Why Is Minecraft So Important?

Why is Mojang's Minecraft so important in today's society?

The history of video games has been defined by a very select amount of titles. These titles have impacted the way video games have been made, whether or not they impact a genre or the concept as a whole. Minecraft has given both old and new developers plenty of concepts to work with in bringing their ideas to life. On top of teaching developers to how to create their own video games, Minecraft has also changed the way that video games are perceived in schools. In this article, we will be discussing the many elements on why Minecraft is so important.

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An Important Time For Indie Developers

While many indie companies have made it big, no indie developers have ever made it as big as Mojang. The fact that an indie developer like Mojang could rise to fame so quickly because of a video game like Minecraft will surely inspire new creators and companies around the world. Minecraft has given opportunities to those who have ideas. If you would have looked back five years ago and saw Minecraft for what it was then, you would have never guessed it would turn into the cultural phenomena it is today.

In a day and age where new ideas are thrown around online every single day, it’s not too shocking how Minecraft has reached its popularity. Fans have come together and given Minecraft the love that it very much deserves.

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The Ultimate Teaching Tool

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qD68VnHBUiY
Minecraft In Education

Many schools have adapted to using Minecraft in their classrooms to teach various lessons. While some lessons revolve around circuitry and Redstone, other lessons revolve around subjects like history, math, and even language. Using a three-dimensional, completely customizable setting like Minecraft gives teachers the opportunity to teach old lessons in a new, more attention grabbing way.

This is one of the first video games in the history of gaming that has given many opportunities to enrich the human mind through experiences in predetermined lessons by instructors. While there have been video games in the past that have been centered around specifically teaching lessons as coded by the game’s creators, no video game is as customizable as Minecraft. Teachers are able to take their students back through time in a visual representation of real life places and events without leaving the classroom.

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Pop Culture

Lady Gaga - G.U.Y. - An ARTPOP Film (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNu_-deVemE)

Minecraft has been included in pop culture in many various ways. The famous video game composed of blocks has appeared in television, has been referenced in advertisements, music videos and much more.

If you’re looking for online content based around Minecraft, your best place to look would more than likely be YouTube. With millions of videos uploaded specifically about Minecraft, there’s no better place to start. Minecraft has become a very large part of the video sharing website over the years. Hundreds of YouTube channels are dedicated to solely Minecraft content and do extremely well in comparison to other popular gaming channels with a variety of videos based around other games.

If it wasn’t referenced in pop culture enough, Minecraft has gotten even more noticeable in terms of toys. If you go to any toy section in Walmart, Toys “R” Us, or any other major retailer, you will notice plenty of merchandise on the shelves. Legos, action figures, and foam swords galore will fill the shelves as you push your cart down the aisle. There’s a very good chance that the dedicated fans of the video game probably already own a decent amount of the merchandise.

Many celebrities including Jack Black, Deadmau5, and Lady Gaga have been noted as enjoying Minecraft from time to time. Both Jack Black and Deadmau5 have been featured in videos on YouTube, playing the video game. Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP Film “G.U.Y.” (Girl Under You) featured not only a  reference to Minecraft, but also featured the very popular Minecraft YouTuber “SkyDoesMinecraft”. Lady Gaga has tweeted about Minecraft before, referencing the “Form This Way (Minecraft Parody of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way) music video by InTheLittleWood. Deadmau5’s affiliation with Minecraft has not only been in the form of YouTube videos, however. Getting a Creeper tattoo and being the only player of Minecraft with a specially designed skin in which his character has ears like on his iconic helmet solidifies his place as a hardcore Minecrafter.  In 2011, Joel Zimmerman performed for a very excited crowd at Minecon, aswell.

As Minecraft is constantly gaining popularity, it only makes sense for it to be referenced in various arts and mediums. Being featured in many magazines, commercials, webcomics, television shows and other types of forms of entertainment can only ensure Minecraft’s popularity will grow.

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Modding Culture

Modifying video games is nothing new in video game culture. However, before Minecraft, if you wanted to mod, you’d need a fairly extensive knowledge. Minecraft’s extremely large community has created many opportunities for inspired creators. Many creators experienced in the field of modding Minecraft have made tutorials to teach those who want to make their own mods how. These tutorials range from teaching the basics to teaching how to make fully fledged, complete, and functional mods.

The Minecraft community has inspired many modifications to the game of all types of creations. Some mods create an easier experience to access various aspects of the game, while other mods can create completely new environments that change the way the game is played entirely. These modifications give players new options in terms of finding their perfect way to play Minecraft. If you’re interested in playing Minecraft with flying islands and new, exciting mobs, the Aether II mod may be your new best friend. If your Minecraft tends to lag, Optifine may be your best option. Many mods are compatible with each other, allowing for a very customizable experience.

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Comparable Differences

Jagex

Minecraft’s popularity has spawned many clearly inspired video games since the video game’s initial release. After developers realized that Minecraft’s blocky design garnered the attention of millions of players around the world, many have decided to use this type of art style to potentially gain more attention for their game.

Some video games that contain various traits from Minecraft’s art style are Ace of Spades, Crossy Road, CubeWorld, and many others. Whether or not these video games were directly inspired by Minecraft, they were more than likely inspired by other surrounding sources in terms of direction of art in other games or mediums.

On top of video games being clearly inspired and taking inspiration from Minecraft, many video games can be considered complete ripoffs. Some video games have very clearly inspired mechanics, while many of the video games are entirely clones. Many of the games follow the mining and crafting mechanics, while many others branch off of them. For sake of an example; Jagex’s Ace of Spades contains many aspects and ideas from both Minecraft and Valve’s Team Fortress 2. Even though Ace of Spades plays nothing like Minecraft, there is still a high number of players that will relate the two games based on the design standpoint alone. These video games that are created with a voxel-esque design are usually are looked at in a negative light, regardless of how good the video game actually is. With many video games following the blocky format, there is generally a stigma attached to the design that screams “copycat”.

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The Road To Code

http://mojang.com/2015/11/minecraft-meets-hour-of-code/
Mojang

The introduction to getting on the road to code has never been more of a straight shot. As previously mentioned in the article “Minecraft with the Hour of Code Campaign”, Minecraft has teamed up with the Hour of Code campaign to inspire children to begin coding and creating.

As technology has been advancing rapidly over the past few years, our current leaders in developing new and exciting gadgets, websites, games, services, and various other similar concepts have been realizing that the next generation should know the basics of coding. Rather than throwing children into an environment with a keyboard and a screen while telling them to “make something”, Minecraft and the Hour of Code campaign have made sure they are giving the proper tools and education to kickstart their enthusiasm for learning to code. Both the Hour of Code campaign and Minecraft has made coding seem extremely fun and entertaining with a very familiar blocky feel, instead of giving a blank canvas.

The top down view of Minecraft provided in the tutorial for coding gives players the feeling as if they are doing something. If a player has noticed what they have done has messed up, they can fix it by going back and looking at what they’ve done wrong. Rather than frustrating the player to the point of never wanting to try coding again, Minecraft and the Hour of Code’s campaign tutorial inspires the player to keep trying until it works.

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Pushing The Boundaries

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLw7YNF2B2y-q61P8ye3lcROJP11641tHY. i_makes_stuff

Minecraft’s impact on the world is only beginning to unfold. With new technological advancements, Minecraft is being included in many. Players in the Minecraft community have made plenty of inspiring creations. These creations push the boundaries between our physical and our digital world.

In December of 2014, i_makes_stuff on YouTube created a “Minecraft Controlled Christmas Tree”. This creation showed what Minecraft was capable of with doing with real world objects. Using his knowledge of coding and programing, Ryan gave his real life Christmas tree a very unique touch. When pushing various levers on Minecraft, Ryan’s real life Christmas tree would light up depending on which switch the player selected to press.

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In Conclusion

While in this article we’ve listed plenty of reasons on why Minecraft is important, there are plenty of others. Minecraft has created many avenues in which players attempt to develop their creative skills, their education, and much more. In a time where video games are being released more and more frequently every year, it’s hard to find a video game that will have a lasting impression.