Tuesday, August 4, 2015

All I Know About Minecraft

This is all I know about Minecraft.

Minecraft is a video game.

A video game is like a board game, but there are far more people screaming about how video games ruin children's lives.  Video games are more fun for that same reason.

Minecraft has two modes: survival and creative.

Survival Mode is played like most video games.  You mine for materials and build things with them to defend yourself from mobs.  Mobs are monsters.  They're named after the Black Friday crowds at WalMart.
Spot the differences in these two pictures.  Hint: there aren't any.
Grownups like Survival Mode.  While your kid is digging in the dirt or trying to ride a donkey or stacking TNT on top of each other, you protect them from hordes of zombie pigmen, build them a house, grow their food, train their pets, and provide them with tools they need to survive.  Survival Mode is also called Parenting Just Like in Real Life Mode.

Creative Mode is like a box of Lego; you can build whatever you like.  The difference between Minecraft and Lego is that one costs $250.
You think I'm kidding?  This is the project my son is working on.
Kids like Creative Mode.  They get to build giant, flaming penises on the top of mountains.
You think I'm kidding?  This is the project my son is working on.
While your son trains to be a urologist, you build a replica of the giant castle you fantasized about in Junior High.  Just as you're figuring out where all the secret passages go, your kid blows it up with a stack of TNT.  While you repair your castle, he builds a giant tower right in front of it.  When you explain he built his tower where the stables should be, he'll call you a brat and stomp off to his room.  Then you blow his tower up with a stack of TNT while he's in his room.  Only he was secretly watching you from the kitchen and bursts into tears.  Then your wife comes home, and you end up sleeping in the guest room with the cats.

Or so I've heard.

Minecraft was made (almost) entirely by a man named Markus Persson, also known as Notch.

One day, someone on the internet said Notch would only sell Minecraft "for two billion dollars."  Microsoft bought Minecraft the next day for two billion dollars.  This day is called "The Day of Great Sorrow" by my children.  The anniversary of The Day of Great Sorrow is marked by tantrums and fits of crying followed by bribes of candy, ice cream, screen time, and going to bed late.  The Day of Great Sorrow has become a daily event in our household.

Since Microsoft bought Minecraft, the biggest change they've made is to replace the one, continuing, unending, relentless, looping background song.  There are now several continuing, unending, relentless, looping background songs.  There is no room in a house far enough away from Minecraft to keep you from hearing the songs until they're stuck in your head.  Later, your children will hum the songs continuously, unendingly, and relentlessly.  You can't turn the volume down on your children, no matter how many buttons you push.

Your children will play Minecraft and only Minecraft.

They'll try Terraria if you tell them "It's just like Minecraft!"  They'll play Halo if you tell them "It's an M-rated game.  Don't tell mom."  After a few days, however, they'll be building giant, flaming penises on the tops of mountains.

There are many videos on YouTube about things people made in Minecraft.

Some of them are quite clever (like a working PacMan game).  Most of them, however, show you how to build giant, flaming penises on the tops of mountains or teach your children swear words to shout at your parents when they make you stop building giant, flaming penises on the tops of mountains.

Minecraft runs on several platforms.

It runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux.  It runs on Xbox 360 and Xbox One.  It runs on Playstation 3 and 4.  It runs on iOS and Android mobile devices.  It even runs on Windows Phone, even though people don't run on Windows Phone.

Each platform is slightly different.  When you buy the game for Xbox, your child will want it on Android, to take on trips.  When you buy your game for Android, he will want it on PC, to get the latest improvements.  When you buy it on PC, he will insist the game is "too laggy" and want it on Xbox.

In the end, you'll spend $136 on Minecraft.  It's still cheaper than Lego.
Also, you never step on lost pieces of Minecraft in the night and scream like a cheerleader at a homecoming game.
The PC version of Minecraft allows for user-created modifications known as mods.

Mods add gameplay or make basic player actions (such as building a giant, flaming penis on the top of a mountain) more easily. 

You must never download mods.  Ever.

Here's why:  Your child wants you download the Traincraft mod.  Traincraft can't be installed without the Forge mod. Forge can't be installed even after you try for hours.  You email the creators.  The creators insist nothing is wrong and suggest you check for viruses.  You install an antivirus program and find eight dozen.  By downloading mods, you (or your children) infected your computer with more viruses than a Kardashian on spring break in Barbados.  Meanwhile, all your friends ask why you've sent them mail about how penis enlargement drugs changed your life.

Or so I've heard.

And that's all I know about Minecraft.

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