Skip to main content

The Game

I've a bit of a confession to make: I still play Minecraft off and on (I can hear all the hardcore gamers laughing from here). I even quite enjoy playing it.

For those of you who don't know, Minecraft is a game about placing blocks to build structures in an infinite, 3D world. Basically, it's a discount LEGO set for computer-literate people. Much like legos, if you play it after you turn twelve, people assume that you're mentally incapable of dealing with anything more complex.

I hate the idea that you become to old to play a certain video game. Unless something involves physical activity that'd be impossible to perform once you cross a certain age, I don't see why it should be age-restricted. I'm seventeen years old, and if I want to spend a night binge-watching Tom and Jerry and consuming obscene quantities of potato chips, that's my god-given right!

I think people tend to assume that Minecraft is a simple game. Once you've built a squattish, squarish dirt house, you've exhausted all that the game has to offer you in terms of intellectual challenges. The fact is, though, it's not. Minecraft is an endlessly creative game. There are, of course, an infinite number of things you can build - I've seen people construct everything from cityscapes to, once, a scale model of the White House. The only limit is your imagination.

For those of us whose brains function best along more logical pathways - myself included - Minecraft also has an item called "redstone". Once you start messing about with redstone, you're permanently hooked to the game. Redstone, you see, is Minecraft's wiring system. It only has a few components, but with them, you can build machines of immense complexity. I've seen massive computers comprising thousands of hours of work built in Minecraft. My own knowledge of computer science comes, in part, from Minecraft - back when I was a noob (newbie), I used to play on a Minecraft server dedicated to building computer-related stuff. I learned how to build an XOR gate, a binary adder and finally an ALU - three of the primary reasons that your computer can, you know, compute.

Redstone and building themselves give hours and hours of gameplay, but the thing that really makes Minecraft amazing is the community. I've been gaming for about as long as I can remember, and I don't think I've ever met a community that's more willing to help you out if your game crashes or give you your items back if you accidentally fall in a pit of lava. What's more, there are tons of community-written "mods" or modifications that add even more content to the game. Some mods change the game so completely that the only remaining recognizable aspect of the game is the art style. Incredible.

Now, with any luck, the preceding 450 words will be enough to get Microsoft to pay me. Free advertisement for Minecraft can't be all that common, can it?


Popular posts from this blog

Weighing In

Today, I'm writing about something I'm actually rather proud of. Today, I'm writing about my weight loss. Over the past ten months, I've lost 12 kilos.

My parents have been begging me to start exercising since eighth grade. When I was 13, they'd boot me out of the house every day at 5:00PM and make me go running. I hated it. I barely even bothered to run, let alone push myself or stick to a diet. I ate like a trash can, sat in front of the computer all day and did nothing at all about my rapidly swelling pot belly. By the time I'd turned 15, even Dad had given up any dreams of seeing me with a flat stomach. I'd trained myself to stop looking in the mirror, and I stayed out of pictures as much as possible.

Fast-forward to the present day: I weigh 69 kilos. My stomach has all but vanished. Looking in the mirror is a satisfying experience, and I even have some muscle on my arms. I can now fit in medium-size t-shirts, and whenever I wear my old jeans, I look li…

5K:) - 2017

If you've been following my blog for a while - since the end of 2015-beginning of 2016 - you'll probably remember a post I did last year about the Thousand Smiling Faces project (I also wrote another post about it immediately after). For those of you who are too lazy to click through those links, the Thousand Smiling Faces project was a bunch of us teenagers getting McDonald's Happy Meals for 1000 kids in orphanages.

I was planning to this again on New Year's Day 2017, but couldn't get it to work out. However, Independence Day is coming up, and we're going to do it again, but this time, we've gone a little crazy - instead of working with 1000 kids, we're aiming to deliver 5000 meals! That's roughly  ₹5,00,000's worth of Happy Meals, a lot of burgers by anyone's standards.

We've also got another twist to the thing this year. Seeing as we're doing it on the 15th of August, which is India's Independence Day, and seeing as how McDon…

Exam Fever

As anyone currently in the twelfth will tell you, with varying levels of dismay, the final exams are right around the corner. Parents everywhere are seizing their children's phones and taking time off from work. Panicked screaming ensues at intervals.

I don't believe there's a person on the planet who genuinely enjoys exam season. Actually, I take that back - there's no one in India who enjoys exam season. Partially, I think this is our own fault. Exams are the most important things in an Indian student's life, so parents seem bent on bottling up all the worry and concern they have about their kid's education and allowing it to spew forth in a torrent of "No more video games!" and "Delete WhatsApp!" commands during the two months surrounding the exams. Small wonder, then, that at 17, I believe the purpose of exams is to seasonally blot the sunshine from otherwise happy lives.

This whole exam fever thing does have some upsides. Okay, one - it…