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October 2, 2013 / milesandhisfavorites

Four Reasons Why Minecraft Is Secretly Horrifying

I do enjoy Minecraft.  Its emphasis on resource management, open-ended word, and ample opportunities for trade and conflict, plus fun art style, all add up to the kind of game I could dive into with a few friends and come out a different person.  But there are some real terrifying implications, and no, I’m not talking about the Lovecraftian horrors of the Nether.

  1. Nobody cares whether you live or die.  Unless you’re playing with friends, you’re wandering through Minecraft’s expansive world alone.  However, there are other people technically with you who also have built civilization-the villagers.  While NPC villages aren’t the most common things in the world, there’s a very good chance of running into one, and they are something resembling paradise.  They vary in size from single-house hamlets to sprawling settlements with well-equipped smithies, wells, roads, and best of all, irrigated wheat fields.  But here’s the scary bit-they don’t care.  Even if you repeatedly hit them, or shoot them with arrows, or crush their skulls in with a diamond hoe, they won’t react.  They might walk away, but they won’t retaliate or make any noise, and neither will anyone around you.  If you walk into an NPC village, you are effectively walking into brainwashed sheep-land.  Which is the worst kind of land.
  2. Everything is broken.  Picture this-you’ve just begun playing a new game.  Your first task-acquire wood for planks, and sticks, and the necessities everyone knows at this point.  But what shall you get those things with?  Your hands, of course.  But wait, wouldn’t your hands kind of be, I don’t know, nonexistent mashes of flesh, bone, and bloody pulp after gathering a single block of wood?  Exactly.  Although Minecraft’s 8-bit graphics won’t show it, you are presumably always in pain, gushing blood and screaming out for a Creeper to end it all.  Pretty soon, axes and shovels will make it all unnecessary, but you can’t regrow hands.  Actually, that explains the lack of fingers.
  3. Your friends are probably all dead.  Other than Creepers, one of Minecraft’s most famous mobs is the zombie.  These guys, unlike the Creepers, only come out at night (or in dark spaces, like certain parts of my bedroom).  However, think about it.  What is a zombie?  A walking corpse.  For there to be zombies, you have to have dead people.  And for you to have the amount of zombies you can usually find at night on any given Minecraft server, you have to have a LOT of dead people.  And where do these dead people come from?  Not the sheep people that are the villagers.  No, it’s far more likely, especially since these zombies are in your area, that the beasts you are forced to slay are in fact your resurrected comrades, or at least people you knew.  So there’s a 50/50 chance that you’re either killing your best buddy, or that annoying twelve-year-old who just WON’T STOP BLASTING ONE DIRECTION.  GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.  But the most terrifying bit about Minecraft’s world is most definitely…
  4. Your life is an endless series of nothing.  What do you do in Minecraft?  Well, of course, you can journey to the Nether and The End and fight monsters, but to do that, you either need to be really good at punching and not getting hit back, or you need armor, tools, and weapons, which aren’t free.  You have to endlessly toil away in underground caverns to get good supplies.  And you have to enchant them if you want them to be the best they can be.  And you can’t go into those caverns on an empty stomach, or else you can’t regenerate health and wind up either dead or crawling back to the surface, almost dead, wishing you had eaten breakfast.  And those weapons, tools, and armor degenerate over time, so you have to repeat the cycle over and over again, hoping that you find enough resources.  If not, too bad, you’re doomed to a Mesopotamia-like existence of primitive housing and sustenance farming.

That’s not to say I don’t like Minecraft.  Heck, having to farm and settle your own land is one of my favorite parts of the game.  But if you say that Minecraft is the kind of world you’d want to live in, you should really think about the implications there.  Because if you lived in the land of Minecraft, you’d suffer enduring pain for little benefit.  It’s real life, only without the Internet, air conditioning, and law.  Unless you’re playing on the most awesome server ever.  Someone ought to do a sociology experiment where we get like thirty people, have them play Minecraft all together, on the same server, and see what happens.  I guarantee you, SOMEONE is going to get himself an eyepatch and an army.

In 8-bit.

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