The History and FAQ’s of Minecraft
Minecraft is the popular sandbox game where the buildings and structures you can create are only limited by your imagination. It was created by Swedish developer Markus “Notch” Persson and his company Mojang. In September 2014, Mojang and Minecraft were acquired from Persson by Microsoft for US $2.5 billion.
There are no real objectives to the game. Whatever tasks you lay out for yourself are your goals alone. Besides yourself, the world is populated by “mobs” which are the animals, monsters, and villagers of the game.
It is considered the best-selling game of all time, having sold 176 million copies across the world and all available platforms as of May 2019. Music for the game was developed by German musician, C418.
The Worlds And What Inhabits Them
While spending time in your randomly generated world, you can: mine materials, build structures, battle monsters, explore, craft, and much more.
In PC and newer console versions of the game, the worlds are infinite in size. The worlds are split into different biomes that will house certain resources and mobs. Included among these biomes are forests, mountains, snow plains, and much more. New biomes and mobs are added to the game in updates regularly.
Mobs can be friendly or hostile. On the friendly side are villagers who inhabit small villages placed randomly in the land. The villagers have items that they are willing to trade for other specific items. Animals are also available to farm for resources or become allies in some cases. Cows, sheep, and pigs can be killed for their meat and wool or leather in the cases of the cows and sheep. Wolves, horses, and ocelots can be tamed to assist you in various ways.
As for hostile mobs, they spawn either at nighttime or in dark areas. The most common monsters are zombies, skeletons, and spiders. Zombies are melee enemies who will chase you down until killed. Skeletons have bows and arrows to shoot you from a distance. Spiders can crawl up walls and will not die in the sunlight as opposed to zombies and skeletons who will catch on fire when in direct sunlight.
Other hostile mobs include Enderman, who are inspired by the internet tale of Slenderman, and the iconic creeper that explodes when close to a player. Other various forms of mobs exist as well.
There are two other realms that the player can access via portals in Minecraft. The first is the Nether that can be reached by collecting obsidian blocks and building a portal and lighting it on fire. This land is filled with lava and a resource block called Netherrack that when lit on fire does not go out until outside forces extinguish the flame. Special mobs inhabit the Nether, including giant ghost-like monsters named ghasts, zombie-pigmen, and more.
The other special realm that can be reached is The End. This land is a barren area inhabited by Enderman and the one true main boss of the game the Enderdragon. When the dragon is defeated, the credits will be rolled.
Game Modes And Functionality
Multiple game modes are available for you and your friends to mold your world to the way you see fit.
The first and most classic mode for Minecraft is survival mode that involves you keeping yourself alive by creating resources and food to survive against starvation and the many enemies sprawled throughout the world. The second is Creative Mode. In this mode, your character cannot die from anything, and you have an infinite supply of materials at all time. Adventure mode is also very
Newer console and PC versions of the game have access to mini-games, spectator mode, a deathmatch-like battle mode, and Minecraft Realms which allows players to access the worlds without the host being online.
The Java version of the game has access to mods where users can create new gameplay mechanics, items, textures, and assets.
Platforms, Release Dates, And Various Versions Of Minecraft
Minecraft was originally released on November 18, 2011, for Java on PC. Since that time, it has been ported to:
Xbox 360 – May 9, 2012
PlayStation 3 – December 17, 2013
PlayStation 4 – September 4, 2014
Xbox One – September 5, 2014
PlayStation Vita – October 14, 2014
Windows 10 – July 25, 2015
Nintendo Wii U – December 17, 2015
Mobile “Pocket Edition” – December 19, 2016
Nintendo Switch – May 11, 2017
New Nintendo 3DS – September 13, 2017
Aside from the various consoles that Minecraft has been made for, virtual reality support is available for the Windows 10, Gear VR, and Oculus Rift as of August 15, 2016.
On December 18, 2018, the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, and Wii U versions of the game received their final updates.
Minecraft Classic is the original state of the game when it first released in 2011. This is the only version of the game that is free-to-play outside of a trial and China, and it does not receive updates. There are no mobs, environmental hazards do not work, and the game acts like it is in Creative Mode.
Minecraft 4K is a small world that always appears the same when it is generated. Players can only set or destroy bricks.
Minecraft: Educational Edition is specifically made for educational institutions to teach computer programming.
The Raspberry Pi Edition was released on February 11, 2013, and is a downgraded version of the game that allows players to use text commands to edit the game world. Anyone who knows how to program and read game code can mess with the different aspects of the game.
China received Minecraft on May 20, 2016. It is a free-to-play model of the game available for iOS, PC, and Android.
Finally, on July 31, 2017, the Bedrock Edition of the game released on Windows 10, Xbox One, Gear VR, Apple TV, and Fire TV. Later it released for the Nintendo Switch as well. Any person using this version of the game has access to crossplay with any other Bedrock Edition of the game.
Reception And Products Spawned From Minecraft’s Success
In May 2019, Microsoft and Mojang announced that Minecraft had sold over 176 million copies worldwide across all platforms, making it the highest-selling video game of all time.
The game has received critical acclaim since its first debut on Java thanks to its creative freedom, deep crafting system, and the ease of entry for anyone to be able to play. All console versions and PC versions of the game have received nothing but good review scores. The mobile platforms have received less favorable reviews but are still decently popular.
Social media has played a huge role in Minecraft’s popularity. Research performed by the University of Pennsylvania found that about a third of all Minecraft players found out about the game from an online video. Social media influencers, mostly on Youtube, Facebook, and Reddit, were especially key in the growth of Minecraft. By May 2012, over 4 million Minecraft-related YouTube videos had been uploaded to the popular video-sharing site. These videos often contained walkthroughs, how-to’s, and many other comedic and creative styles.
Other forms of entertainment have come from the cultural impact that Minecraft has had on the world. A movie is in the works with an expected release date of March 4, 2022, after delays following directorial and writer changes. It is being produced by Warner Bros.
In November 2011, the first Minecon was held at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. It was held to commemorate the full release of the Java version of the game (much of its early popularity came during the beta stage). Almost every year since 2011 has held a Minecon for fans of the game to show their support of the game. Starting with Minecon 2017, the show is livestreamed online with no show floor.
In December of 2012, a documentary titled Minecraft: The Story Of Mojang was released by 2 Player Productions. It goes into the making of both Minecraft and the company that makes it.
Minecraft has also branched out to various forms of games. The first of these spin-off games is Minecraft: Story Mode. This episodic game released on October 13, 2015, and focuses on a narrative as you play as a character named Jesse as he searches for a group named The Order of the Stone who defeated an Enderdragon to save the world. Originally limited to five episodes, three downloadable extra episodes were added to further the story and a second season released on July 11, 2017.
At Minecon 2018, Minecraft Dungeons was announced. It is a dungeon crawling game similar to the Diablo series that can be played either solo or with up to four people. Its expected release date is spring 2020 for Windows, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PS4.
The last spin-off title is Minecraft Earth for mobile. This game was announced in May 2019 and is an augmented reality game where you can build structures in the real world, and those structures persist and can be edited by other players. No release date has been given for the game yet, but it will have a beta release in summer 2019.
Questions About Minecraft
With Minecraft being the best-selling game of all time, people are bound to be interested in it and have questions. Here are some questions that have been asked about the cultural phenomenon and the answers to them.
Q: Can you play Minecraft for free?
A: Most versions of Minecraft cannot be played for free. Minecraft Classic can, but it is the original state of the game and cannot be updated. On PC/Mac, a demo mode is available that lasts for 100 minutes. On console, the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita have demos that are limited to only the tutorial mode and the world cannot be saved.
Q: Is Minecraft good for kids?
A: Minecraft is good for people of all ages. The game is deep and has tons of content, but it is very easy to pick up and learn. Not having any real objectives allows kids of all ages to explore the world to their heart’s content and make their adventures.
Q: Why is Minecraft currently surging in popularity?
A: Minecraft has always remained a popular game even with games like Fortnite taking over the spotlight. Youtubers and other social media personalities have recently picked the game up again, and the crowd is coming back to it much like how it originally gained its following in the early 2010s.
Q: What are the recent Minecraft updates?
A: Minecraft has regular updates that bring more to the various versions of the game. For the version you are playing on, go to the official Minecraft website. As of this writing, the latest update is called Village & Pillage. It is an update centered around the villager mob and the village they call home. For the full patch notes, you can visit HERE.
Q: What is Minecraft? How do you play it?
A: Minecraft is an open world sandbox game, which means there are no true objectives to the game. You can do whatever it is you want in a large, expansive world. The world is made of blocks that can be gathered and placed to build your buildings and structures. There is a deep level of crafting, RPG elements, and more packed into the game, so there should be at least a little bit of something for mostly everyone.
Q: Is Minecraft educational?
A: Minecraft is not educational in the way that it will teach your kid to count numbers or learn the alphabet. The way it is educational is in the way that your child will learn how to problem solve and build up their living place to help them survive. The game has also proven to be a good way to teach people how to code and program games.
Q: How many editions of Minecraft are there?
A: Minecraft has many editions ranging across many platforms. As of this writing, there are 16. The original was the Java version for PC and Mac that is still updated to this day. Minecraft made its debut on consoles on the Xbox 360 in 2012 and has spread to every other home console to come out since then. The last generation of consoles no longer receive updates for Minecraft, but the current ones do. Due for release in late 2019 is Minecraft Earth which will be a free-to-play augmented reality game that will be available on mobile devices. There is much excitement around this release and it is predicted to be as big a success as Pokemon GO.
Q: Who created Minecraft?
A: Minecraft was created by Swedish developer Markus “Notch” Persson. He also founded Mojang, the company who still work on Minecraft to this day. Persson sold both Mojang and the Minecraft IP to Microsoft in September 2014 for 2.5 billion American dollars.
Q: What makes a good Minecraft server?
A: At the end of the day, a good Minecraft server is whatever you find to be the most fulfilling and fun. Does that involve building your city? Is it making a farm? Are you creating an underground civilization with friends? Is it defeating the enderdragon? There are many ways to make a “good” Minecraft server. You need to decide how you want to go about making yours.
Q: How do people make money playing Minecraft?
A: There are two well-known ways to make money while playing Minecraft. The first is to make videos on YouTube or stream to Twitch. To start earning money on either platform, you are going to need to build an audience which can take a long time and be challenging. People need to watch you, but they also need to keep coming back to watch you. When your audience grows large enough, you will start earning payment opportunities.
The other way to earn some money is to make mods for the Java and Bedrock versions of the game. People will pay money to try out new mods that can include skins, changes to gameplay, or whatever else you can come up with. To do this, you need to have experience with coding and programming, but Minecraft has instilled a marketplace into the game so users can put out their content that other players buy using the game currency of “minecoins.”
Q: What platforms can Minecraft be played on?
A: There are ten platforms that Minecraft can be played on as of this writing. They are PC/Mac, mobile, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo New 3DS, Nintendo Switch, and the PlayStation Vita.
Q: Which console is best for Minecraft?
A: The best console for Minecraft comes down to your personal preference. The Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, and PlayStation Vita versions no longer receive updates, so if you want to stay up to date on the game, it would be recommended to play it on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or Nintendo Switch. As of this writing, the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch can cross-play with each other if you or a friend have both systems.
Q: Is Minecraft the same on all platforms?
A: There are a few differences between platforms when playing Minecraft. The Java version on PC and the Bedrock version on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows 10, and mobile all receive updates the earliest. Also, depending on what platform you play on, you can have access to special worlds and skins for your character. All Nintendo consoles with the game exclusively have a Super Mario world with access to a lot of different Mario character skins. The Xbox versions have access to exclusive Microsoft characters including Halo, Banjo Kazooie, Gears of War, and more. The PlayStation versions have LittleBigPlanet skins.
Q: Can the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One play Minecraft together in 2019?
A: As of this writing, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Minecraft can not play Minecraft together in 2019. The Xbox One can cross-play with the Windows 10, mobile, and Nintendo Switch versions of the game, but Sony has been hesitant in the past to allow games on their platform to play alongside other platforms. In 2018, they started a cross-play beta with Fortnite and Rocket League now has access to cross-play with other platforms. The hope is that one day Sony will allow Minecraft to have cross-play.