How does one review Minecraft, exactly? Should its score be based on its quality, or number of man hours lost to its addictive nature?
In Minecraft you’re dropped into an empty and idyllic world that looks like it was created by a Fisher Price designer who’d recently suffered a stroke. Your goal is to harvest the various materials of the world (wood, stone, brick, iron, etc), and use them to build anything your heart desires. Want to build a cozy log cabin and fireplace? Go for it. Feel like creating a skull shaped doom fortress that weeps lava from its eyes? Go nuts.
The problem is when you realize that there really is no limit to what you can build. I played way too much Minecraft a couple of years ago when it was still only on the PC, and decided to revisit my world and perhaps relive those halcyon days. Once I’d scaled my enormous tower that would put Babel’s to shame, and walked out onto its parapets resembling gargoyles, and I gazed out upon the endless landscape before me.
I beheld a world ripe with potential for harvest, creation, and wonder, and I exited out of the game as quickly as I could muster. If the multiverse theory is true, and there exist many alternative versions of this world and ourselves, there is a universe in which I am still sitting in front of my computer, ceaselessly mining and building; a rictus grin upon my face.
This isn’t so much a review as it is a warning: You will enjoy Minecraft, you will giddily clap your hands when you find some diamonds or gold, and you will feel pride usually only reserved for that of a parent seeing their newborn child when you complete a particularly complex structure.
But when you stare into the void that is this all consuming, all encompassing game, be careful that it doesn’t stare back into you.