadlines, papers, and other stressors and just escape. The goal of the game is simple. Survive and/or create. There is nothing more simple than that. No complicated goals or missions, just an open world full of possibilities that are seemingly endless. In fact, on the version for the PC it is entirely possibly to have an endless world.This makes all aspects new and exciting but it also opens up the game for users who want to do more than just play. They want to create.

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Some are very hesitant to accept video games as an art form but just like Second Life, Minecraft can be used to create extraordinary works or recreations that can be shared for free across the internet. In the past it would have taken countless hours and probably hundreds or even thousands of pieces of physical materials to construct something as spectacular that this structure. However, it does not just end there.

This is just another example of how users of Minecraft have taken advantage of the ability to mold and shape anything they desire into this digital medium. I am not saying that Minecraft could ever replace the current forms of art but the fact that a video game can give you the ability to create a simple calculator using only blocks of material is something that was unheard of. Overall, Minecraft may just be a game but it has the potential to become something more. It offers simply devices to produce amazing scenes and if it is utilized correctly it could easily become a technology that is adapted into the real world.

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One thought on “Minecraft: More Than Just A Game?

  1. I’ve heard many mentions of Minecraft these past years, though I have never played it. Regarding your post, I really see no reason why anyone would argue that video-games aren’t an art form. Many video-game companies hire artists to create character designs, various settings, etc. Then the designs of the characters, settings, and what have you, are converted into 3-D models and the like. Anyway, I’ve seen examples of what kinds of elaborate and monumental things Minecraft users can create. The possibilities are only limited to their own minds. I think I agree with you that if this kind of technology can also be made compatible with a real world application, it would be incredibly beneficial for the world.

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