It was a dark time for gaming. Shooters abounded, with the game giants churning out endless sequels to Guitar Hero, Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, Halo and Gears of War. And while some of them could be pretty decent, I yearned for something unique. An open-world style game that allowed me to build, explore and have a cool adventure. Sounds like a great idea, right?
That’s when I came across Minecraft, a procedurally generated world filled with blocks that could be “mined” in order to produce a variety of tools and structures. It sounded awesome, except for one minor problem. It wasn’t available on my Xbox 360. Instead, what WAS available was the independently produced Total Miner, a game of similar design that I quickly fell in love with. Over the next year or so, I’d mine and build my way across countless worlds, filling them with elaborate structures of my own design. I’d also play Fortress Craft, which was a slightly different take – but still pretty great too. And when Minecraft finally arrived on the 360? Yep, you guessed it. I delved in and spent the next two or three years building huge futuristic cities and exploring the mountains, ravines and oceans of whatever world I happened to like the looks of.
Today on my PS4, I still pick it up and play it whenever I want a great couch co-op experience, or just want to spend a little time building and chilling out. In fact while playing recently, I thought about how Minecraft could quite possibly be on of the most libertarian / anarcho capitalist / voluntaryist games out there. I mean, if you’ve also played it, you might know what I’m talking about. The world literally has no government or massive State to oversee all your actions. There’s just you, and your drive to create and explore. Want to build an awesome house in the middle of the ocean, or better yet – under the ocean? You can do it! Want to create a Frank Lloyd Wright style structure in the mountains? Go for it! Enjoy farming, trading with the locals and raising animals? Make it happen! Don’t like the skeletons that keep breaking the non-aggression principal with the nearby peaceful villages at night? You can step in and save the day. No government permit, state board of regulation, imposed statism, or calling the cops.
Of course, you’re also free to behave badly if you want too. For example, if you want to level the entire landscape to build a giant lava spewing toilet, well…it can be done, provided you want to take the time to mine the materials and construct the thing. Or if you want to place a thousand blocks of dynamite in the middle of a peaceful group of derpy looking cows, or build an unsightly dirt tower in the middle of a beautiful valley, yep. You guessed it. You can do that too.
The immensely successful game, which is brightly colored with soothing ambient music, and an environment made entirely out of blocks (including animals and other forms of life), is appropriate for kids and adults. Players can certainly “kill” the creatures found in the game, but there is no blood. And surprisingly in this day and age, there’s no sexual content or foul language either. It’s an extremely accessible and creative game all about building, exploration, self determination, creating your own story – and freedom.
And hey, let’s face it. If libertarian sea colonies or a voluntaryist country happens to take a while to come into fruition here in the real world, at least you can build one in Minecraft. Have fun!
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