Monday, November 17, 2014

Minecraft, what's the point?

"The world is but a canvas to our imagination"
Henry David Thoreau

"There is no purpose for playing Minecraft!" is something I hear all the time. I get asked all the time why I play a game that has absolutely no end point. To be honest, it really doesn't have a point. You are given nothing to start with and there is no quest or enemy to defeat. So what is it about this game that keeps people coming back? 

A lot of people might see this as a stretch but to me, it's art. It's a blank canvas where you can create anything and everything that you want. You can have another life and just escape to a place where you are the master of your destiny. All it takes is a quick look on YouTube to see the amazing things that people have done on this game. Not to mention, there are tons and tons of mods and game modes. Vanilla Minecraft is the game most people recognize, but there are also things like Vox and Tekkit that offer a lot more craftable items. 

What's really amazing about this game though isn't what one person does but what a lot of people do together. For those of you who follow the Vlogbrothers on YouTube you will know about Nerdcrafteria. Nerdcrafteria has become one of the largest Minecraft communities and it's full of creativity and originality. These people who had nothing in common but a respect for Hank and John Green joined together and created something beautiful. So even when most people are fighting in the real world, there are people making incredible things together in this game. I even saw a video where a bunch of people crafted the Starship Enterprise. Not just the outside, no, the entire thing to scale inside and out. The detail was incredible and it probably took them months if not years to do. That's just another thing that Minecraft is. It's a place where people who do not know each other can come together and be one. 

Imagine if that found its way outside of the game. Imagine a bunch of kids from the newest generation using Minecraft as a basis for their understanding of each other. They would sit behind their computer screens and see the marvelous things that can be done when everyone works together. The greatest part about it is that never, not once does anyone ask what race or gender you are. Eventually, once they have grown up their world view would be just the same and they would seek to do incredible things that humanity can marvel at! These kids could re-vamp our roads and bridges. They could solve our climate issues. They could engineer structures to the same level as the pyramids or the Great Wall of China to help push the human race forward. 

So what is Minecraft? It is what we should be. It is how we should see the world. A blank canvas ready to be dotted with the amazing things that we as a collective society can do together. See ya tomorrow ~JM

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

"Call me Ishmael"

"History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing
into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside."
John F. Kennedy

Regardless of where you were born, what way of thinking you subscribe to, or what your views on Nihilism are most of us desire to be remembered. Some of us see having great wealth or a great industry as a way to be remembered. Still, others see power as the way to ensure your name will be on every history exam. I've never had my checking account top a few hundred dollars and I can't even get my cats to stop tearing apart our Christmas presents. So for me, the best way I can figure to leave at least a footnote of a footnote on the pages of history is to write. What will be in this blog? Everything. My fascination with history is sure to play out at some point and maybe even a few guest posts from some internet friends. Who knows, maybe someday I'll rub elbows with a famous person and they'll stop by for a Q and A. So just a few examples of content would be religious discussions, trivia about history or a great movie or book, my advice on life situations (that one will be decidedly short), and, for those of you more stimulated by pictures than words, a few cute cat pictures or frames from any awesome vacation I take. So if you dare to trudge on and are brave enough to continue I guess all I can say is  "Make it so" "May the odds be ever in your favor" "May the Force be with you" "Live long and prosper" and any other awesome send off you can think of. See you tomorrow ~ JM