What is Minecraft?

A retrospective overview

Minecraft screenshot
My first Minecraft world as it exists today. Taylor Harris

Minecraft is a creation game that allows users to create worlds or learn to survive in pre-generated worlds.

Freedom. Expression. Creativity. Infinite. These aren’t words you’d associate with traditional games you’d find in stores, play for a few weeks, then throw onto a shelf to collect dust. Minecraft is a form of expression that has no true conclusion. As long as your imagination is flowing, the game keeps on going. Many people who play Minecraft understand this, and those who don’t may question why Minecraft is the most important game of this generation.

To understand why Minecraft breaks the rules of traditional games, you need to first understand that Minecraft is not a game, but rather, a toy. Minecraft is the modern, digital equivalent of Legos. You take these digital cubes and build anything your heart desires. While Minecraft is addictive in nature, it is addictive for all the right reasons. Minecraft is a medium for you to express raw, unfiltered creativity, and allows you to explore potentially untapped regions of your imagination to create what you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to.

Minecraft Game Modes Explained

Minecraft has two distinct modes. Survival and Creative.

  • Survival Mode is the traditional game. You start off in a randomly generated world and have to collect the supplies required to survive. These supplies are all crafted by you, the player, by setting out and exploring all the world has to offer. As you progress through cave systems, dungeons, and vast over-worlds, the sense of true accomplishment kicks in when you take a step back, and look at what you’ve created.​
  • Creative Mode allows you a world of infinite possibility. The world that spawns before you can be infinitely customized using the various world creation options. Those options range from customizing how massive the mountains can be, how vast the oceans are. You can even customize if there are any oceans at all. The world can be made completely flat as well, allowing you a blank, vast, open canvas for your creations. Or spawn a world with a top layer made entirely of TNT, and watch it explode!


If you didn’t understand Minecraft before, you might be able to understand it now. The appeal of these digital Legos is vast and truly infinite. It can inspire any gender and any age group. Minecraft’s language is unlimited and universal. Raw creativity knows no bounds, particularly in a digital universe where the only limit of your creations is yourself. The only limitation of Minecraft is time. It is, otherwise, limitless, and there are some great shortcuts, cheats, and walkthroughs that make it even better!

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