Three to five years ago, I’ve been thrown some solid advice in gaming that my ignorant self would usually take for granted. These nuggets of wisdom would be along the lines of double-checking PC requirements, maintaining your console, creating a solid relationship with your fellow clan or party members, etc. Among all these counsels, the most important piece of advice that many experienced gamers tried to hammer in my mind was this: GRAPHICS ISN’T EVERYTHING.

Proof of the pudding? Minecraft.

bed

My ignorance has kept me asleep for so long.

I know, I know. I am late to the party and I am late to jump the “bandwagon”. And I regret that in my years of actually diving in to the gaming scene I refused to acknowledge this important gaming “commandment.” I have seen the light now, and I have realized the error of my ways. Let me give you a break down of how I face-palmed myself to kingdom come after finally checking out Minecraft.

I’ve always admired Minecraft gamers who go out of their way and spend most of their waking hours building huge estates, emulating buildings, castles, and fortresses that exist in the real life, and in fiction. I’ve seen and admired the works of CaptainSparklez, Syndicate, and Sky. I’ve even seen grand works made by a few friends and acquaintances. Despite that however, I’ve always felt that Minecraft and its blocky world was never for me. Reason being… and know that I am cringing at writing this sentence… “The graphics are too simple.”

That mentality of mine slowly died when I played more indie games and less triple-A titles. Despite the slow and steady change, I still have not taken initiative to play the ever relentless “16-bit” textured game.

It was only a few days ago that I impulsively bought the game’s PS4 edition. And you won’t believe who convinced me to do it: my own mother.

The day I bought the game, I was only supposed to buy some PSN credits to top up my account. I told myself not to buy games for now as I am awaiting the release of AC: Unity, and Far Cry 4 – two triple-A games that are bound to make my wallets scream and beg for mercy. In the meantime, I had Destiny to quench my gaming thirst even though it wasn’t everything I expected it to be. My mom was accompanying me on the way to the store when she uttered the magic words: “I know Minecraft is already on PS4. Why don’t you give that game a shot?”

I turned, slightly twitching at the sudden recommendation. I haven’t thought about that game for a long time now. It was my chance to finally enjoy the sweet, simple, life of Minecraft and yet I was still hesitant. “I don’t know… I’m still saving up for two more games,” I said.

“Those are still on November right? And you already said you were disappointed with Destiny. You should try Minecraft.”

It was odd that she was pushing for Minecraft. She’s never pushed me to buy a game before, so I asked her why.

Her reply? “One professor I follow wrote an article on the game recently. It unleashes your creativity, teaches you a bit of logic, and apparently it was a mega-hit when it was released for other versions. I’m surprised you didn’t get into the craze.”

She wasn’t adamant but the seeds were already planted in my mind. So when I asked for my PSN credits, I also asked for the PS4 version of Minecraft. And as if the gods were messing with me, I found out that the PS4 version was just made available for my country that very day. It was cheaper than I expected, and after calculating the financial consequences in my head, I took the plunge.

Fast forward to now, I believe I’ve already spent an estimate of 50 hours just upgrading my shelter, my armor, and exploring caves. How I fell into the spell of Minecraft I only have an inkling.

Maybe it’s because I could do anything I want, and despite that, I still have to work hard to find the things I need. Maybe because the game doesn’t force me to excel and the goal is just, to survive and thrive. Sure, there are other game modes, but the main point is just to build, farm, create, and feel free to make your own adventures. There’s freedom, challenge, and adventure, and it’s all within the “16-bit” textured world of Minecraft. And I regret all the years I’ve spent not playing this wonderful, amusing game.

looking for ore

I am now spending a lot of my waking hours exploring and discovering everything that Minecraft’s blocky world can offer.

So kids, the next time your more experienced gaming peers and elders give you advice. Don’t dismiss it. Though at present there are more misses than hits in the gaming scene, there are diamonds in the rough found in packages you might not even expect to look at.

Remember the mantra. GRAPHICS AREN’T EVERYTHING.

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