I felt like an old man when my nephew showed me the amazing worlds he built in Creative mode of Minecraft. The danger of Survival mode finally hooked me on the game this week.
I pulled a few ill-advised all-nighters and messed up my sleep habits trying to build a nice home in the side of a mountain while fending off the various archers, zombies, and spiders who came out to kill me each night. Fear of the unknown is a powerful thing and until I learned how to subdue my enemies I spent several nights cowering inside a glorified pit while listening to creepy moaning and slithering sounds just beyond the mud walls I hastily assembled around me. And occasionally rebuilding everything after creepers reduced my handiwork to rubble and gaping craters. Good times. It’s one of those games where you discover how to play and learn from your mistakes as you go. One of these days I’ll actually read a tutorial.
I’ve been playing the limited yet fun Pocket Edition on my iPad while struggling to get the full version of Minecraft working in any form on OS X. The culprit may be an outdated version of some Java game library that is still inexplicably included in the game.
Truth be told, the thing that finally hooked me on Minecraft was this series of charming and hilarious videos by two now famous British guys, Simon and Lewis at Yogscast. They’ve apparently uploaded hundreds of them since then. I’m slowly working my way through the first series that began with “Episode 1: How to Survive Your First Night in Minecraft.” There are even some good animated versions of the videos if you’d rather just watch the highlights.