Minecraft is a video game created by indie game programmer Markus Persson (also known as “Notch”). The game has been in development since May 10, 2009, and was officially released November 18th, 2011. The game is an open world building game in which players forage for three dimensional blocks of resources to create items and structures. Minecraft was developed by Mojang, a company founded by Markus.
Markus Persson, who uses the name Notch online, first got the inspiration to create Minecraft after playing a game called Infiniminer, a similar block-based building game in which players compete to earn points by digging for precious metals and returning them to the surface before the other players. He found this game to be limiting in creativity and variation of blocks. Notch also stated that he was influenced by the game Dwarf Fortress. Minecraft was intended to be similar to Infiniminer, with gameplay like Dwarf Fortress. Notch began working on the game on May 10, 2009. His first introduction of the game was on May 17, 2009, when he posted it to an internet gaming forum. By 2010, Minecraft became PC Gamer UK’s Game of the Year, Indie of the Year Player’s Choice Award, and garnered thousands of fans.
On November 18th, 2011, the official version of Minecraft was released by the company Mojang, at the convention Minecon.
Game Creatures and Biomes
There are several in-game creatures that can be found in the game generated world. Many are aggressive and will attack the player at sight. Some entities are docile and will not attack the player, regardless of whether or not the player attacks. The generic term used to refer to these NPCs is “mob.” These creatures have spawn points throughout the world. Some creatures, such as the zombie, spawn only at night.
|Hostile creatures||Docile creatures|
The landscape in the game is made of 3D blocks generated as the player progresses through the world. Many areas recreate real-world environments. These areas are referred to as biomes. Players encounter these areas by exploring the world. Each area is randomly generated as the player advances through the world.
|Randomly Generated Biomes|
Minecraft garnered great success prior to its official release. By this release, the event Minecon had already been created, and used as the platform for which to release the official version of the game. Minecon is a convention held by Mojang to celebrate the game Minecraft. The first Minecon was held in Washington State in 2010, and was merely a gathering of Notch and some of the game's supporters. Since its official release, the game has sold over 8 million copies on the PC alone.
Minecraft gained more popularity in 2012 when the game crossed platforms to the XBOX 360. The game was released for XBOX 360 on May 9th, 2012. The game has been critically acclaimed as it has been awarded several awards and even going so far to be cited as one of the greatest video games of all time. There have been many uses of Minecraft in almost any other media you can think of. Toys from the game have been mass produced and sold by retailers wolrdwide. Minecraft-themed birthday parties have also seen fruition thanks to the games popularity with its young audience. There are many type of videos on YouTube associated with Minecraft such as walkthroughs and tutorials where people show you things that they have made in their Minecraft world. Additionally, the game has made several novels about its game. The first was written by Max Brooks in 2017. The most recent Minecraft book that was written was created by author Catherynne Valente in 2019. Most notably, Minecraft has its own fan convention dubbed Minion where hundreds of Minecraft fanatics can buy merchandise and even play game modes not available to the general public. The very first Minecon was hosted in November of 2011 at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Minecraft's popularity has helped create a new genre of games centered around building in a manner very similar to Minecraft's. Examples of this genre include Brickforce and Ace of Spades.
With the creativity Minecraft allows, players take pride in building elaborate, time-intensive structures. Some players build giant “Mega-objects,” or objects that are or are replicas of extremely large structures. A 1:1 scale replica of Star Trek’s Starship Enterprise or a replica of the famous ship, the Titanic are just a few of many examples.
Many Minecraft fans expand throughout the entire world, and create whole towns, village, and cities. In particular, a Lord of the Rings server has been created, which aims to replicate the entire kingdom of Middle Earth from J.R.R. Tolkein’s famous series of books, The Lord of the Rings. The server is intended for users to role play in the settings Tolkein created.
On August 5, 2011, Minecraft developer Notch announced via his Tumblr that the company behind the game series "The Elder Scrolls", Bethesda, had filed against him to challenge his application for a trademark on the title "Scrolls". Notch had originally registered a trademark for both "Minecraft" and "Scrolls", the latter being the working title of a future game, at his lawyer's urgings but Bethesda claimed that the "Scrolls" trademark conflicted with their existing "The Elder Scrolls" trademark. Notch contacted Bethesda's lawyers and offered both to change the title of the trademark and to drop the trademark entirely, but the firm refused both offers. Additionally, Notch offered to settle the legal battle via a game of Quake 3, pledging to honor the outcome. In the end, Notch and Bethesda settled and Notch surrendered the "Scrolls" trademark, but was allowed to keep the game's name the same as long as he did not develop an Elder Scrolls competitor.
While Minecraft has received generally positive reviews, some have questioned certain aspects of the game that are believed to raise ethical concerns. The use of an avatar with interchangeable skins within the game creates a separate identity for the player. As with other online games, this could lead to acts that are out of character for the player, or morally ambiguous acts that harm the other players.
Allowing others to join a server introduces the risk that the anonymous player could destroy the work that the original user created, called "griefing". Some players have taken steps to prevent this. Primarily, some servers ask that their users abide by a code of conduct. An example code of conduct is as follows:
1. You will not touch other peoples work most notably their structures and transport lines. 2. You will not steal peoples collected resources from their chests or furnaces. 3. If you damage something of somebody's, then quickly repair it to how it was before. 4. Listen to other people if you are in an area that they have claimed first (something they have built and the surrounding area (50 block radius))
Other forms of control involve server modifications, many of which allow the administrators of the server to moderate what's done by those who use the server. The most powerful of these can allow server administrators to roll-back the actions of players defacing other players' works. This practice of destroying other players' creations is referred to as griefing, and is intended to upset other players. Through these various means of control and social contract, those wishing to act up are often well-controlled.
Other players, in an attempt to gain as much of a resource as possible, create factories devoted to destroying item-dropping creatures for their loot. Generally, creature spawn points are used, where the creature is automatically killed by catching on fire, drowning, or another method. This use of animals can be construed as violent and torturous for the animals involved. In addition, it may be considered a form of cheating, since it allows for collection of resources in an incredibly quick fashion.