Some Thoughts About Minecraft

2015-01-16

Minecraft is an interesting phenomenon. It’s an incredibly popular game, but different people respond very differently to it. There are many people who will see someone playing it, or maybe just a picture, and don’t see anything but a bunch of cubes that don’t really resemble anything. For others, however, Minecraft presents an endless world, filled with randomly generated beauty.

Somehow, while there isn’t really a purpose to it all, Minecraft manages to make players feel like there is. There’s always something bigger to build, something more to explore. Right around the corner is another cave filled with treasure and monsters, and when you’re bored of that for a bit there are large amounts of others uploading their adventures, their stories, their buildings to YouTube.

About a year ago I filled out the Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology1. It classifies you into one of four categories based on your gaming preferences. The four categories are Achievers, Explorers, Socializers and Killers. Different games attract different people, but most games cater more strongly to certain types of players.

Minecraft, I think, is a game that offers something to all of those different types of gamers right from the get-go.

  • Achievers land in a world with goals. The first step is to survive, then come the Ender Dragon and the Wither. After a while the Achiever will realize the Ender Dragon is really just an excuse to show credits and the Wither isn’t really hard to kill either, but then there is always the never-ending challenge to build bigger and better things.

  • Explorers arrive in an endless land where there is always more to explore. Every world is unique, every chunk unexplored. Then, when they have seen pretty much every type of land there is to see, built everything they want to build, there is the world of redstone, yet another thing with endless possibilities. It allows you to automate things, from simple door mechanisms to entire computers, and the road from a simple mechanism to the most complex computer is long.

  • Socializers will probably jump straight into multiplayer, where there is a server for pretty much everything you could possibly want. I personally don’t know of any servers that put the focus on the social aspect, but they probably exist. Even without that specific focus, there are many different communities where there will always be someone willing to talk, somebody who could use a hand with something they’re working on.

  • Killers, finally, will also jump into the world of multiplayer Minecraft, but their targets will be different. They will mostly enjoy playing on servers with a strong focus on PvP, though some would prefer griefing on servers with people who are really just trying to have fun without the destruction.

What sets Minecraft apart is that there is always more. There will always be more to explore, more to build, more to experience. There will always be more players to meet, more players to kill. It’s a world of endless possibilities, and I like that.


  1. The result was that I’m mostly an Explorer, then an Achiever, then a Socializer and then a Killer.


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