I Don't Get It?
Over the last couple of years, people seem to be going on about a game called Minecraft. And every time people have gone on about it, I've had a nosey at the website, had a quick scroll around, seen some of the screenshots and ended up thinking "nah" and diverting my attention elsewhere.
Today or yesterday in the news, I noticed it has now won some award or accolade or another, so again I decided to have a look... And again, it's the same look as before, and while apparently it's been updated, it doesn't look that different to me.
However, I decided to run with the consideration that "eight million people couldn't be wrong*" I thought I'd sign up for an account and have a bash at a demo version.
I've never watched any videos, read anything aside news stories about it, or even watched friends play, so I was going in without any ideas of what to expect.
Within two minutes, I had grown tired of punching the crap out of things to see what would happen. I expected trees to fall down (they don't) when you removed a section of trunk. I expected... Well, actually, I didn't know what I expected.
So I carried on punching some more. "ANY minute now -" I thought to myself "- the tutorial will give me more info.
Thus far, the tutorial consisted of "These buttons to move" and "This button to jump" and nothing else. Considering this is the demo which, I assumed, was to convince those unsure whether or not to buy it, it was pretty lacking. I punched stuff, it popped, my bar across the bottom became filled with things...
I punched different coloured ground for sand, dirt, gravel... I punched sheep and pigs for wool and meat... I punched trees for different wood and bits of tree.
It got dark, I carried on punching. I saw a man, I carried on punching. The man grew, I carried on - oh... He blew up and took me with him. I scored 9 points.
There are points now?!
So I respawned, punched stuff, including a fella - I'm assuming a skeleton - until it died and dropped a bone. Another explody man came at me, but I got stuck against some leaves.
I was certain this was a build it type game, but couldn't find any way to build stuff. I had plenty of shit in my inventory, but couldn't do anything with it. All I could apparently do was punch stuff, harass sheep and pigs, and get blown up by some angry thingies. If anything, I was achieving LESS because I was digging the place apart, and Mr Blowy-Up took out the scenery with him.
I kept trying and trying, learned how to sink, drown and swim. Learned that falling from great heights is painful. Learned that once night fell, I was likely to get eaten by zombies and spiders, shot by skeletons, or blown up by Mr Blowy-Up.
Now I'm bored, fed up, and don't see the appeal. I have a quick look online, and it starts with "important stuff you need to know" like building beds, houses, pick axes... All information that might have been useful at the START of the demo.. So I start trying to work out a bed, but in the process of this, an explosive visitor pays me a visit.
What the actual f$ck?!
Now, I just don't care. I've had a shitty couple of days, I'm tired, in pain, and trying to take in this new "game" with a tutorial that might as well explain car driving as "get in car, forward is that way, back the other" and leave it at that. Yes, I'm fully aware it's a "sandbox" game, that there are no real goals, it's all user generated and so on.. But really?
Please, feel free to regale me with tales of why it's so great, show me videos of people that have spent their every waking hour making pretty castles or dungeons... People that just need some Lego, it would seem. I just cannot see the appeal.
So, in relation to the *... YES. Yes they can. Out of interest, I click the buy now button.
Eight million people have paid close to TWENTY QUID for this game. It's no wonder then, that in the interview I watched, one if the creators looked so smug...
So on your marks, get set, go! Explain what I'm missing, why it's so fun, and why should I spend twenty quid on online Lego with free explodey-men...
Because it's beyond me, it really is. I actually clicked the Buy Now button expecting a fiver. Maybe seven quid.
Excuse any typos or strange grammar - I'm writing this at 2am. On the phone, no less.