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Showing posts from November, 2011

Minecraft as a Modern fantasy - great fun and deeply problematic?

A specter is haunting the internets - the specter of Minecraft. If you have not yet encountered it, chances are it will be near you soon. Minecraft is a so-called indie game that has made it big, with 4 million purchases so far (and counting), even though the game is still in beta. On YouTube, fan-made Minecraft videos such as this one easily attract hundreds of thousands of viewers.

How come this success? Minecraft certainly does not impress with spectacular graphics nor sophisticated narratives. Basically, Minecraft is about mining. After a tiny Java-program is installed on your desktop, it generates a vast 3D world, complete with oceans, continents, weather above and caves below. As a player you are then free to explore and exploit this world after your liking - typically through mining of various ores and crafting of items (hence the name of the game). The only stress factor is that during nighttime, monsters spawn out of dark spots on the map, which in effect is anywhere that you…