Minecraft isn’t just a game, it’s life. You can learn so much from it if you pay attention. And breed enough llamas.
I fell in a Minecraft hole recently. I didn’t know version 1.16 had just come out, that was just a happy surprise.
Love my blue fire.
Yes, I probably lost a good bit of writing time building a new castle, but Minecraft isn’t just a game of digging and building. It also contains important life lessons.
Here are ten of mine.
Security comes at the cost of convenience
My main activity in Minecraft is building castles. Most of my other activities are primarily to support this goal.
My castles fall at different points on the continuum from practical to pretty, but security is always a consideration. (Not security against zombies. Security against invading armies that don’t exist in Minecraft, and may or may not exist in my book.)
My treasures should be stored somewhere high, behind thick walls, and up a lot of stairs.
I don’t hide my treasure. Hiding treasure is for those without sturdy castles and (imaginary) armies to protect them.
The problem is that such treasure storehouses are inconvenient to get to, so inevitably I put in a short-cut: a door through a solid wall that stops me having to run up and down several flights of stairs.
Security is great, but convenience always wins.
Being able to walk on water is useful
There was a guy who did this before, right?
I’m not talking about him.
I mean if you put water lilies on top of your waterways your sugar cane will never fall in the pond again. Your life will be bliss.
You can have aesthetics or functionality, not both
Yes, I’m thinking about my castles again.
People can make gorgeous castles. (Not me. I can only make ugly castles.)
Or people can make castles that give you good vantage points to shoot the attacking zombies. Which are ugly.
For some reason you can never have both.
Goods at one location are not a substitute for the same goods at a different location
If I have librarians at the base of my castle (which I do), sugar cane at my castle is worth a lot.
Sugar cane in a random chest on the far side of the continent is worth almost nothing.
It might be worth so little I don’t even bother riding over to bring it back and sell it. (My horse is really slow.)
Never trust a llama to carry your valuables
I love llamas. (In Minecraft. I’m not sure I’ve met a llama in real life, though I have alpacas living across the road.)
They make adorable noises and their babies are the cutest things ever.
The idea of llama caravan trains is great: pile up half a dozen llamas with all the sugar cane you want transported, put one llama on a lead, and head off across the continent.
In practice, two llamas get stuck on the first tree you pass, another falls in the river and is left bobbing there, two more get distracted and are left standing gormlessly on a hillside, and the llama you’re leading steps in lava and burns to death.
You didn’t really want that sugar cane, right?
No one needs zombies chasing them
Dying and losing all my enchanted diamond armour and tools was always the most annoying part of (survival) Minecraft.
Then those rats with banners came along and started attacking my villages.
Recently I discovered “peaceful mode”. I planned to use it only until my village was secure, and then switch back to “easy”.
But guess what. I like not being chased by zombies while mining or if I accidentally get stuck too far from my bed at night.
Even once I finish building a wall I’m not sure I’ll be able to go back.
No one’s life is better when they’re being chased by zombies.
Dogs don’t belong in a building site
I build the old-fashioned way: subject to gravity, without scaffolding, usually at a great height (because castles should be on top of mountains, duh).
I walk a fine line stepping out over the edge to build an overhang from above.
I used to fall off a lot before I discovered stepping at an angle for finer control.
Now I only fall when my dog pushes me.
Life is sweeter if you remember where you left your horse
Does this need explaining?
I have four main sites around my castle: the castle itself, the garden where I grow sugar cane, among other things, the paddock where I breed stock, and the village.
Then there’s my spawn site, the original village near my spawn site, the mine where I found railroads, my route to the savanna, and so on.
I get around by horse, by tunnel, by train, or by running.
Horses are highly convenient transport until you forget where you left them.
Note this is different to real life. In my experience, riding is many things, but convenient is not one of them.
The further through life you go, the more stuff you acquire
And it weighs you down.
This is true in life and probably any game you play.
Early on, you don’t have much and you can carry it all with no problem. Then you gather more things: iron ingots, lead ropes, buckets of milk just in case you have to kill one of those pesky grey guys and go into a village afterwards.
Sure, each one of these items makes your life easier, but it’s also one more slot you can’t use to carry pretty flowers you find in foreign lands.
Real life is the same. Sometimes I think I should clean house (except for the books).
I should not be an architect
I have a range of skills: I can toast a mean slice of bread, provide a warm lap for the cat, read in at least one language, and solve partial differential equations.
But I’m the last person you should call on to design buildings.
Luckily the villagers I build houses for don’t complain. You shouldn’t either.
In case this wasn’t clear, Minecraft is incredible fun and a superb waste of time. I justify it saying I’m building the settings from my book.
Do you play Minecraft? What did you learn from it?
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