Thanks for that, Mark. Despite being a long time PC gamer, Minecraft never really held any interest for me. (I'm not a big architect game player). My 8 year old son has been asking about Minecraft (he mostly plays on a Kindle Fire or Wii) and I think a couple of getting started books would be a help, because I'm just not that interested in learning and playing it enough to feel comfortable with him playing it.
But how do we craft them?!?
The wiki is both a useful and mandatory resource as the game doesn't hold your hand at all. Fortunately the game runs in a window so it's easy to tab back and forth as you come up with questions. The wiki is so expansive just about every question you can think of has an answer in there.
The amazing part to me is that they're still selling thousands of copies of the game per day. In internet terms Minecraft is a grizzled veteran and yet it still manages to hold people's attention. Mojang keeps a running tally on their website:
It's an important number too, as they've said they'll keep putting out updates for the game as long as it keeps selling.
A friend recommended the Goldberg and Larsson book and it is really a great read. Unlike the Minecraft documentary, which looks more at Minecraft as a phenomenon, the book is more about Markus and how Minecraft came to be (and came to rise to the phenom it has become). Both it and the movie cut off at a certain point, however, prior to some more recent developments in the life of both Notch and Minecraft. But it's an illuminating read and details things about the development of Minecraft I didn't know. It's both accessible and interesting.
IMHO, the Minecraft Wiki has all of the info you need for vanilla. Most of what you need is just recipes, at least until you start playing with Redstone circuits (and then god help you, because a book won't).
There really isn't that much to the basic gameplay. Once you teach someone how to survive the first day and where to find recipes, the rest of the game is pretty easy.
Those are fine and well, but where is the Jack Chick tract on the dangers of Minecraft? Have you seen the Nether?
Hey Mark, how would you feel about your daughter playing TF2? It's a great kids game where you run outside, make 'pew-pew (or kah-bewm)' noises, and then show off your pretty hats and pocket sized dolls.
Minecraft is like a Lego video game, and the fact that I like about it, is that it is about building and creating. In most games you kill and destroy stuff. If your kid wants Minecraft, than do whatever it takes to give them Minecraft! I'm looking forward to the new Everquest 3 release, as I hear that game will have a side dedicated to building, which will be free.
Sucks that WoW doesn't implements something of the sort. It would be a huge refresh to the game, I think. And btw, for whomever plays WoW, found a whole bunch of awesome free guides, here.
I used to play City of Heroes, and one of the most interesting parts of that game was the Base Building system. Although it was intentionally hobbled at first by the original intention of allowing base PvP (and thus requiring stringent building codes that made it difficult to accomplish really cool designs), the base builder was eventually opened up significantly to allow people to create whatever they wanted. It led to some incredible bases--there were best base contests with guided tours and everything.
The best part is that for a long time you could form a supergroup on the test server and it would give you a nearly unlimited budget to play with. This allowed you to get extremely creative without messing up the game for people who just wanted the base teleporters or storage.
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