Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG) is an interdisciplinary centre for research/ creation in game studies and design, digital culture and interactive art


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My First Day Minecrafting

Posted by Gina

It’s with some shame that I have to admit that I had never played Minecraft before yesterday. There was this one time when someone showed me the game, but I never returned to it.

Now that our very own mLab has launched their own server with all sorts of interesting mods and everyone around me is raving about it, I decided that it was time. Time to play Minecraft.

After some trial and error with installing the system on a Mac, I finally logged in and was ready to explore the wonderful and magical land of Minecraft. Although I was alone on the server, other TAGsters were on facebook helping me as I went. I expected to find something like Lego meets Sims, creative and happy building…

I am born. It’s a castle-like place, nothing special. I am instructed to find the HQ by following the shore to the left. The walk is uneventful, but extremely long. So long that it gets dark. If you have played Minecraft, you know what comes next. Well, I didn’t. In the dark, something comes from the bushes and kills me within seconds. I don’t even know what hit me. And guess what, I respawn back at the castle-like thingy. OK, let’s try again. This time on the way I am a bit more wary. Something appears. I panic and successfully massacre it with some unaimed clicks. By the end of the heroic fight I am pretty sure it is a sheep. Well, it was very, very pixellated.

The rest of the walk is uneventful… except for the part when it got dark and I died again. Frustration.

For your sake, now I will skip the description of two more trials and 20 minutes. I get to HQ. Rejoice. It’s beautiful, I forget the frustration of the long walk, the survival, the loneliness. Here we go.

I am exploring the HQ and I find it amazing. What a great job people have done! Ok, what now? Let’s start making things. I make a stick. You wouldn’t believe how happy I was. I decide I will use this fabulous stick to make an axe. I turn around to find metals, but a big moving green pixel approaches me. This must be a… I respawn. Guess where? As if this was not sad enough, my stick is gone. Oh, and it’s raining.

I want to give up, but TAGsters are encouraging me on the Facebook chat, so I persist. I walk to the HQ again and on the way I swear to myself that my first big accomplishment in this game will be to build a path from the spawning place to the HQ. I am also told if I sleep in a bed I will respawn close to it from then on. This is my new goal.

By the time I get to the HQ, it’s getting dark again so I rush to find the bed. I click on it, but I cannot sleep because it’s not night time. No problem, I use the time to get a tool to protect myself. I find a crowbar in one of the boxes. I am waiting in a corner for the night to arrive when I hear a zombie. I frantically click on the bed: “Sorry, you cannot sleep when there is a monster around.” I am easy to scare and never watch horror films, so feel free to laugh, but I found this truly scary. The sound of the zombie and the breaking wood! So here I am 3 hours into the gameplay, holding a stolen crowbar and crying in a corner. Facebook messages arrive: “crowbar is not a weapon!,” “hang in there!,” “I am almost home, I’ll go online and save you!” And soon enough another pixel-man appears on the screen and the zombie is dead. My in-game chat says Hi! and the sun comes up. Suddenly everything is much prettier. I go outside and notice the birds are chirping (it might only be in my imagination) there are flowers and cute crickets. More and more people log on and I slowly and shyly start to explore. We build a road together from the HQ to the spawn-place. A great accomplishment and superb tutorial in one. I kept failing and being clumsy, but the others build me stairs when I fall and kill the zombies when it gets dark. What a wonderful experience that was. I watched the next dusk from the top of an artificial magical tree. The whole island was front of my feet and it was truly beautiful.

Minecraft is the most awesome game. I went from literally crying in the corner to standing on top of the world. I cannot wait to play again and I already have grand ideas what to build. In case you are also a first time player, shy to ask for advice and you don’t want to spend 3 hours making a stick I suggest you watch this 5 minute video:

More info on the mLab server in its awesome mods:
To play on the mLab server contact Joachim.