Do you remember your first adventures in Minecraft? I do. I was mostly confused. For much of its history, Minecraft hasn't done much to help you understand how to play it, how to craft things, what these crafted things do, and why you'd want them. It doesn't tell you about the alternate dimensions that you can visit, or about how you get to them. It doesn't tell you why should should play or what you're aiming for.
What happens when you go up against Minecraft? What happens when you dare suggest gaming's golden child not belong in the classroom, then call it "a gimmick", then say "we need to drain the swamp of gimmicks"? It does not involve being sent nice flowers I'll tell you that.
Traditional MMOs have gone out of fashion lately. It used to be that every gaming brand had exciting untapped MMO potential and every publisher wanted an MMO in its stable, but the gold rush inspired by World of Warcraft yielded little precious metal, and a lot of publishers got burned in the process - especially Electronic Arts with Star Wars: The Old Republic - while the term "MMO" has become taboo when discussing a new breed of games that includes The Division and Destiny, even though in many respects they are both massively multiplayer and online.
Those of you who enjoy the moving picture as well as the word on the page may have noticed that our YouTube channel has been more active than usual over the last couple of weeks. That's because we've brought on somebody to update it more frequently! His name is Ian Higton and from now on he will be posting Let's Play videos (gameplay capture with commentary), news snippets, interviews, live streams of new games and other bits and pieces to serve the audience that follows us on YouTube.
Every week we bring you an article from our archive, either for you to read again or discover for the first time. This week, with news circling of Microsoft buying Mojang, we bring you a reminder of the power of Minecraft via Keith Stuart's excellent article, first published in November 2012.
Imagine being eight years old today. You pack your bag, hop on a bus, act like your crush has cooties and go through lessons on history, English, maths, science, and... Minecraft?
I'd finished my interview with Tom Cassell, and it had gone fairly well. Although, something did feel like it was missing. "Would you mind if I walked with you for a bit?" I asked. "So I can see it happen?" Tom was enthusiastic - he is about most things. So we took to the floor of the Eurogamer Expo.
From day one, the outright simplicity of Minecraft's core design has been at the heart of its success. Whether you're a modder or a budding block architect, the underlying engine is very upfront with its mechanics, making it easy for just about anyone to understand, to pick apart, and ultimately to make their own.
Is it rational to feel a greater fondness for single-format releases than for multi-platform games? I'm not sure, but I know I do.