Why we love Minecraft

Why we love Minecraft
Will Freeman

By Will Freeman

November 17th 2010 at 8:00AM

Three industry opinion formers declare their affection

Part of Minecraft’s staggering success is down to the fact that the dev sector’s hip hegemony have not only embraced the game, but felt compelled to spread the word.

But just why do the industry’s brightest admire the game so, and why do they think it’s a hit?

Gary Penn

Internal development manager, Denki

“I love Minecraft. It’s like LEGO meets Lost. It’s such an empowering construction toy set – a simple and powerful system – blended with the need to survive in an unknown microcosm.

"There’s a lot to learn and manipulate – and in your own time and way. It works on so many levels that combine to tickle your most base instincts – and it’s not even finished.

“I’m also impressed and envious of the way the author’s working. It’s a lovely ‘naked development’ approach that I never did get around to doing myself.”

Alice Taylor

Commissioning editor, Channel 4 Education

“Why it’s so successful? Who knows; a mixture of timing, magic and zeitgeist? Maybe we’re bored of 8-bit retro and now it’s all about Doom/Quake retro.

Maybe it’s the limitless possibilities of house building: from Falling Water repros, to castles, to the Starship Enterprise at 1:1 scale.

Maybe it’s the gold-panning: regular, but unpredictable and valuable ‘finds’ tickles our dopamine receptors. None of this on paper would have predicted the enormous, almost ridiculous response to Minecraft, though.”

Quintin Smith

Contributing editor, Rock Paper Shotgun

“MineCraft is LEGO, basically. It provides you with a world that’s been simplified to such an extent that you can build or sculpt anything you can imagine with perfect precision, and that’s hugely satisfying. Except unlike LEGO, you then get to live in this world.”