Video and computer games have been popular for decades from the first successful game, Pong, to platformers like Manic Miner and console hits such as Grand Theft Auto. Nintendo and Atari were responsible for launching some of the biggest arcade hits in the early ’80s with Donkey Kong, PacMan, and Space Invaders but then the bubble burst.
In 1983 the arcade game industry was oversaturated and it went from a $300 billion business to $100 million in the space of a couple of years. This coincided with home computers such as the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 arriving along with the Nintendo Entertainment System.
As technology progressed, newer and more powerful computers and consoles arrived until we find ourselves here today with the Xbox Series X and the Playstation 5 along with the Nintendo Switch. Gaming consoles today are more powerful than most home computers and they have games to match. Open world games now contain hundreds if not thousands of square miles to explore which is some leap from text-based adventure games like Zork 1.
One of the most popular games today is Minecraft. It has been praised by game critics, parents, and players alike. There is even an Education Edition and it is rare that video games bring much love from the educational world.
What is Minecraft?
Minecraft is a sandbox game that allows players to dig, mine, build, and craft, and it was released in 2009. Players get to build their own worlds and are limited only by their imaginations. There are two main playing modes; survival and creativity. In survival, the player must find food and eat. They must also find their own building resources, battle, build their homes, and explore the world. In creative mode, there is no need to eat and they are given resources immediately.
Minecraft allows players to build incredible structures. There are servers hosting Minecraft versions of Titanic, Westeros, Minas Tirith and there is even a project to recreate the whole of Middle Earth. The game features battles and survival if you choose that mode as well as interaction with other characters. The building has been described a little as virtual Lego and it is no coincidence that Minecraft has turned out so fun when being compared to the classic plastic building blocks that continue to be highly popular.
How can you play it?
One of the reasons Minecraft is so popular is that it works on so many platforms. It is playable on PC, Apple, smartphones, Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Switch and there is even an edition for the Raspberry Pi. Cross-platform play is possible with the Bedrock version. Games can be altered and Microsoft allows for modding of Minecraft.
How many games have been sold?
Some research states that Minecraft is the biggest selling game of all time. This is slightly disputable as exact figures for Tetris are hard to nail down but with all the mobile versions it is likely that Tetris is the biggest selling game. Player Unknown Battlegrounds has similarly been installed on more machines and devices too however that game is free. What is known though is that Minecraft has sold around 200 million copies.
Where did Minecraft come from?
Markus Persson created the initial release that is known as Minecraft Classic in May 2009. Word of this new game spread like wildfire and Persson formed his own company ‘Mojang’ as he realized he needed some help. When he realized what he had created he quit his job and concentrated on the game full time. Versions were released for Android, Windows, iOS, Xbox, and Playstation.
The games industry took notice and Microsoft in particular liked the look of Minecraft. Microsoft made Persson an offer and he decided to sell his company as he didn’t want the responsibility of owning a company of such global significance. The sale price was $2.5 billion.
How many versions are there?
By far the most popular version is the original Minecraft but there are now Minecraft Earth which is an augmented reality version, Education Edition, and Minecraft Dungeons. There is a Java edition for PC that lets you play with other Java users and also the Bedrock version that lets the game be played over cross platforms. Java has a hardcore mode (no respawns) and spectator mode, where the player can fly around the world observing. These are only available on Java and there are other advantages to using this version if you don’t need cross-play. There is even a board game version of Minecraft.
What is the Bedrock edition?
As mentioned this version lets players who have different consoles to play with each other online. This is something that gamers have wanted for years and many games now have this ability. In the past, if your friend had a different console to you then there was no way to play together. Developers realized this and now we have games like Minecraft that can bring players together.
What is the Education Edition?
The Education Edition was designed to be used in a classroom setting as a fun and interactive way to teach children. There are a number of lesson plans with more becoming available that teach a wide variety of subjects. There are lessons in arts, science, art & design, computer science, history & culture, and maths.
Minecraft teaches children about manipulating objects to create structures, how to collaborate to solve problems, and critical thinking skills. Although there is the survival mode where dangers lurk and there is some battling to do compared to games like Grand Theft Auto, Minecraft is a game about creativity instead of violence.
Playing Minecraft online requires servers to host the games and players are able to set their own ones up. You can host your own game for your friends if you wish or rent from a specialist web host. If you need to find out more about Minecraft hosting then visiting https://fortunelords.com/best-minecraft-server-hosting/ can help you.
There are huge communities of players both children and adults who regularly play Minecraft and are forming incredible worlds while working together instead of running around shooting each other. While there is nothing wrong with a good FPS the nature of Minecraft is one of the reasons why such a broad range of people love the game and it continues to sell vast quantities.