Minecraft shaped me into the person I am todayMost students have an identity, an interest, or a talent that defines them in an essential way. Tell us about yourself.
A cool summer breeze flowed throughout the bedroom in my second cousin, Nicky's duplex. I had come to visit my mother's aunt across town with my brother. As both my brother and cousin were several years older than eight-year-old me, they were, of course, looking for a way to occupy me so I would leave them alone.
"Here, why don't you play this for a bit?" Nicky said, booting up a game that I had no idea would be an integral part of my life for several years. As the blocky world faded in around me, I was overcome with a sense of wonder and curiosity. A whole world, just sitting there. Ready for me to explore.
Fast-forward a few months, and I spent hours convincing my dad to spend the $14 it cost for our own copy of the game. I remember him building me my first weak PC out of spare parts. It ran Windows XP and played Minecraft at an agonizingly slow framerate of 15 FPS. But it was good enough for me.
My first Minecraft community was a creative server called Arcator. On it, I built many things-mansions, pixel art, even an amusement park. Eventually, despite only being nine-years-old, I took on an administrative role, keeping the server free of anyone who cheated or destroyed other users' creations. But the most important thing I did on that server was create friendships and a community that not only transcended countries, but also the death of the actual Minecraft server. I still have friends to this day from that server, and I'll never forget the memories I made with it.
Minecraft didn't only aid me in forming new friendships, it also helped me keep pre-existing ones. When I was in 7th grade, my best friend, Jacob, moved to another town and of course, another school. Minecraft was the link that kept our friendship alive. I remember playing Minecraft and other games for hours together while talking over Skype. Over time, we've shifted to other games. Now, I have less time than I did then to play, anyways. However, without Minecraft, I'm confident our friendship would have faded away long ago.
Minecraft as a game, is ever-changing. The game's audience as it was when I started playing changed a while ago. The one thing that has never changed since the game's very beginning is the music. The melancholy, yet tranquil music is not only nostalgic for me, but it's a window into the past; a symbol of the memories I've made and a childhood that's ended. Listening to the music brings me back to a time when things were different-when I was younger, and blissfully naive. It brings back memories I'll always hold dear to my heart. There will always be something special about that time.
It may just be a bunch of 1's and 0's put together by a couple of guys in Sweden, but Minecraft shaped me into the person I am today. For nearly 9 years, even before its popularity boom, I was an avid player of the game. It was my introduction to gaming and computers. It was the spark of my interest in computer science. From becoming an administrator of a Minecraft server at nine-years-old, to using Minecraft to keep a long-distance friendship alive, I made friends, communities, and memories that I'll never forget.