Sunday, February 2, 2014

~~For Love of Minecraftia: Chapter One--The First Sheltered World~~

Entry Note--I apologize ahead of time for the quality of this story. It was my very very first attempt at a long story, and so it was not terribly successful. But have it.

I had always loved Minecraft. Ever since it first came out, I had loved it with all my heart. The blocks. The square sun. I’d been with the game since the very beginning—I was one of the first who ever bought the first version of it. And how many versions there had been!

Mojang had turned out countless versions, updates—bugs I’d grown to live with suddenly disappeared, as well as things I thought he’d intended to keep. My world expanded, my creations got better and bigger, and I never stopped playing it, not even for a single moment.

Minecraft was addictive. Complete and utter freedom. You could do whatever you wanted, make whatever you wanted, and no one could ever be there to stop you. You were alone, forever alone, but you had pigs and things so did you really care? Probably not.

Many people never saw the beauty that is in Minecraft. Many people, including me at the beginning, never got anywhere close to looking past the blocks and little cubes that make up the world to seeing how beautiful they can be. Blocks, as simple as they are, are used to create things that are very beautiful. Are bracelets beautiful, when they are made up of only beads? And are not the beads very simple things to look at in the beginning?

They are indeed very simple. There is never very much variation in beads, even the expensive ones. I never liked working with beads—to be fully honest, I always found them quite boring. My mom used to order me to make her bracelets, because even though I hated beads, mine always seemed to be a good deal better than any of the bracelets she turned out. My color sense was probably why she was so adamant about me making those bracelets—I had always seemed to have an affinity for knowing exactly what goes where and when and how it connects there. Besides, my fingers were very long and could be incredibly graceful (when I wasn’t accidentally poking myself in the eye.)

I was so not the best daughter for her. She wanted someone who loved pretty things like beads and playing games that involve Barbies. I could never give that to her. When all the girls in my kindergarten class were showing off their blond bimbos, I was playing with blocks, making things that got bigger and bigger. The teacher always tried to get me to join the girls though—she’d offer me candies, or even put me in the corner for a time-out if I didn’t spend at least a little time as a normal girl would.

I guess that’s why my mom tends to be more careful with the kind of things I can play with. The most creative toys she ever bought me were those scratching things with the pretty paper underneath. I hated those, even though I did play with them occasionally, just to see if the colors really were as pretty as I thought they were. They never ended up right though—the people who made them obviously lacked the skill with colors that I had gotten.

Where had I gotten it? From my father, of course. He had always been the artistic one. He’d been the one who showed me Minecraft, only three days after it had came out a year or so ago. He’d showed me the most amazing world I would ever know, and the very first place I would love with everything I was. Minecraft was my home from the very first second I finished my first shelter, stood back, and stared up at its plain wooden outside and interior, and thought: I can do better.

And so I did better. I started work on a new house right then, wandering further and further away from my shelter to try and find out where would be the most beautiful place to live. I looked for weeks on end, trying to find somewhere that spoke to me and called out the part of me that recognizes and craves things beautiful and perfect.

After dinner one night, I found it. I walked over a massive hill, bouncing down the blocks, focusing my energies on not dying from fall damage. When I hit the bottom, I looked around me, and if Minecraft characters could fall over from shock mine would have.

I had found it.

I had found the beauty.

And it was so very perfect….

It was a network of stone and dirt archways all around a central valley, with a large pool of water in the very centre. I stood on the bottom of one of the hills, only a few steps from the shadow of an arch, dumbfounded. Trees surrounded the lake, not disguising the beauty but simply adding to the naturalness, stretching tall and proud and massive. I walked towards one of those trees, too deep in meditation to sprint forwards like I normally would have done. I bit my lip as I guided my character slowly towards the lake, and turned them all around, staring at the beauty.

The archways on every side stretched tall and proud, and every last one of the eight of them was almost perfectly curved, balanced impeccably. The colors of this place were the colors of Minecraft, in all their plain beauty. Up above me, the clouds rolled across the sky, never obscuring the beautiful sun. I swallowed, smiled, and decided that I would never find anywhere better to live.

And so here I remained forever, flourishing in my home.

I was very careful about my home though. It never stretched close enough to the lake to ever disturb the natural beauty, and none of the materials used in my home were from this place. I couldn’t bear to chop down one of the trees that continued to grow, massive and proud. I couldn’t bear to dig into one of the rolling hills and steep cliffs that surrounded the circular valley I had found myself in. I couldn’t bear disturbing anything here.

I had never loved a place so much in my life.

I took screenshots of the most amazing parts of it—building nerd poles as high as the arches near the lake just so I can get the best aerial views, scrambling through the trees to try and find the best view of them I could. The pictures I printed off and hung around my room, reminding myself of my home when I couldn’t be home.

One day, my mom came into my room and asked me if I wanted to go out to dinner with them. I’d been playing for a while now—around six hours had passed since I’d gotten home from school. It was around nine p.m., according to the clock. I blinked up at her, still moving my character forwards along the archway I was wandering across. “Isn’t it a little late for dinner?”

She nods, and crosses her arms over her chest. “It is late. We’ve been waiting for you to come out of your room for two hours now. Don’t you remember me coming in earlier?”

I blinked, trying to resurrect my mind from the vivid colours and incredible world of Minecraftia. “Erm….No?” I said, unable to find the memory.

My mom sighs, and I see how well dressed she is. Above all, I see the large party hat planted on her head. I hear the sound of my family in the basement, talking and watching TV.

And I realize something.

It was my birthday today.

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