Creativity is essential when designing a video game. The originality of gameplay elements always plays a big role in the game’s success. When a game allows for the player to create the originality on their own, that’s a different thing entirely. Enter Minecraft, an indie video game created by Markus “Notch” Persson.
At first glance, the indie sandbox game Minecraft looks very primitive, but it is actually a complex game with a humongous following on the internet with several player-run servers, imaginative creations, and YouTube videos aplenty, thus allowing it to be classified as a meme. (It’s worth noting that I could write a review of this game, but its popularity and the fact that I have never played it make it more fitting to meme status.)
The first version of Minecraft was released to the public on May 17, 2009, and was mainly a creative multiplayer mode for its players to create whatever they pleased. Since then, the game has advanced with enemies, health meters, crafting, and a non-infinite amount of blocks to build with at the player’s disposal. It has had extremely positive reviews from critics and has even landed a spot at the “The Art of Video Games” exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
The many enemies of Minecraft include murderous zombies, thieving Endermen, ghostly Ghasts, and most notably: Creepers. (There are tons more, but let’s stick to the point.) Creepers are infamous creatures known for exploding. You heard me. They sneak up behind the player, hiss, and go boom. Aren’t you glad they don’t actually exist? Countless Minecraft players have witnessed their creations go up in smoke thanks to the green demons. Their destructive power and iconic status in the game have led to the creation of T-shirts, scarves, wallets, and other merchandise, official or fanmade. To be honest, I discovered what a Creeper was before I discovered what Minecraft was. Strange.
But why Minecraft? What sociological explanation is there as to why this game is so beloved on the Internet? The answer is quite obvious. Our Earth is 12,700 kilometers in area. Notch’s world spans almost five times that much at a whopping 64,000 square kilometers! There are an estimated 130 quadrillion blocks in the Minecraft world, too, and you control all of them. Essentially, Minecraft allows players to create whatever they want in a seemingly infinite environment. And some of them do a pretty good job! Check out some Minecraft block artwork below! (Gaming-themed, of course.)