Welcome to the next post in my year-long series “Play or Pass” that takes on the proverbial “must before death” theme with video games. Every other week I will be covering one or two games from “32 Video Games You Have To Play Before You Die,” a list compiled by BuzzFeed based on a reader poll. I will not be critiquing the list itself, but rather I’ll be discussing each game or games in whatever manner feels fitting and will attempt to answer a couple simple questions: Have I played [insert game name here]? If yes, do I consider it a “must” and why? If no, do I want to play the game before I die? I’ll be going through the games in the order in which they appear on the BuzzFeed list. Good? Good. Let’s get on with the games!
Week nine: (12) Minecraft
I am legitimately not sure what to say about Minecraft. Sure, I know some things about it, like:
- It exists.
- It’s extremely popular.
- It’s a procedurally generated game.
- You can’t click in any direction on YouTube without seeing a Minecraft video.
- Young people play it and can’t stop playing it.
- Old people play it and can’t stop playing it.
- Some people play only Minecraft.
I also know:
- Minecraft can function as a gateway into gaming.
- Minecraft has been used as an educational tool and, likely, a corporate one as well.
- Minecraft is a lifestyle, for some.
- Minecraft has evolved into a pop culture phenomenon, and it shows no signs of stopping.
- Minecraft, is some form, will probably always be from now into the future.
One of the purposes of my “Play or Pass” series is solely personal, as I take a hard look at a teensy sliver of notable games and ask myself if they truly are important enough for me to play at some point during the rest of my lifetime. And, by extension, ask if those that I’ve not played are worth my time. When it comes to Minecraft, I just don’t know if it is.
Believe it or not, I actually played…err, tried to play Minecraft a few years ago on my then-brand new Kindle Fire. I think I kept it – Minecraft: Pocket Edition – for around a month before deciding it just wasn’t for me. (During that month I don’t think I played it more than a half-dozen times.) Maybe it was the interface. Maybe I just didn’t invest myself in the game enough. Maybe it was the first-person perspective. Mostly, though, I just didn’t “get” it.
At the time (this would have been…what…2012?) I didn’t understand the appeal of aimlessly exploring and building. And I really didn’t understand the phrase “procedurally generated.” (Funny that, considering my history with the genre actually goes back to Rogue: The Adventure Game. Honestly, it probably wasn’t until 2008’s Spore that I heard the phrase used in regular gaming conversations.) And I was also pretty terrible at game generally – keeping track of resources and even the act of building proved too difficult. (Like I said, maybe the tablet interface had something do with that.) I remember building myself a nice hole. Yep, that hole. It was nice.
That said, I accept and respect Minecraft as a video game. The game probably has one of the most loyal followings of any game in recent memory. Plus, it’s apparently a game for everyone. Just not me. And I hope that everyone enjoys the hell outta it.
Have I played Minecraft?
If yes, do I consider it a “must” and why?
I’m just not that compelled by it. If you are, I’d love to know why.
If no, do I want to play the game before I die?