Minecraft, the indie exploration/building title that took the gaming world by storm this fall, has left its experimental phase and entered beta. The price goes up to 15 Euros and the developers' focus moves to polish and content — and the development of a modding interface to let others add their own features to the game.
With its low-fi, ultra-hip 3D lego set look, Minecraft can seem a faddish thing. John Brownlee, referencing Shelley's Ozymandias, explains the egomaniacal hook that lies beneath the surface, making people stick with it:
It's a solipsist's god sim, with all of the loneliness and pathos that implies. ...There's more to Minecraft than just a 3D set of building blocks to play with. Minecraft's setting itself is haunting, in that it forces players into a situation where the entire game is to answer this question: ... Are the massive castles or statues I built in any of my inevitably discarded Minecraft worlds really much different? Colossal works of deific arrogance conducted for the benefit of the author's own ego, then swiftly forgotten.
It's true: I constantly think that I'm going to take the places I've built in Minecraft (like my awesome floating island town, above) and share them with other players as a multiplayer instance. But really, who cares? Once you've seen one pixelated starship, European Cathedral or epic hollow tree, you've seen them all. Without the potential for storytelling, a Minecraft world is a poor man's Myst "book" with no puzzles.
And when played from the outset with a group of friends, Minecraft is a very different experience.
I Have No Mouth and I Must Build [Gearfuse]
After five years without an update, MS Flight Simulator is getting refreshed. The XBox exclusive was demoed at the E3 trade show Sunday. Some of the scenes are spectacularly realistic. I would have been unable to tell it was video of a simulation when I was a kid, playing stuff like F-18 Interceptor and Falcon. […]
It’s been 24 years since Black Isle got to work on Baldur’s Gate, the classic computer RPG that melded AD&D rules with realtime-ish gameplay to make something immersive to play and gorgeous to look at. Though often counted among the top PC games of all time, the series ground to a halt after a superior […]
A family in Edinburgh had this curious medieval chess piece, mostly tucked in a drawer, for more than 50 years since the grandfather, an antiques dealer, bought it for £5. Recently, his granddaughter had it appraised at Sotheby’s where it was identified as one of the five missing pieces from the historically significant Lewis Chessmen […]
Whether you’re an artist, designer or just organizing a photo album, photo editing software is a must. And software designers know it: Platforms like Photoshop and Lightroom have a ton of helpful features, but you’ll pay for them in spades. Luckily, there’s some competition in the photo editing arena. Right now, Skylum’s Luminar software is […]
Who needs a holiday sale? Sometimes there’s no better time than the thick of summer to find deals. We should know – we’ve found ten deep discounts on some must-have items. Whether you’re searching for CBD edibles, exercise gear, chargers or other tech, take a look. But don’t look long – these prices aren’t likely […]
Heading abroad? Even if it’s just a short trip, there’s a lot to prepare for. Travel can be incredibly rewarding, but it can tricky to navigate different cultures and lodging arrangements – and even trickier to do it cheaply. Before you go shopping for suitcases, here’s our pick for a good first investment: The Ultimate […]