To most people I know it is no great surprise that Minecraft has become one of those things that takes up a lot of time in my life. As a crafter, and most importantly a beader, small things being put together to make bigger more interesting things appeals to my creative side.
I wanted to play the game, but always thought of it as for youngsters, what could I get out of running around stacking blocks? But then I started to see the elaborate and wonderful constructions my friends were creating on a local server and were they were talking about it… a lot.
It seemed social and did not need that much attention. Why not give it a shot? First thing I found out was I could play and listen to audio-books or podcasts, I could combine video games and listening to audio stories, two of my favorite things. Secondly it was social without the mass fights and intensity, so it was a good game after a busy day at work, when I didn’t really feel like concentrating on a raid (I used to work retail, it peoples you out no matter how extroverted you are). I could chill, build and chat, easy.
After a while, I started to find Minecraft relaxing. It was a good way to switch off and I could just build and dig. You could farm iron by building the most simple of machines, using water and lava. Then I discovered redstone, a coding system to make simple machine, suddenly I could make things that did things. Chickens were cooked instantly in lava, sorting systems sent diamonds off into the correct chests and launchers could be created to send a thousand fireworks into the air.
I am on a vanilla (non-modded) server for New Zealand players with in the LARP community, suddenly I was speaking to some of my friends more, friendly chats over discord, laughing and silliness. It is a very friendly server, one where people help each other out, get excited by what other people build and can just talk about regular day-to-day things. It was a great way to relax.
Now I am very settled on Moria, the joint server, I have built a huge palace with ornate Greek key style walls, I have contributed by adding an XP farm to the end and I have built a massive guardian farm in the middle of the ocean. I think I can say I am truly hooked. Now my evenings are spent chatting with people on discord, catching up and making silly jokes all whilst building and creating fun and interesting things.
I am never a person to do anything by halves with a hobby, when I start to enjoy something I absorb everything I can about it. I discovered the joy of watching YouTubers play games and through this, and conversations with friends, I learned more about Mods. It was not long before I convinced my other-half that we needed to play one of the most modded of all the mods, Sky Factory 3, with this one you build elaborate computers, follow the path of blood magic, breed plants, and oh so much more, a game for obsessives.
There have been some suggestions made that we should YouTube the events, as there is so much banter and laughing and people love the builds on this server. So we started to film, more for practice than for show and it is fun, I can see why people start to do it. I am not talking for fame or fortune, but the idea of bringing others into something you enjoy, sharing it with them and bringing them into the fold is a good feeling.
It was not long before suggestions of Twitch started to happen. Which meant an evening playing around with settings and accounts, let’s just say that for now it is not going well, but I would like to stream at some point. I have no idea what is going to happen when I start on this, but I am sure it will be amusing.
Maybe one day there will be a Minecraft video uploaded onto my channel, but for now it is just for us, I will happily spend my days digging through tunnels, searching the jungle for cats, working out how to build a giant snowflake and gossiping with my friends. Who would have thought something so simple could have helped me relax so much.