My favorite toy of all time is Lego. When I was a child, I would often spend entire afternoons building castles, spaceships, islands populated by pirates, and anything else I could imagine. I was never very good at free building, but since it was my imagination, that didn’t really matter to me. After all, whatever I built would eventually be destroyed and rebuilt into something else.
I still like Lego. (Let me take this time to tell you that Lego is the plural form of Lego. If you say “Legos” you are doing it wrong, and you are making children weep everywhere, you monster.) I’m a father of a preschooler and a baby, so I don’t have much time for pulling out my large bin of Lego bricks. My son has Duplo, but it’s not the same…for me, anyway. My son, however, loves when we build towers and knock them over.
I started playing Minecraft after donating to the Humble Indy Bundle a year ago. Mojang (the developer/publisher of Minecraft) was offering a month of Minecraft to anyone who donated over a certain amount. I was curious, so I donated. Then, I was hooked. I could never really justify the price of the full game to buy it for my laptop, but I jumped at the opportunity when Minecraft hit the Xbox around the time of my birthday this year.
I’m still hooked.
I suck at building things. Nothing I ever design in my head looks as good as the final product I built, but in Minecraft, it’s easy to refine your buildings quickly and relatively painlessly. I don’t have to completely tear down my Lego bricks to build something.
Remember how frustrating it is to find a particular brick in a big pile of Lego? With Minecraft, finding the right materials to build things is part of the fun.
Speaking of searching for bricks, ever step on a Lego in the middle of the night and felt like the end of the world was taking place on the bottom of your foot? With Minecraft, there’s no clean up. My feet thank me.
One of the things I really enjoy about Minecraft is defending my buildings against the monsters that prowl the land at night. Skeletons, Zombies, Spiders, and the dreaded Creeper all patrol the darkness, looking to put an end to your little construction project. If you’re not careful, your beloved building could end up being blown apart or set on fire!
While adult life generally keeps me from spending all day crafting, building, mining, and fighting in Minecraft, it’s nice to spend a little time with the master contractor that is my 9-year-old self, uncovering the magic that I used to get from Lego.