The Culture of Creation Gaming
Swedish Game Designer Markus “Notch” Persson released the alpha to Minecraft, a game which would change views on gaming forever, on May 17, 2009. Notch created his first person sandbox building game after Infiniminer, a game of similar design, had its source code leaked onto internet. Using this game, along with other ones such as Dwarf Fortress and Dungeon Keeper for inspiration, Notch’s Minecraft was a huge success.Basing his game on the player’s creativity, Minecraft’s most unique feature is how it allows players to collect blocks and resources in order to construct tools and buildings. In alpha the game was very basic, featuring simple houses and other assorted buildings. As the game progressed into Beta, more features were added to make the game a more satisfying RPG adventure experience. More monsters, more features, more tools all added to the experience of the game. Character skins could be added and texture packs allowed the customization of the user’s experience. Players were able to have a customized gaming experience like no other with Notch even releasing support for game users to set up their own multiplayer servers.
Following the creative example of Minecraft, several games of similar concept were released since its rise in popularity. In April 2011 the multiplayer game FortressCraft was released for the Xbox. Citing Minecraft as one of the big influences for the game, it allowed players to use their own custom Xbox avatars as characters to build their new worlds and included several game modes which pit players against each other, along with other enemies.
Another result of the expanding creative gaming culture was the indie game Terraria. Unlike Minecraft, Terraria features 2D environments and item construction, as well as customizable building and exploring. Focusing more on exploration and combat, the game includes expansive biomes, unique and varied enemies and selectable world size. Games like Minecraft, Terraria and the like have revolutionized a perspective on gaming which wasn’t always considered.
If there is something to take from all of this, it is how Minecraft utilized the most important facet of gaming: the player. For the first time, players are truly allowed to completely customize their world, to change, fix and edit their surroundings as they see fit. Thanks to these games, players have more options available to them when they want to adjust their gaming experience. Minecraft’s creation and the expansion of creative thought and action in gaming has positively changed gaming culture. Gamers can only fathom what innovations the future holds with consideration for this kind of gaming.