My Life Underground

Oh hi, I’m still playing Minecraft. I’m still thinking about it, writing about it. Can’t help myself. This is something of a continuation of last night’s post in that having spent all that time I actually did set off away from my home in order to explore the world proper, complete with high quality tools and the equipment to make more.

So I walked for about thirty seconds away from my place and saw this pretty cool skinny mountain. I walked around it to check it out and saw a cave, so I climbed up to check that out. It was a small cave, but it had a hole in the bottom which led to a massive drop down into darkness.

For some reason I couldn’t resist. I started clambering down into the hole, placing torches, making footholds. Down and down until I was standing deep under the earth, looking around at a bit underground cavern. The cave system turned out to freakishly immense, really big. I’m still down there, in fact, placing torches, exploring the huge space.

And frankly, I’m annoyed. The whole point of all the preparation and digging I did in the last mine was to have all the resources I’d need to go exploring. At yet, presented with a dark crevice in the Earth mere meters away from my house, down I went. Interesting though the cave spaces kind of are (kind of), the beauty of the game is, for me, above ground.

So why did I go spelunking? I really don’t quite know. I’m guessing it’s because it’s one of the more “official” goals in a game that has few defined goals. Caves and mines are where you get all the “good stuff” and apparently this overrode even the fact that I already had enough stuff. Caves are also dark, unknown spaces that are practically wheedling to be lit up with torches. There’s a kind of semiotics of action and result with caves that doesn’t exist above ground, despite the fact (for me) that aesthetic beauty lives on the surface and that that’s what I’d intended to explore.

So my current plan is to extract myself from this particular cave system and to begin my wandering proper. But of course above ground I’ll be affected by the day/night cycle – something that isn’t an issue underground (hint: it’s always dark). As such, I feel like I’m perhaps brushing against some of the low-level rhetoric of the game’s design (well, it’s not that subtle… the game’s called, uh, Minecraft).

Still, I intend to be a wanderer. A happy wanderer, damnit!

27 October 2010
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