Discovering the wonderful world of Minecraft

Minecraft is just one of over 100 games you can play in our Game Masters exhibition, which runs until 20 April 2015 at National Museum of Scotland.

What is Minecraft? Minecraft has two parts: a creator mode and the game itself. I use the creator mode most, as it gives you unlimited freedom (resource wise) to build what you want.

National Museum of Rural Life on Minecraft
The courtyard at National Museum of Rural Life on Minecraft

Originally, I got into Minecraft because I have always liked games that are non-linear – I can’t stand droning repetitive game-play, I’d be as well washing dishes if that were the case! I tried a demo on the Xbox and wasn’t very impressed, but then I read about the creator mode and that interested me so I got it on Xbox Live (I think it was a sale or a special). I mucked about with the game for a couple of hours and found it rather underwhelming so I started messing around with the creator mode. Obviously I like the creator part the most; it is like an infinite Lego set.

National Museum of Rural Life on Minecraft
The barn doors at National Museum of Rural Life on Minecraft

I think Minecraft has gained popularity in the same way that Space Invaders, Manic Miner, Tetris and Angry Birds are popular: they are easy to learn but hard to master. They also don’t require hours of your time to play them – although you can quite easily end up losing track. You can also have all your pals come in and play about in your creations. If anyone has played with or likes Lego then they will love Minecraft’s creator mode. It is also easy enough to pick up that you don’t have to be a good “gamer” to enjoy it.

National Museum of Rural Life on Minecraft
National Museum of Rural Life on Minecraft

You can build anything you can imagine within Minecraft; somebody recently made a working 16 bit computer that just blows my mind! You can only build in blocks though, so you can’t do circles or triangles etc, only cuboid, but clearly that has not hindered some people. I am surprised actually that they have not implemented this yet, though, as it is the next obvious step.

National Museum of Rural Life on Minecraft
The theatre at National Museum of Rural Life on Minecraft

In re-creating the National Museum of Rural Life on Minecraft, my original inspiration was that I just wanted to see if I could do it. It took about 14 hours to do just the museum building. I made it purely from memory so the sizes are not accurate. It looks right from the outside but the inside corridors and stairways are not exact. So it is right but not quite – just like people’s memories! I also built the old farmhouse and tractor tracks but it is all messed up so I might dynamite that part and start again if I take the notion.

You can find out about more of the games that will be on display in the Game Masters exhibition here.

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