Exercise #62: On Minecraft

LEGO Minecraft 21106 The Village

LEGO Minecraft 21106 The Village (Photo credit: TooMuchDew)

Exercise 62 Instructions

Plenty of gamers love the game of Minecraft. It’s a game of survival, but also one of creation and adventure. In it, you will make new discoveries in a new world. You will learn new things and experience new dangers as you build both your new home and your character. Interested? Let me give you a little tour.

When you start out, the first thing you need is shelter. You must find a suitable place within ten minutes and build on it because the world’s day cycle is twenty minutes long (ten minutes of daytime and ten minutes of night) and moonrise means monsters. Once you have a place, decide what you will build with. In the desert biome, all that’s available is sand, which doesn’t stick, so you might die by suffocation. In this case, I recommend you collect sand and build a pillar taller than twenty blocks. In this way, you can avoid the notice of other mobile creatures or “mobs”. This is a precarious safety, though. If one block is removed from your tower, by an Enderman for example, you will fall and take damage. There’s also the fact that some mobs (spiders), can climb. In the plains biome, there is plenty of dirt, which does stick. In this case, the best beginner home should be a large bubble of dirt. In the jungle, forest, swamp or snow biomes, however, you will find the best material possible: wood.

Your next priority after shelter is the creation of tools. The first tool you build should be a “craft table”. Craft tables require wood planks, which means you must harvest some wood. How do you do this without tools, you ask? Punch a tree. In Minecraft, you will harvest all your first resources this way. Place the logs you get in the 2×2 area in your inventory. They will be transformed into planks. One log equals four planks. Place one plank in each square of the 2×2 craft area in your inventory. The result will be a craft table. Unlike the craft area in your inventory, the craft table’s interface is 3×3 and allows for more creations.

Once you have your craft table and your shelter, you own the world. You can decide what will take the next priority. Prefer exploration or cartography? The world in which your character lives is diverse and unexplored. You can be the first to see and name its sights. Interested in architecture? Since Minecraft is a cube based world, all you need is some quadrille paper and you’ll soon have a binder filled with blueprints. Passionate about food storage and gardening? This world contains a wide variety of foodstuffs to experiment with. Like fulfilling quests and achievements? Minecraft has an achievement tree that pops up from time to time to let you know when you’ve accomplished a major milestone in the game. Some milestones can be difficult, but worth it. More interested in adventure and monsters? The world is full of monsters just waiting to take you on.

No matter what reason you’re interested in the game, the one thing you’ll need more than anything is tools. Even if you spawn near a village, your ability to buy things will be limited. Instead, you’ll make most things yourself, including your tools. Basic tools are the axe, the pickaxe, the shovel, the hoe, and the sword. Each tool’s use is self-explanatory. However, graduation to stronger materials means the tools work both faster and better. From wood, you’ll move to stone, then iron or gold, and, finally, if you find three or more, diamond. If you aren’t playing the game on the “peaceful” setting, you’ll also want to use these materials, except wood and stone, to make armor. Cheaper armor can be made with leather.

Yes, hostiles aren’t the only mobs that exist in Minecraft. Peaceful mobs include cattle, pigs, sheep, horses and chickens, though more can be added with modification programs, or “mods.” Each of these mobs is useful for something. From cows you get milk, beef and leather. From pigs you get pork. From sheep there is wool. From chickens there are eggs, feathers and, of course, chicken. Horses are only useful for transportation more than anything else.

Along with regular contraptions, you can also build electrical gizmos. You do this through the use of “redstone,” a mine-able powder. Redstone lets you create the electrical power needed for powered gadgets, such as levers, pressure plates or even lights. With this ability, you can do things as complicated as build a trapped labyrinth or as simple as make a door open whenever you approach it.

There are also other worlds you can visit. The first of these will be the Nether. The Nether is completely underground. Everything burns there and there are plenty of dangerous monsters, many of which, like the Blaze, you must slay for item drops. Where water is common in the regular world, in the Nether, the common liquid is lava. In the Nether, water doesn’t exist, so, when you catch fire, the best way to quench it is soul sand.

The final other world you’ll visit is called the End. In order to reach it, you must kill Endermen and take their eyes. When these have been activated, they can lead you to a special temple which contains a portal to the End, where the Endermen are from and, more importantly, the Enderdragon. There is only one way out of the End. You must slay the Enderdragon. This mob is the only one of its kind in the game. Slain, it leaves a large fountain on which sits its egg. For the time being, the egg has no purpose save as a trophy of your victory over the Enderdragon. The fountain is your exit from the End. There’s more to it than that, but I don’t want to spoil it for you. However, Mojang Games is always updating this game. Who knows what wonderful things will be added next?

I have Princess to thank for my decision to write about Minecraft, of all things.  The assignment was to write about something fast-paced and, as I was attempting to decide what to write about, Princess insisted that Minecraft was fast-paced enough for this if I handled it right.  What do you think?  Did I?


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