When I visited Jordan at his home in New Jersey, he sat in his family’s living room at dusk, lit by a glowing iMac screen, and mused on Minecraft’s appeal. “It’s like the earth, the world, and you’re the creator of it,” he said. On-screen, he steered us over to the entrance to the maze, and I peered in at the contraptions chugging away. “My art teacher always says, ‘No games are creative, except for the people who create them.’ But she said, ‘The only exception that I have for that is Minecraft.'” He floated over to the maze’s exit, where he had posted a sign for the survivors: The journey matters more than what you get in the end.
Minecraft is the digital age’s Lego.
I think back to the early ASCII BBS games I played, the primary appeal (for me) was creativity. You didn’t play them for the eye candy, their creativity is what made them addictive. You went about build up your territories by modifying the environment, collecting objects, interacting with others, forming teams, etc. In those days you had to use your imagination a lot more, but just because these games are graphically obsolete doesn’t mean they weren’t creative, at least in my opinion.
Although I never had much appeal for minecraft, I will give minecraft credit for being very accessible to modern audiences. It seems to have a lot of commonalty with second life, which was also extremely popular back in the day. I wonder where the baton will go after minecraft?