Minecraft is a game that is familiar even to most casual gamers. It has become iconic not only in the gaming world, but also in pop culture. Walk into any Hot Topic and you’ll see shirts with Creepers, replica torches, plush toys, you name it. It is a game that is as simplistic as it is expansive, appealing to nearly any age. Minecraft can be played on the PC, Xbox 360, android phones, and now Playstation 3, with future releases planned on the Playstation 4 and PS Vita.
The main premise of Minecraft is to mine, build, and survive. The player must start from scratch, creating tools, armor, and weapons out of different materials they mine. They may start with only wooden tools, but as they progress and find different building materials, they can construct more effective tools and mechanisms to further expand their world. Minecraft is made up of pixelated blocks that garnered scrutiny from some, but it works out well. Placing and destroying blocks is the only way to build up (or take down) your world in this game. There are dangers about – zombies roam at night and in dark areas, but thankfully burn in the sun. Bow and arrow wielding skeletons are also vulnerable to sunlight, but both skeletons and zombies can survive in the sun if they happen to be treading water. The most iconic enemy without a doubt is the creeper. Making only a hissing sound, these creatures with sneak up on unsuspecting players and detonate, destroying the surrounding area and anyone else who happens to be too close.
Minecraft also offers a creative mode, in which players are given most of the materials available in the game and the freedom to build as they please without having to mine for their building materials or having to create tools. This has led to many impressive creations. Players have created magnificent structures, and even replicas of real and fantasy worlds. Recently an exact replica of Hyrule from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was made. Others are working on creating a map of Westeros, the land in the Game of Thrones series. Game franchises such as Mass Effect have also gotten into the Minecraft craze, creating skins of their series characters and exclusive building materials to allow players to create scenes from their games.
To date, Minecraft has sold over 30 million copies, and the numbers are only expected to rise as it extends across the Playstation consoles. Some still ask why a game that seemingly has no direct goals has become so popular. Perhaps it’s because the game becomes what the player wishes it to be. It is freedom, and it is creativity. The soundtrack also proves to be relaxing. Minecraft has also been described as “digital Legos.” For all of these reasons, Minecraft is here to stay, and it is only picking up in speed as it continues to take hold of more consoles.