Hello everybody, I’m going to be writing this piece to reflect upon everything I’ve done in Minecraft, and the progression of my learning via playing the game. It may be long, as I am going to attempt to recount most things that have been major to me, and most things I’ve done in the game itself. So, sit tight, here it goes!
When I first joined Minecraft, I was a 6th grader with not much knowledge of the internet other than Youtube. Before playing Minecraft I had a Youtube channel that I uploaded to regularly that never really took off. But alas, in my head, I thought I was the latest sensation with my 50 odd subscribers, and my one video that managed to recieve 10,000+ views. At school one day, I mentioned to one of my friends, “Hey, you know Minecraft?” in which he replied, “Yep.” I then went on to say how I wanted to try out the game, and see what it was like. Two days later, HE had bought the game, and I naturally was jealous. One morning before school I got up out of bed, got ready, and asked my parents, “Mum, Dad, can I get Minecraft? It’s a game where you place blocks and build things however you like!” This sandbox idea excited me, and I wanted more than anything to go in and play. I had heard of a server from my friends, a survival server with a friendly community. I wanted to join them there and play together! They agreed, and I created my account with my very un-original username, and I began my journey. Little did I know, that I would soon be engrossed in this developing world of fun and discovery.
That afternoon I joined the server, and got through the spawn area and into the massive world. I looked around in wonder at the creations that had been built, and walked over the hills, slowly loosing hunger. At first, this world bewildered me. I didn’t know what to do, and I didn’t know how to do it. But soon I gathered the skills, as well as gathering wood and cobblestone. I finally made a house, and worked for the next week on expanding it. I loved the game! I had never had so much fun online before, watching my thoughts come to life (not literally) in front of me was amazing. I got better and I learned how to craft things like fences, ladders, and more thanks to the Minecraft Wiki. I soon found diamonds, gold, and more. The world that was Minecraft was opening up around me. Soon on the server I ranked up, and reached the 3rd rank of the server. I could now do things like place water to make farms, and place lava to make devious traps! My friends and I started using Skype to communicate in game, and I soon made my own small server for us to play on and experiment with things in creative! We hit a learning curve when we decided to film Minecraft for Youtube, but found the sad reality after failing terribly in the first episode. I had been playing Minecraft for months now, and was loving every bit of it. I went back to playing on the original server I played on, and I made amazing discoveries. A town had been constructed, for the 3rd rank and up to build in, and I could! I got permissions for the area of “Hammtana” (coincidently, the usernames of the creators were Hamm5 and Tana64.) and I started to build. My houses previously were shacks made of wood planks and cobblestone, but seeing the high standard of building in this town I felt pressured to make something good. I looked around the town, at the varieties of block types used in the buildings, the way they were structured, and built my first nice looking house. I was more than proud, and recieved congratulations from some other people in the town. It was around this time that I feel my whole Minecraft life changed completely, and I owe it all to one person and I honestly can not be more greatful.
It started when I went to the local tree farm, and mined some wood. But… I forgot to re-plant the saplings, as the rules clearly said. I logged in to find my house filled with leaves, with a sign saying “REPLANT THE SAPLINGS!!” on my house. I was confused, and then I remembered. I ran a quick check on the sign to see that it was placed by “SpokenSquid.” I checked, and saw that he was in game. I said to him, “Sorry, Squid. I forgot about replanting.” He forgave me, and that was the start of an amazing friendship. He taught me all he knew, he was a whizz at redstone and could build amazingly. He showed me the giant tree he had built, the mob grinder he was working on, and I slowly picked up on his skills. I was getting better at building- I had progressed from wooden shacks to slightly more complex buildings, to amazing creations! I got better and better at Minecraft, and SpokenSquid took me in without condition. I was having so much fun, progressing through the ranks of the server, getting more trusted by the community. One day, a player set me a challenge- he had noted I used shortened speech, such as “u” for “you” and “r” for “are”. He gave me the challenge of going a whole week, yes, one entire week, of using correct grammar. It was a foreboding task, but I accepted. The week was up and I had made a conscious effort of using correct grammar and spelling on the server, and I was rewarded by him with 5 diamonds! I was happy to have the diamonds, but little did I realised he too had just helped me a whole heap. It was a habit now, and I couldn’t go back! My literacy went from that of a 5 year old to that of someone suited to my age, even beyond! I realised I was making less mistakes in school, too, all thanks to this small habit I developed thanks to one person. Yet another person I was grateful to. Well, I went on playing on this server for over one year, and I had reached the rank just before moderator. The server had taught me so much, and I owed it all to their intelligent, Reddit based community. But, I was moving on. Not away from Minecraft, of course, because they had taught me to love it. But I wanted something more…
I heard rumours of Hunger Games in Minecraft, and I was curious as to how it worked. I was a great builder now, leaving my first server which I spent over a year on with many different skills to prepare me for the rest of Minecraft. I soon found some amazing servers: the MCSG servers. I found out this stood for “Minecraft Survival Games” and me and my friends got engrossed in yet another Minecraft experience. My best friend was straying from Minecraft, leaving at lunch to do other things, and I just sat back with my other good friends, but still felt sad that he no longer liked Minecraft like he used to. I didn’t know if he was trying to be cool, or if he just got bored of it, but I was sad, nonetheless. I played MCSG, and started picking up new building tips from the amazing Hunger Games maps that were made by the build team Vareide, as well as learn many different PvP skills! I learnt to strafe in combat, jump to land critical hits, learnt that wood swords were actually better than gold, and much more. I was getting better, and better! I had managed to win 14 times untill I switched accounts to “cubemylife”. This was because one day, my brother, (the owner of the account) was playing on the servers and I decided to help him out. Somehow, I got 5 consecutive wins in the games, and the account stuck. (for MCSG anyway.) I got better and better, learnt more and more about the way the maps were made, and then met Darkrai202. He was 13, like me, but there was a difference. He was placed 5th in the whole of Australia! MCSG is a big server, and 15,000+ people were registered to AU. This was no simple feat- he had 500+ wins! I was humbled by his greatness, and when he offered to team with me for a few games, I was excited! We built a small relationship and became buddies, sometimes playing together. I worked my way to 25 wins… to 50… I was getting better and better! I was so close by the time I had 80 to being in the top 100 players in Australia, and I was winning a high percentage of my games. I reached 100 wins eventually, and now I stood out from other players as someone with over 100 wins, which was not easy to do! I then realised… Darkrai202 had his own prestigious clan of elite players, called the “AuRebels”. The requirement to join was 100 wins… I qualified! I joined the clan, but the day I did I found out the clan was being disbanded. I was confused, but realised there was turmoil within the members, and the clan had been on the decline for the last few weeks. I was sad I didn’t get to have a chance to play with them… but from the ashes of the clan rose PHOENIX! This was the new clan, Team Phoenix, and I was accepted in to their community freely. Darkrai was the owner of the clan again, which I was happy about, since he was the one that lead me there in the first place. Soon, the Phoenix Build team was created, because MCSG was accepting community built Hunger Games maps. It’s not simple to make a map though. You need to be a good builder, and be innovative. After a weekend and a bit of constant hard work on the Phoenix server, we made our first map- PIRATE BAY! (view this amazing creation HERE- http://www.minecraftsurvivalgames.com/threads/pirates-bay.35474/ ) This was a success with the community, receiving lots of positive feedback. We were incredibly happy with our efforts, and the fact that it took us a few days was amazing! Since then, I’ve continued to build small projects for Phoenix, play MCSG,explore many other online games, and my best friend has gotten back in to the game, and we play together again.
Well… what has Minecraft taught me? “Nothing, it’s just a stupid game! You’ve got better ways to spend your time!” Incorrect. This is one of the most educational and in-depth games created, amazingly with only a small developer team. The creative minds behind the computers in Switzerland have sparked creativity in millions of other people behind computers, all around the world. From America, to Europe, to Australia, and beyond. Minecraft is an amazing game that promotes creativity, problem solving skills, literacy, and higher learning. It’s simplistic yet so detailed. It’s got the potential to be anything you want it to be, from recreation, to work, to moneymaking. People like Toby Turner (Tobuscus) make LOTS of money a year by producing content on Youtube, and some of this content is Minecraft. CaptainSparkelz, or Jordan, has millions of subscribers and receives money from Youtube for his videos. He’s made songs, animations, and more. There’s no limit to the creativity of Minecraft’s amazing community, and it will keep growing, as does the game.
Thankyou for reading, everyone. It’s been a pleasure to write about what I love.
~A_FLEMING (Aquinas Fleming.)
Seriously EPIC post, A_Fleming! Congratulations! You’ve summed up the new user experience in Minecraft beautifully.
Thanks very much for the comment, it’s appreciated since this took almost two hours to write!
You have no idea how proud I am of you – WOW 🙂 What a wonderful insight into your learning.
Wow, this is a magnificent reflection! You summed it up wonderfully at the end by stating how easy it is to write about something you love. I appreciate that you took the time to describe your growth as not only a player, but as a passionate learner.
So incredibly articulate, A_FLEMING ! Thank you for taking the time to share all the things you have learned through playing this game. Perhaps you will inspire some teachers to play… to learn… to play! 🙂 EPIC! Hope you will also inspire more students to share their stories!
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Thanks for the positive feedback everyone! It’s good to see my effort has been appreaciated.
Thanks for writing this. I’ve only been using Minecraft for a short time, primarily the EDU version as I am an educator, but I’m really intrigued by some of the amazing ways the larger community has developed specific games within the game for people with different interests and skill sets. I think that in addition to the improvements in your writing you cited, you’ve also learned a lot about creativity, perseverance, and communication with a wide range of people. Again, thank you for sharing your experience and the insights you’ve gained.
Thank you for the reply. There are a lot of sub-games that branch off of Minecraft to try out on different servers, and some of them are very complex and exciting!