You’ve probably heard of Minecraft. It’s one of the most famous games of this generation for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that it’s so user friendly. Virtually anyone can sit down and enjoy it with no prior knowledge. Even if you don’t know how to make a pickaxe or build a house, you can still run around and have fun exploring. Heck, a five year old can enjoy this game.
Another huge reason why this game is so popular is because there’s so many ways to play it that it simultaneously fills the need of several different gaming communities. If you want to play a game for the creative, building purposes, great! Build whatever your heart desires. If you want to join a server of warring factions, that’s cool, just be careful that the people you’re playing with aren’t jerks. If you want to role-play, Minecraft is great for that! There’s several servers with full cities and stories that people have constructed from scratch. If you’re an aspiring game designer that wants to explore the fundamentals of texturing or adding mods to videogames, what better foundation than a game that is literally a giant three dimensional grid of blocks?
This game is huge because it is what I would call the “gateway drug” to the gaming community. There’s so many diverse cultures and variants in this game that its impact on the entire gaming world is incalculable. Are there better games that allow you to beat other people up in real time? Of course, this game wasn’t designed with a “player vs. player” concept in mind. Are there better games that let you role-play with people around you? Sure. I wouldn’t play Minecraft for the role-play because I personally can’t immerse myself in such a physically blocky world.
This game isn’t “the best” at really anything. Any specific part of the game is done better in some other game. But the majesty in this game is the fact that it weaves together so many things at once that it can please anyone. Of course it will have flaws, and they will all depend on the way that you’re playing it. For example, there’s no “instruction manual” for all the things you can and can’t do, you pretty much have to use a wiki if you want to know how to make X block or how to acquire Y item. If you want to build massive cities, it’s going to take an incredible amount of time. Even large scale stuff is often built one block at a time because using modded commands that allow you to conjure basic shapes or shift specific blocks around can only help so much. As with pretty much any online game you play, the community of people you play it with can be terrible and mean, but that too can vary, depending on how you choose to play the game.
Since this game performs really well for every audience, and the game itself is so easy to access even if you only have a laptop (or, heck, a smartphone), that its no wonder its so popular. what’s more, the game is constantly being updated and there’s so much to explore, that playing it once every several months will guarantee it being a very different experience from the last time you played.