Forgive me, Productivity, but I started playing Minecraft.
In case you didn’t know, Minecraft is the brain-child of one Notch. He built it and continues to update it constantly. It’s in Alpha right now, but unlike most software that’s in alpha, you actually want to play it now, instead of waiting. For about $10, you get a virtual playground, akin to playing with Lego, while also being able to create things.
Each time you start a new game, single or multiplayer, a huge, infinite landmass is created, a la SimCity 2/3000. You get plains and mountains and trees and desert and water. And that’s just above ground. Start hacking away at anything (you can break any cube — the game is solely rendered with this simple geometric shape) and you get whatever material it was made of. You can then put them right back down in whatever configuration you want. Add specific ones together using a 2×2 or 3×3 crafting matrix and you get new materials to make even more cool stuff.
Right now, there aren’t any goals save for ones you make yourself. In Survival mode, monsters come out at night and can kill you, so one shared goal of most people is to build a residence of some kind to protect yourself. Thankfully, though, the server I play on has no damage or death, so this isn’t as paramount. Dodging monsters and worrying about falling to my death are annoying when you just want to experiment with making stuff.
Minecraft is a drug I haven’t knowingly taken since WoW. I can feel the same kind of thought process going on when I’m playing, and when I’m not yet playing — what to build next? There’s so much to do and try, and having my friends hang out online to see, build, and help is pretty cool, although my priority is to just get my own personal cavern going. Robyn has watched me play for a while now and seems to like it, mainly since you can’t be attacked or killed by anything ;-P I’m just glad it’s a video game we can both play together.
Making a sweet-ass stone-slabbed staircase is really fun, oddly enough.