One of the most popular computer games right now is Minecraft, a game that allows you to create, edit, and explore worlds by digging, transforming, and creating new things out of basic materials like wood, stone, and metal.
I started playing Minecraft on November 27, 2011. Two days later I noted, “I bought it specifically to dig holes and play with flowing water. The zombies really scare me so I started playing in creative mode. However, there is something not as fun when there are no limitations. And I was disappointed in whatever physics logic is used to control water flow. When water is released by digging next to it, it flows for a little while and then stops. It doesn’t flood wherever it can like real water would.”
On February 18, 2014 I was driving to work and heard The Foundation’s podcast, “Learning to Play and Boosting Productivity – with Charlie Hoehn”. In it, Charlie talked about how he discovered the power of play. One thing that struck me is how both James – in his post about Mastery – and Charlie, in his book Play It Away: A Workaholic’s Cure for Anxiety ask the reader to “List everything you enjoyed doing [before, when you were young]”.
When I first heard the question, I didn’t know the answer. All I could think about was how I really didn’t like playing traditional sports. But the second time I heard the question, it’s as if my mind was prepared for the answer and I started to think about all of the time I spent going out into the woods and creating spaces for myself. I called them “forts” because I didn’t have a better word for them at the time, but they were just private, open spaces where I could go to get away.
When I was young I created these types of spaces in urban environments under bridges, in my backyard, at summer camps I worked at, and at colleges I attended. In high school I watched The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain (1995) – a movie about a map maker who comes to measure a mountain – just to learn more about maps and mountains. It turns out it was all a ruse to get us to watch Hugh Grant fall in love for two hours.
Back in January of 2012 I decided I’d try my hand at making some Minecraft comics and then point you to some that other people have done. I’m no Oatmeal or XKCD, but I wanted to share regardless. This was my first attempt.
Here’s some Minecraft cartoons that other people have done: