Living my childhood through blocks

March 3, 2024 — by Amelia Chang
Photo by Amelia Chang

A screenshot of me under a tree in my “Minecraft” world.

“Minecraft” has been many things to me: a comfort, a cause for adventure and a place of endless creativity.

I place the final block onto my build, step back, and I’m done.

It’s a simple house, made out of dark oak logs and planks and cobblestone, but it was mine. I created it.

“Minecraft” has always been that game for me. The one I would play on weekends for hours, leaving my homework sitting 3 feet away while I explored caves or fought zombies.

“Minecraft,” the best-selling video game of all time, is an open-world survival based game, first created by a man named Marcus “Notch” Persson and first made public in a limited release in 2009; it was later purchased by Microsoft in 2014 for $2.5 billion. 

Players can craft different things and go on adventures in the endless world. There is no particular goal to the game and everyone plays it differently, although many attempt to beat the various bosses. The final boss of the game is the ender dragon, although you can continue playing the game once you beat it.

I started playing “Minecraft” in fourth grade on my older brother’s laptop. Back then, anything he wanted to do, I wanted to do too — he played the game at that time, so I started to as well.

The most that I’d ever played “Minecraft” was in middle school, specifically during COVID-19. If I ever had a bad day at school, I could just hop into a world where none of those problems existed.

As I began playing this game, I entered a world of endless possibilities.  I could build as many houses or storage rooms or farms as I wanted to (even though I wasn’t very good at building). I could explore deep caves for hours, seeking out monsters to fight (that was always my favorite part of the game).

Then, when I began playing with a friend in 6th grade, things only got better. We played on the weekend for hours in our shared world, talking about school or sharing stories we came up with. We lazily farmed our crops as we talked about anything and everything. We explored jungle ruins or shipwrecks together as a team.

In eighth grade, when everyone went back to in-person school, my friend and I spent so long talking about our world and our plans for it. We dreamed about making a fully functional self-automated farm (for which we had to look up multiple tutorial videos) and a giant storage room for all of our stuff. We explored hundreds of thousands of blocks away from spawn, knowing the possibilities were endless.

For me, the game was never about killing the ender dragon — it was about the adventure. Having a whole world to explore gave me such a thrill that I never felt a need to get to the end.

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