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Labor Day: Labor of Lovecraft


7:00 PM on 09.13.2011
Labor Day: Labor of Lovecraft photo



[Last week, I asked you to tell me about a moment in your gaming career that really made you work hard. Today's promoted blog on that topic is from Ross, who explains all of the work he's put into Minecraft and how it almost feels like a (really fun) job. Want to see your own work on our front page? Write a blog on our current topic: Relaxation. -- JRo]

Minecraft is an amazing game. I’m sure you all know the concept: a world is generated out of blocks and you can move those blocks around. Sure, you can craft tools and work with redstone (and make infinitely creative designs within that), too - but the main feature of the game is simple enough. Minecraft takes “Easy to learn, hard to master” to another level with the crazily varying degrees of simplicity and complexity.

Minecraft is also the hardest boss I - along with hundreds of thousands of others - have ever had.

It works you like a dog, demanding all you have: endless hours of shifts (which in a real job would probably be illegal), impossibly ambitious projects (come on, all Minecraft players have thought of building a Death Star), even eating up our home-lives: restless nights laying awake thinking of those sweet, sweet, blocks; all the work that could be achieved right now. And what do you get for it all? Nothing tactile, nothing functional: just pure fun.

The game tasks you with filling several roles - each, which in normal circumstances, would require a set of dedicated set of experts for the job.

First you must design your project. Be it a quaint house, a dominating castle, or a giant phallic lighthouse - it must be planned. This may take many painstaking hours of poring over blueprints, or maybe just a vague daydream in class or “work” (“You call this work? I play Minecraft”). Whatever the method, the result will be the same. Time will be wasted and an idea will surface.

The next step is the most laborious: mining. Resources will be needed for the aforementioned project and - most likely - lots of them. And with lots of resources needed, lots of hours will needed to be sacrificed to your computer and the endless, endless mining.

Many varieties of materials will also be needed (that is, if you take your job seriously) - not all of which can be simply obtained through simply hitting blocks. You have to work for this.

Not many jobs require employees to rip a hole through the world, venture into Hell, fill up a bag with bloody, crumbling stone and leap back through the void. Nor do many jobs require an employee to mush flowers together, search miles and miles for sheep, rub said sheep with said mushed flowers and either trim them or punch them to death for their wool. All the while being chased by vicious, and often suicidal, beasts.

But you must do these things if you want to work for Minecraft.

With the donkey work out of the way, and chests filled with produce, the real work begins. The building. This is often the most frustrating part in our line of work. Sometimes things don’t quite look right and warrant being redone, other times impromptu appearances from Creepers will ruin everything (for at least ten minutes). It’s a risky business, too: builders may fall from scaffolding, lava may meet wood, TNT may be just a little too explosive.

Of course when that’s all said and done, and you're standing triumphantly in front of your project the real thing, you can take a nice easy breather … for all of five minutes. Once the creative and manual labour aspect has been finished, the job takes another twist: full-time security guard and caretaker. Yes, once the blood, sweat and tears of building the bloody thing is finished, you're obliged to babysit it; fearing all will go to waste if it’s destroyed. You must always be on hand to fix its bumps and bruises, as a parent would for their child (plasters take on a distinctly dirt block-like appearance, though).

I feel myself - and probably many others - constantly repeating this cycle in Minecraft and it never gets old. It seems like there’s so much work there, so much effort, but it’s still as fresh as when I first played it. The weirdest thing about the cycle is that Minecraft never explicitly says to do it, but so many people still follow it. It’s like we all have some innate urge to create and impress when we’re presented with a box of Lego or a sandbox. We want to fill the roles in the cycle.

I’d have never thought that a game in which all you really do is work would become so successful, and I never thought it’d be so bloody fun or so bloody addictive. I never thought I'd love every minute of it, either.

I do, though. And I’ve never worked so hard in a videogame.





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3:45 PM on 04.22.2014
Here's a sample of Minecraft's upcoming world customization options

I'm no longer an avid player of Minecraft but the world customization feature planned for update 1.8 has grabbed my attention. Here's a video demonstration to get us started. Through the use of 16 sliders (or direct value in...more



1:30 PM on 04.16.2014
Minecraft is getting a physical release on the PS3

Sony has announced that Minecraft: PlayStation 3 Edition will be getting a physical Blu-Ray release soon -- specifically on May 14th. Apparently this disc will include everything through Update 14, and of course, patches...more



4:00 PM on 03.26.2014
Minecraft title update 14 out on Xbox 360 today, PS3 tomorrow

Man. I can type "title u" into Google and "title update 14" appears. Minecraft scares me a little bit, sometimes. Console players are getting this update real soon -- it goes live today on Xbox 360 and tomorrow on PlayStation...more



6:15 PM on 03.25.2014
Oculus Rift version of Minecraft canceled because of Facebook acquisition

Markus "Notch" Persson has canceled the Oculus Rift version of Minecraft due to the just announced acquisition deal of the VR company by Facebook. Why? Because as Notch stated, "Facebook creeps me out." Hey, it's his company....more



7:30 PM on 03.19.2014
Mojang still making buttloads of money from Minecraft

Buttload. It's totally a phrase.  Mojang, the makers of the runaway hit Minecraft, doubled their net income in 2013 according to The Wall Street Journal. They made $128 million last year, and revenue wise they saw 38% fr...more



5:30 PM on 02.27.2014
Warner Bros. developing a Minecraft movie

Warner Bros. Pictures is developing a Minecraft movie according to Deadline. Notch himself confirmed the news as well. So yeah, that's happening. Warner acquired the movie rights from Mojang, and it looks like this will be a...more



8:00 AM on 02.03.2014
Minecraft surpasses 14 million copies sold on PC

Markus "Notch" Persson and Mojang are counting their millions, but that doesn't necessarily mean dollars in this instance. Well, indirectly it does. Notch revealed via Twitter recently that the PC version of Minecraft ha...more



11:00 AM on 01.27.2014
One man has been trying to reach the end of Minecraft

Unlike many other games that constantly have wacky stories coming out of them, Minecraft is one game I consistently enjoy. It's mostly because these situations are easy to replicate, and if you hear about something cool, you ...more



8:00 PM on 12.20.2013
Someone built a 3D printer inside Minecraft

When I first saw this video of a 3D printer within Minecraft, I was blown away -- but it was getting late, and I learned long ago not to publish at night. It's since come to my attention again, and I'm taking that as sign en...more



10:45 AM on 12.16.2013
The PlayStation 3 is getting Minecraft on December 17

Good news PlayStation 3 owners, you will finally be able to play Minecraft tomorrow. The PlayStation blog just announced that Minecraft will be available on the PlayStation 3 in North America on December 17. This version...more




Minecraft

1:30 PM on 04.16.2014
Minecraft is getting a physical release on the PS3

Sony has announced that Minecraft: PlayStation 3 Edition will be getting a physical Blu-Ray release soon -- specifically on May 14th. Apparently this disc will include everything through Update 14, and of course, patches...more



12:00 PM on 04.07.2014
The Simpsons' Minecraft intro isn't exactly timely

The Simpsons has finally featured a full-blown Minecraft parody for its opener and yeah, Simpsons, Minecraft is a thing millions of people enjoy. Uh huh. It's worth approximately 30 seconds of your time if you're wondering w...more



5:00 PM on 03.28.2014
Canceled Minecraft for Oculus Rift would've been free to help promote VR

I'll admit it: when I heard Markus "Notch" Persson had canceled Minecraft for Oculus Rift because Facebook acquired its creator Oculus VR and the social network company "creeps" him out, I was skeptical about how much work ha...more



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