Minecraft has been occupying a lot of my time lately. Describing it succinctly is difficult; I suppose I could say it’s a freeform/sandbox/building/exploring/crafting/resource-gathering game, but I think we passed succinct quite some time ago. Everything is made of blocks, and there are monsters like spiders and skeletons that live in the dark (i.e. in caves, or at night, everywhere). The only real goal is surviving the monsters, but once you have a rudimentary shelter (a hole in the ground or a hollow cube made of dirt will do fine) and some torches to light it with, that becomes pretty trivial, and you can turn your attention to other matters.
For example, I’ve been improving my rudimentary shelter: once a meagre niche in a cliff face walled off with blocks of dirt, it now has four floors (or maybe three; I think one of them is technically a mezzanine), a glass balcony, a greenhouse on a floating pontoon in an adjacent lake, and an underground Disco Inferno Room. Then there’s the extensive mining operation; you’ve gotta have iron and diamonds to make better tools, and that means delving greedily and deep into the bowels of the earth and hollowing out a giant cavern. That, or braving the monsters to explore the natural caves. I’ve also built a huge artificial waterfall, and an almost-as-huge spire with lava flowing down the sides, which is totally there as a navigation beacon and not any kind of a phallic symbol at all. I haven’t even gotten around to experimenting with minecarts and switches and pressure plates and all that stuff yet.
For a better introduction, there’s a series of YouTube videos by a gentleman who goes by the name of X which is well worth watching. The first one is here.
Anyway, since I’ve been playing it so much, I have decided to try to write about it a bit, and in so doing to give some attention to this much neglected blog. Hence, this post, which I’ll conclude with an anecdote about freaking spiders. I first posted this over here on Reddit.
Freaking spiders, man.
So there I am, happily mining in the huge cavern I’ve been excavating at the bottom of my main mine shaft. I’m working on smoothing off a section of ceiling, standing next to a pool of lava. Obviously I’m being really careful not to fall in.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, I take damage and I’m in the lava. I look around and there’s a spider at the edge of the pool. Yeah, that’s right, a spider sneaked up on me, completely silently mind, and pushed me into the lava.
I flail around, on fire, desperately trying to climb out but the spider just stands there on the edge of the pool, chittering away (now he’s happy to make lots of noise; I assume this is spider laughter) and pushing me back in. Obviously I quickly die from a combination of fire and spider damage. I may also have taken some damage from the extreme indignation I was feeling, I don’t know.
By the time I get back from my spawn point, spare sword in hand and hungry for blood (or whatever fluid arachnids have that comes out when you stab them) the spider is nowhere to be found. About half my stuff is gone also. It probably just burned up in the lava, but maybe the spider needed those torches and redstone for its secret underground spider fortress.
It’s gotta still be out there somewhere, right? Waiting. Planning.
Freaking spiders, man