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When the first version of Minecraft was released ten years ago, on May 17, 2009, nobody knew that this independent title would eventually become the most impactful game for entire generations of gamers. By May 2019, Minecraft surpassed Tetris as the best-selling video game of all times with more than 176 million copies being sold. To celebrate the indie hit’s tenth anniversary, we are going to have a look at this gem, try to explain what it makes so special and what impact the sandbox classic has had on culture.
The sky is the limit
In contrast to most other games, Minecraft does not have one distinct goal. Instead, the players are invited to explore the world themselves, craft hundreds of items, collect resources, build homes, and fight monsters.
The most important ingredient of Minecraft’s recipe is the lack of limits: you, the player, decide what you want to do. You can choose between different game modes that suit your personal tastes: in survival mode you have to overcome monsters, hunger, and lack of resources, while also building and expanding your home. If you just want to dedicate your time to building stuff, creative mode is the way to go. You want to experience epic adventures and have a defined goal? The adventure mode might be just what you are looking for!
As if Minecraft wasn’t fun enough in single-player, the developers also added the multiplayer function. You have certainly some very fond memories on your mind creating a world with your friends to build castles, towers, bridges, and many other impressive things.
Minecraft’s graphics: the beauty of simplicity
The graphics of Minecraft seem to defy the laws of modern AAA+ titles: most games boast with their super realistic graphics as their unique selling propositions. The simplicity of Minecraft’s graphics has made it possible for people to create impressive works of art in their virtual worlds. Some players dedicate hundreds of hours piling up myriads of individual block. The result of their work is nothing short of awe-inspiring: from Hogwarts to the Mona Lisa and the famous hometown of the Simpsons, Springfield, Minecrafters have rebuilt many beautiful and iconic works known from television, books, and art in the game’s typical block style.
Minecraft in popular culture
It is perhaps little surprising that Minecraft has also transcended into other media. There are many pop cultural artifacts that make references to the game, use its style and aesthetics, and pay tribute to its impact on our society. The Simpsons, South Park, and Rick & Morty referenced the game in some form. Minecraft’s impact is not restricted to the realm of cartoons, however. Musicians such as Lady Gaga and Deadmau5 are well-known for being passionate Minecrafters. They incorporate the game in their videos, produce content on the game, and use the simple block style of the game in their live shows.
Believe it or not, but the Minecraft: Hunger Games mod is the first Battle Royale game. Its developers took the idea of the popular Hollywood movie starring Jennifer Lawrence and turned it into an epic free-for-all battle experience. After its release in April 2012, other games followed with Battle Royale mods such as DayZ which can be regarded as the prototype for PUBG and eventually Fortnite, the most successful game of the genre.
Minecraft is a game with almost infinite potential, and we are anxious to know what exciting features are still to come. What is your personal favorite memory of Minecraft? Tell us about it via Facebook and Twitter.