Tuesday, July 30, 2013

So, what is Minecraft?

                Minecraft is an immense open world game where players explore and mine a purposefully pixelated environment to build structures, fight monsters, and craft tools. It is highly addicting and immensely entertaining with a surprising amount of creativity. Minecraft is rated for Everyone 10 and older for Fantasy Violence.

                Let’s discuss the Violence. This game has absolutely no blood or gore and the violence level is quite tame. Players can make weapons such as swords and bows to kill each other or animals such as cows, wolves, and chickens. The game is not particularly violent however. In fact, it’s one game I actually recommend parents buy their kids. The player starts in the middle of a randomly generated world with nothing in their inventory and no instructions.

                The player is forced to figure out how to survive the nights against hostile creatures. Blocky Zombies, Skeletons, and Spiders come out at night and attack the player. By mining for supplies and building materials the player can build shelters and tools. With literally no direction on what kind of safe-house to build, kids are forced to be creative and as they play they’ll figure out how to make structures more functional and even start to impress you with what they can build. 

                The game also offers a Creative mode. Where the player is given unlimited resources and cannot die. This mode allows the player to create huge, elaborate structures without danger. One could relate this with playing with Legos or blocks but on an immense scale. You can even turn off the monsters completely and let very, very young kids play.

                Another thing I should mention is the variety of platforms Minecraft is available on such as the Pocket Edition, available for tablets such as the iPad or Kindle device. Simple and portable, this is the smallest version with few features, Wi-Fi only multiplayer, and small worlds. It is also available for the Xbox 360 Edition, boasting bigger worlds, more items, voice chat, and the ability to play with friends either split screen or over Xbox Live. And lastly the PC Version, the original release with almost endlessly large worlds, tons of items, possible modifications, and epicly large multiplayer worlds.

                The only real dangers of Minecraft come from playing online and the language you might hear from other gamers. In the Xbox 360 version, players can speak with one another via voice chat, though they have to already be Xbox Live friends or friends of friends to join the player’s game.

                In the PC version, there is no voice chat but there is in-game text chat. There is also the possibility to modify the game to allow Minecraft to play other game types. For example there are people who've created a full capture the flag game where players kill each other. Although the graphics remain the same blocky pixels and there is never blood or gore.

                Creative, fun, and quite clean, Minecraft is a great game. I would recommend this game for any Parents of Gamers.

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