For those who don’t know, the wonderful Later Levels blog does a monthly question from a featured blogger. This month, the featured blogger is Sheikah Plate, and her question to the blogging community is as follows:
“If you could only play one game for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? This doesn’t include series – you can’t choose ‘Zelda games’, you must choose Ocarina of Time for example. This question assumes that the developer will continue to update the game if it has bugs that need fixing. It also assumes that, if the game has previously been released with DLC, there will continue to be new DLC for the game forever. If there is an online multiplayer mode it also assumes that there will also be a full lobby for you to play in. So what would you choose?”
Whenever I’m asked to choose a favorite game, I freeze up. There are so many titles that I have played and loved that I can never choose just one. With the way this question is worded, however, I didn’t even need to hesitate or deliberate in order to come to a conclusion. Without even the tiniest inch of doubt, I would choose Minecraft as the singular title that I would happily play for the rest of my life.
Minecraft isn’t my favorite game, not by a long shot. In fact, I hated the game when I first started playing it. I never played with Lego blocks as a kid because I am completely void of spacial skills and can’t build anything, and I don’t like the micromanagement that is an integral part of survival games. On paper, Minecraft is everything I should hate. Explaining why I picked this title will take me on a bit of a tangent, so I’m just going to warn everyone reading this in advance that things are about to get a bit emotional here.
When I joined the Vox Populi server, I began to understand why people loved this game so much. I have written about this server in more detail previously, but the short version is that I got onto this server because my husband wanted a game to play with me years ago, when we first started dating. He thought the MMO aspects of the server would keep me playing, but he was ultimately wrong. The community was what kept me logging in every day.
I have always been an introverted person. While I have always been shy, I imagine part of my introversion probably stems from growing up as a female gamer in a city that was very traditional in nature. Very few boys played video games, much less the other girls in my school, leading me to feel like an outcast. Even once I went to college, the only other gamer I talked to on a regular basis was my now-husband. When he finally wore me down and convinced me to play Minecraft, however, my world was changed.
This server had so many people on it, and they were all every bit as nerdy as I was. They read science fiction and played all of the same video games as me. We could talk all night about our favorite Bioware or Final Fantasy title, and we understood each other when we set alarms for three AM so we didn’t miss the server’s raid boss. These people, even if I had never met them before in the real world, were my people, and it was the first time in my life that I had experienced the joy that comes from making social connections over the internet.
Over the years since I started playing on Vox Populi, I have built up a social circle. When I get on the server, I always know that someone will talk to me if I type in the chat. I have a group of core friends that are frequently on in a group chat we have set up, and we love to goof around as we farm our crops and fight monsters. While I may not have met these people in real life, I consider them to be some of my closest friends and we talk almost every night.
All of this explains why Minecraft is special to me, but it doesn’t actually get at the nature of why I picked it to be the only game that I would ever play again. The reason I picked Minecraft as the game that I would play for the rest of my life is specifically because of the wording of the question. If I gave up every other game in the world to keep Minecraft around, then there must always be an online lobby for me if the game has multiplayer. In the wording of this question, I choose to believe that I would be able to keep Vox Populi alive for the rest of my life. This is a trade that I would gladly make, as I fear that nothing lasts forever on the internet, and one day, this server will close. When it closes, what happens to the friends I have made over the years?
Is it cheating to pick a game by using a loophole in the question? Maybe, but I don’t think my response is invalid. Fear of the unknown is difficult to control, and in the theoretical universe I created for the purpose of answering this question, I would never have to worry again. My friends and I would be able to continue playing Minecraft forever, and Vox Populi would never shut down. For me, I would be willing to pay the price of not playing other games.