Photo contributed by Alex Gold '22
When you think of video games, you think of “Call of Duty,” “Fortnite” and other war and shooting simulators. These enable adults to assure that every game is a brain-melting, criminal-making, digital wasteland that is going to ruin your life. However, these videogames soil the name of the best-selling and (ironically) simplest game of all time, and all it has to offer.
Already holding the title of the most downloaded game in the world, in the week of Dec. 13, Mincraft also reached 1.00 trillion (that is 1 with 12 zeros…) views on YouTube, illustrating its overarching influence on youth and the world population. Unlike other video-games, however, it is a vessel for unlimited creativity and a significant outlet for stress-relief.
Minecraft is often criticized for being too simple. People will say “it is just a bunch of blocks.” But, perhaps this is why it is so beneficial and ubiquitous. There are no constraints. You can play with whoever you want, build whatever you want, break, mine, craft (haha), breed, farm and truly be creative.
Ever since I got my first computer in middle school, I have held the great honor of being a minecrafter. Throughout the years, my friends and I have collaborated to make detailed and comprehensive projects.
One of the first, “Frosty’s Frontier,” was a mining village complete with living quarters and a coal mine. Next, “egg city,” as I now choose to name it, a modern city with a mall topped off by the titular fountain of eggs. Over time our creations have become more detailed and ambitious, with this year’s plans to re-create Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel.
In stressful times, Minecraft is not only a respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but an outlet for creativity and fun. Sometimes after a long day of school, you just want to build a giant potato out of dirt. Or, after work you want to calm down while trying to breed the infamous, nay legendary and highly coveted 12 slot llama.
Video-games like Minecraft offer ample opportunity for creativity and stress-relief. Health professionals have taken the game to new heights, using its endless resources for mindfulness exercises and even Therapy.
According to Health Times, Clinical Psychologist Luke Blackwood put the game at the center of his online therapy program for children with autism, seeing as it is a “safe place to scaffold social and emotional learning.”
It is important that video games do not take precedence over family, schoolwork and generally being a productive member of society. However, allowing video games to be demonized, and deemed inherently bad, would suppress a great outlet for enjoyment and creativity. We should instead embrace the simple delights of virtual gemstones and mindlessly breaking blocks in light of the stress filled lives we live.