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A thought that most kids have in the back of their minds is that Minecraft is childish. It’s immature, simple. While I think this is true to a certain degree, Minecraft has been and continues to be one of the most influential and popular games in history. It ushered in thoughts and ideas and thrust upon its audience a digital space where the entire capability of a child’s imagination and creativity could be unleashed. A game consisting of just blocks, in a time of increasingly complex and realistic visuals, has made its mark in our culture. The impact it made on our teenagers can still be seen today. The causes for its success are a bit more subtle, but it comes down to social media and its mechanics.

A fraction of Minecraft’s greatness can be attributed to its adaptability. Minecraft is a malleable game, as it can be played in vastly different game modes that each have a different feel. Moreover, servers that many people can access can be edited by its operators. This has resulted in games that can be played and created within Minecraft itself. You could play dozens of other games by just buying Minecraft. It relies on its players’ imaginations to advance itself more so than any other game, which is one of its strongest points.

While the quality of the game content was important for its success, a significant factor in Minecraft’s popularity was the exposure it got from social media, especially Youtube. The best game in the world will never be very successful if it doesn’t get covered in some way. In this aspect Minecraft hit the goldmine, as the content it provided was pretty easy to make videos about. Survival playthroughs, minigames, mod reviews, and even role play videos were created using Minecraft. All of this garnered a large amount of attention. This translated into millions of new players and fans, contributing to its impact. Although Minecraft doesn’t get nearly as much media attention as it used to, the large boost it got has kept it going, and it still has tens of millions of active players.

Another one of Minecraft’s greatest qualities is its design and control simplicity. Most games have a significant learning curve which may discourage new buyers and turn them away. Minecraft was able to lessen this blow through its extensive media coverage and inherit design. For most games, the beginning is pretty boring or uneventful, as being bad usually results in losing and getting thrashed. Minecraft, on the other hand, isn’t very complex. There is no end goal except for surviving and it’s pretty stress free, for the most part. It gives you all the time in the world to take it all in and get better. It doesn’t take long to get an idea of how to play, and even if someone had trouble, there are dozens of tutorials and playthroughs online easy to access. This results in a simplistic and enjoyable experience, even the first time around.

Minecraft may seem like just a game, and it is. But to some, it was a little bit more. That game truly encapsulates the curiosity and amusement of a great number of people’s childhoods, and the journey underwent in that stupid world was fun.

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