Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Minecraft blogging/documentation

alesnick's picture

Please use this space to do your daily blog reflecting on your Minecraft experience, per the syllabus:

1) Dedicate 1 hour for 5 days out of the following 7 days to playing Minecraft

2) Dedicate an additional second 20-30 minutes at another time of each day to complete a brief blog post on Serendip Studio about your experience.  Write about:

a struggle

an accomplishment

an observation

a question

You may also choose to respond to someone else's post as a way to complete your blog post on a given day.


aamer's picture

A struggle: I think I started

A struggle:

I think I started off on the server by going off exploring on my own, and so whatever I created and mined was way off from where the rest of the class was, and so when they started collaborating I really wanted to work together but I couldn't find where they were. I would have really liked to play together with the rest of the class mostly because I only played for about an hour at a time and wanted to get the most out of it, and couldn't do that with the resources I had. Creative mode was better for me in that regard, but took away from the social aspect of it.

An accomplishment:

I tried to refer to the wiki as little as possible and really just explore on my own. When it came to the actual crafting I did need to see instructions but I liked the aspect of being able to go off and break or kill things and collecting different materials and thinking of the possibilities I had with those.

An observation:

I saw a lot of the access problems in terms of access to supplies, since resources are limited on the server. The lone warrior approach vs collaboration was a dilemma for me, because I had wandered off way out and had built a small isolated house and got a lot of chicken and sheep, but I now wanted to mine further for other minerals like gold and diamond which might have been easier if I were in a team.

rhoman's picture

Minecraft and Glass House Reflectionssss

Ok so I've had some trouble logging into Serendip so I haven't been able to get enough reflections done, I'm going to paste one that I wrote a few days ago under my newest reflections... also I want to say if you're not playing on the class server PLEASE DO!! there's safe spaces and no more zombies and free food and a glass house!

-I really like the game, it is intuitive once you get the hang of it but not too simple as to become overly repetitive. Being able to get really creative with the game has made it that much more interesting, though I do think that in order to become really creative you have to have gotten to a point where you "get" the game to a deep level, and you know where to get the resources that you need to build a lot of different things.

So.. a struggle:

My struggle has been not to get too sucked into the game world to the point where I am neglectiving more important obligations. This is complicated by the fact that I am technically supposed to be doing this for homework so I can justify it to myself more easily, but it can still conflict with plans I have made. I do like that it offers a bit of an escape. I have also struggled a bit with defending playing the game for homework, though most people have just thought it's really cool. (also I accidentally started a forest fire on the top of the mountain the other day I was pretty afraid it was gonna burn down Wendy's house but i just burned the leaves and trees so that's good)

Well I spent a good amount of time in the game this weekend, and if you check out the main mountain area where most of the stuff seems to be going on you'll see a glass house that I built into the side of the mountain. I am pretty proud of it. The (stained) glass took a bit of time to craft but I am really happy with it and I think it's really cool. I also really want everyone to come inside, the entrance is a little stairway underneath the glass. I'm also proud of having all the resources needed to make the stained glass, it took a lot of mining to get enough coal. If anyone wants to come I can show them some really cool caverns with lava and gold and such.

Now what?

I'm not really sure.. maybe make the house (or community center as it really is now) bigger, and hopefully get a little indoor lake inside it which would be really cool. I also just want to help other people get involved in building. One important tip: sleep in the bed that Wendy put in the homeless shelter, so when you die the next time you will respawn in the bed and not in the original spot. That ways you'll be by all the action when you respawn!


> My main struggle with this game is that it demands time before you get the really cool reward, or "epic win" as the TED talk we watched would put it. It can get pretty tedious to look for iron and especially diamonds. Partially, I think I am spoiled by finding a cavern with a lot of minerals in it early on playing, and then getting killed by some monsters in the cave. That is another annoying part - when you die you are left with nothing.


I am pretty proud of my mines.. I've dug to the bedrock in multiple places, and found a cave in one. Comparing my house to others, however, mine is obviously much less organized and more haphazard, it kind of just devolves Into a mine.

Now what:

I want to get more creative.. I light want to dig out the whole mountain around me to make a giant ceiling for my house, or maybe create a rollercoaster.

sborjas's picture


A struggle: The past couple of days I have played Minecraft I have been VERY lost. I went exploring and kept traveling farther away from my house. Eventually I forgot which way I had to go to find my way back and guessed. After a while I decided to climb a mountain to see if I could find a familiar area by looking down on the word. Unfortunately I could not and decided to let myself drown so I could respawn near my house and get back to the part of the world we have created. 

An accomplishment: I built a second level to my house and figured out how to make stairs. I still feel like I am in the early stages of figuring out Minecraft and after seeing other people's house and the public farming areas I want to figure out how to make plants. 

An Observation: I love that there are public areas now. It makes it feel like more of a community within the Minecraft world and seeing how much people are progressing in the game has been really interesting to watch. Each time I log on it seems like there is something different that was not there before. 

edtech14's picture

Minecraft Blog 5 and 6

A struggle:
1) When I played the other day, I was frustrated still by the fact that I was doing a lot of digging but not finding anything. Does anyone have advice on where to dig? or wil anyone give me permission to dig in their mine?

2) Today, I actually did not have a lot of struggles because I found the "homeless shelter" that Wendy made and spent a lot of my time there. I suppose the struggle then would be thinking of ways to contribute to the space.

An accomplishment:

1) I was getting really frustrated with getting lost. Luckily, someone has told me that you can make a compass out of red stone. I guess I haven't been mining in the right spots I guess because I haven't found any, but it was an accomplishment that I sought out the information and figured it out!

2) I made a few books for the upcoming community library today. Also, I replaced any materials that I took from the community shelter area so that anyone who comes after me can find things as well.

An observation:

1) I noticed that I was getting very bored with the game the other day and asked myself whether or not young children would have the self-motivation to battle through dry spells in the game when they aren't sure what to do. 

2) I learned that sleeping in a bed will make the night pass by much faster. I hadn't made a bed of my own so I hadn't gotten the chance to experience this. This allevieates one of my previous frustrations of mine which was being really bored at night because I couldn't see in order to mine or do things.

A question:

1) My question the other day was how we would establish the community center. Luckily,Wendy got the ball rolling so now we can just add.

2) If we have the community library, what will we do with it? How do you even read a book?

multicultural5's picture


just spent a while catching up on everyone else's postings ... wow, i am so humbled by everyone's insights and collaboration!!! this is an amazing thing we're part of and creating ... love how reflective people are being. feeling very inspired and excited to keep going with my own minecraft development, even though i have a long ways to go. thanks to everyone!

multicultural5's picture


so i spent another hour playing instead of doing reading for my other classes ... oops ... i built a real house, complete with a roof and a door. i have a furnace and a chest and my crafting table inside ... i figure out how to smelt wood to make charcoal, then i cooked pork i had killed (that made me sad ..) .. i gathered wool to make a bed (also sad to kill the sheep, i can relate to wendy's comment that its hard to kill your livestock, and mine were just wild ..) ... then i messed around with the furnace - my eyes got so big in anticipation as i waited for the flames to fill up the whole arrow and make something new -! i made several glass panes, which was awesome. the problem is that im lost now and cant get back to my house, which is making me really sad ... im really surprised by how enthralled ive become so quiclky, once i began being able to actually build things it got much more exciting. as i was wandering around in the dark and rain, all i thought to myself was 'i just want to go home ...'  it was a really odd and interesting moment to realize that by 'home' i mean a collection of stone blocks in a digital/virtual world ... 

multicultural5's picture

lots of MC reflections ...

i wasnt able to write up my reflections immediately after playing for the last few days, so i'm going to mush them all together in this post for today ...

accomplishments - I BUILT A HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! well, kind of ... but i'm still super excited and proud .... im still in singleplayer, so i feel awesome about myself that i survived long enough to do so ... i kept getting confused about how/where to get stone, and tonight i was mining some random dirt and then fell through the earth into this underground cave/mine. id seen other people in these spaces but didn't know how to get to them, myself. trial and error, yay learning process ... so then i mined the heck out of a bunch of stone, etc which was actually really empowering feeling ... i built lots of axes and shovels, etc. I spent my first night there, avoiding death .. the next day, i made some bowls but am one mushroom short of making stew ... then as night approached the second time, i panicked, feeling very protective of my hard won progress, so i quickly built a wooden enclave into the side of a mountain. this really consisted of me walling myself into the side of the cliff so that to get out i hard to hack my way through the wooden blocks and re-mine them ... but it kept me alive! i get bored at night, though, i just had to stand there until day broke. at first, though, i didn't understand how to actually place blocks to build things but then realized it must be like placing anything else, like a crafting table. so in a more meta learning sense, i was able to make connections between an unknown/question and what i already knew and had practiced. i used the 'how to build a house in MC' website i found last week for step by step instructions (mine wood, build a wood pickaxe, mine stone, build a stone pickaxe, etc ..) - so i've been liking this combination of guided and at times explicit instruction and then my own free exploration. i also didnt understand how to build a roof at first but just kept clicking frantically to place blocks until it seemed like i was safe enough. so i know im still 'behind' the general curve of the rest of us in terms of my building skills/expertise, but i wanted to celebrate my own accomplishment haha .. i hope to re-join the class server soon so that i can actually contribute to larger/communal projects, but maybe its good that im developing my skills individually before joining the larger group, who knows... 

observations - i've had 3 experiences in which i've been able to connect my 'life' in MC to my life outsisde of it (or to use thomas' lingo, which i like, my analogue to my digital life) - or in another sense, MC has helepd me strengthen my relationships in the analogue world, which is something i never would have expected and have strongly thought the opposite until very recently.

  • one of the guys with whom i live (we lived together first year and have been close ever since) is a MC master and has spent a lot of time playing over the last few years. when he heard about our project, he became very excited and interested. i began talking with him about it several weeks ago, before we actually started the unit. since then, we've been talking about the game here and there, and on friday i reached out to him and 2 other guy friends who also play to see if they wanted to play together/help me learn. they were totally excited about it and agreed to do so. i make frequent use of the wiki and other internet sites, but now i also pop my head out the door and ask for his advice on any random question or problem that crops up. although we've been friends for all these years of college, we have never had all that much in common to discuss, but now MC is changing that in our relationship - !! it is definitely bringing us closer in some ways. i can tell that he gets a lot of satisfaction out of being able to help me. and i feel similarly because it gives us something to connect through. i would like to actually play in real time with him.
  • the second interaction happened just tonight when i saw robert in the DC .. as we walked past each other, he called out and asked if i had seen the new house he had built in the class server. (i said i hadn't because i cant get back on the server ..) - but it was really cool and validating to talk about this other 'world' in which we interact in our daily analog space. although he and i would always acknolwedge each other and say hi upon seeing each other, this interaction had a new level of excitement as he shared of his recent building accomplishment. he was with 2 friends, and i wondered how it appeared to them and if they asked him what he was talking about as they walked away. 
  • and third - also just tonight, i was waiting in line for food at the DC while talking with one of my first years .. she was saying how she hadn't gotten anything done today because she'd spent the whole time playing video games .. at first this didnt register with me at all, and then i thought to ask which games, 1/2 wondering if it could be MC ... indeed it was! she couldnt believe that i was doing it for a school project, and she agreed to teach me what she could when i asked for her help. we talked about it a bit more over dinner, which included her making fun of me for dying so frequently (in singleplayer!). this quickly turned into a running banter between us. it was ncie because she is someone i havent gotten to speak with a lot so far, and just like with my guy friend, the game gave us something in common that acted as an entry point to a deeper and more connected relatioship. very interesting in all 3 situations. 

questions - id like to talk with some of these friends i've mentioned who play/have played MC on their own. id like to ask them similar questions to those that we raised in our talk with thomas. id like to know more about their own experiences with it. especially because my one friend said she had 'wasted' the day playing it, i wonder if she could think of it as an educational tool or something that can so benefit your personal development .. 

struggles - i had paused the game to do something else, and all of a sudden once i rejoined the whole imagery was totally pixelated (more so than usual :) and very blurry .. things still worked ok, but it all felt like slow motion as i tried to move around and do things. it was very hard to look at. i asked my resident MC expert, and he said that it was probably because the game itself is such a large file and that my computer might be overloaded .. he fiddled with some of the game settings for the graphics and other things, but it didnt help .. i suggested i close out of the game and maybe even restart my computer, which he agreed with, but i havent done so yet .. anyone else experience this?? another struggle is that i still can't seem to get back on the class server! i had  forgotten the code, but after i ran into robert in the DC he reminded me of it, but when i entered it i still was not able to connect ... i will bring this up in class tuesday and hope someone can help me straighten it out .. 

multicultural5's picture

help! cant connect to server

help, how do i reconnect to the class server?! i've been playing in single player but want to get back in the class community now ... when i try to connect, it says there are no servers .. is that because i'm using Hford wireless and not BMC, where thomas set it up .. ?? thanks so much!! :) 

wendydays's picture

Minecraft: Day Five, Project Library and (minecraft) equality

(Minecraft) Social equality, foundations for "Project Library", and eventually... enchantment book/table

A Struggle

I think the struggle right now is no longer a personal one because I have learned how to be self-sustainable. The struggle right now is more of a collective one in terms of community building. How do we come together to form a whole? Like Professor Lesnick said, how do we transition from playing as soloists to playing in an orchestra? I currently see 2 main challenges to collaboration and minecraft world development:

1. The differences in minecraft skill levels within the class (inequality)

2. The analogue world preventing us from being on the server at the same time when we’re not in class. (although I don't know if this problem can be solved)

I attempted to help solve problem one during my last day on minecraft. 

An Accomplishment

It all started yesterday when I had my first minecraft play date with Isabelle and Veronica and together we built a community farm. After that, I was inspired to become a business philanthropist. As a result, I built a homeless shelter (near the HI sign) with a treasure chest supplied with bread and pumpkin pie. My placement group and I thought it’d be good to start a library project on minecraft. I think I have set the foundations for this to happen. I have transported a few cows from my farm and created an animal pen next to the homeless shelter so they can be bred with wheat then slaughtered for leather/steak. I have set aside a specific treasure chest for storing paper that can be made from the sugar cane growing in the community farm as well as my personal farm. I have also put up several signs to try to make up for the lack of instructions within the game.

We need this library because there is such a thing called an enchantment book in minecraft. This enchantment book is enhanced when surrounded by 15 bookshelves and when placed on an enchantment table it can enchant swords, armor, pickaxes etc. And probably make zombie killing be as easy as swatting flies ~ sounds pretty magical

More info about the "enchantment book" from this site:

An observation

Not to sound patronizing in anyway, but there is a big disparity within our class in terms of who is “well-off” on minecraft world and who is still trying to survive one day at a time. This disparity is stunting our collective development because there are still some people who are trying to fulfill basic needs. These people are untapped sources of labor for community building. You could identify it as the income disparity between the “wealthy” and the “poor” in the analogue world.

After spending this week playing minecraft, my experiences seem to elucidate the idea of access and social inequality in my mind. In the begining we were all a bunch of wild cave men and women behaving out of self-interest. I remember NapoleonBonaparte (Robert) asked me for diamonds and wool during day 2 of minecraft and I told him "sorry, need to take care of myself first." Now, alot of us have homes, farms, advanced mines but others are still helplessly lost. I think I am probably in upper-middle/upper-class position in minecraft world as are several other people who are in similar, if not even better positions.

There seems to be a certain saturation point when more cows/more food/more “stuff” is not going to help you advance any further in the game. Things become less exciting when all you're doing is mining. That is a time when one should behave less out of self-interest and consider a project that helps the collective good. Therefore I am trying to “pay taxes” by feeding the hungry and equal out the playing field by ameliorating some of the differences in skill level that are preventing development. The purposes of the community shelter are to provide for the “homeless and struggling” and help them fulfill their basic needs. That way we can start working towards our collective goal- sooner.

At this moment, i think the trajectory of our community development should be as follows:
1. Improve poverty in minecraft world 
2. Build a library
2. Make enchantment table/books
3. Pimp out weapons
4. Turn off peaceful mode & kill some monsters 

A question

How do we improve inequality in minecraft world?
How do we build solidarity, construct a library and eventually acquire an enchanted book? 

alesnick's picture

Wow.  This is an amazing

Wow.  This is an amazing post.  I would say that you are becoming a leader here, which is also interesting in terms of a educatiobal trajectory -- from survival to thriving to enabling others to survive and thrive.

multicultural5's picture

agreed, i'm so moved and

agreed, i'm so moved and inspired by your post, wow!! i am definitely one of those who is struggling more ... i love how you reflect on the game and connect it to world/community development in the analog world .. it makes it really easy to see how structural inequality gets set in place ... this has so much potential to be a parallel for students/us all to learn about and challenge privilege and 'equality of opportunity.' now im trying to figure out why this is happening - what were the different skills/sets of knowledge that we came to the game with that is stratifying us? maybe time spent playing and exploring .. maybe level of interest/committment, too. really interesting to explore

iwozniak's picture

Minecraft Blog 5

Struggle: While mining today, I neglected to follow Veronica's advice to never, ever, ever dig straight down, and I paid dearly for it. While digging up some Red Stone, I fell into a lava pit and lost all of my most valuable items. It was so frustrating to see much of my hard work disappear like that in an instant. 

Accomplishment: After our class discussion about projects we could undertake as a group, Veronica and I thought that we could lay the foundation for a community farm, and when I later ran into Wendy, I invited her to join us as well. Together, we selected an area by the sand town because it was in familiar territory for most of us, and we all pitched in material: I provided wheat seeds, Wendy provided pumpkin seeds, and Veronica provided melon seeds. In just half an hour, we accomplished so much. I can't wait to undertake an even larger project with the rest of the class.

Observation: The environment seems so much richer now. There are gardens and forests everywhere in my corner of the map now. After being so strapped for resources, it's nice to see how plentiful they are again, and I hope that we can all stay in this environmental mindset for the remainder of the project. 

Question: Could we talk more about the intersection of the "analogue" and "digital" worlds in the Minecraft context?

alesnick's picture

intersection of analogue and digital worlds -- yes!

Let's talk about it for sure.  What are some things on your mind with respect to it?

meganholt's picture

thanks, maddy!

Maddy, I found your house! I used your furnace to cook all of my food, which I haven't been able to do yet! Soo THANKS!! Also, your house looks great. I love the lily pads :-)

meganholt's picture

more minecraft

Thought I would blog while I wait for the rain to pass :-)

Struggle: I am trying to find the giant "HI" sign and the place where Robert's house is so that I can get back into a place where I can interact with other players since, as of now, I have been pretty anti-social up in the mountains. However, I am having a REALLY hard time! I have absolutely no idea where I am or which direction I came from or even if I am heading in the right direction at all....

Accomplishment: I realized why my blog posts have been appearing on the front screen even thought I have been clicking "create post" while I am in the post for our whole-class thread.... I have to add a comment instead! Duh! Although this isn't really a Minecraft success, it was still pretty exciting :-)

 Observation/question: I could REALLY use a map. It's pretty impossible to navigate any world without knowing where you are in relation to the other things around you. I understand the idea of having to explore it for yourself, but it's pretty frustrating when you get lost! I wonder if there is anyway to make one?

alesnick's picture

Thanks for being so up-front

Thanks for being so up-front about your process - it creates such an opening!

edtech24's picture

MC day 4

I'm still exploring the Creative mode on my own (single player mode) since I am kinda scared of the thought of going out there being killed by the zombies or starving to death - I might eventually when I feel more confident with my navigation and crafting skills. I built a house with double door, and made a bed and a wardrobe inside too but by the time I was able to lie down on the bed it was morning again. I was really glad that whenever I came up with something I thought I might need then I could find it in the inventory (ladder, door trap, glass pieces for my garden) - so the way it works in MC is very similar to how things are normally solved outside of the game. I started with making foods too. Some one mentioned in class this morning that sometimes it's hard to figure out why certain recipes were set up as such - and I totally agree. I think I am 99$ dependent on the wiki right now but I hope as I get familiar with the game I can start thinking about certain ways that it works too and try things on my own.

Question: Can we "craft" a friend? I am kinda lonely.

vspaeth's picture

Snow Golems?

I don't know if this would count as "crafting a friend" but here's a page on the wiki about Snow Golems that are created by the player and are friendly towards their creator!

I think their purpose is to help fight off zombies and stuff, but  maybe while you're really lonely having one around would be nice.  Although I haven't figured out how to get blocks of snow yet.

alesnick's picture

"crafting" a friend -- wow!

I don't know the answer -- but the question reminds me of Frankenstein! Did you try googling it?  Shall we ask Thomas?

iwozniak's picture

Minecraft Blog 4

Accomplishment: Thus far, my little farm has been sustaining me quite nicely. I have a stockpile of loaves of bread, and I made cookies with cocoa beans I gathered in the jungle. Nonetheless, I decided to branch out to raising livestock by rounding up a second cow for Veronica's farm and breeding them. 

Struggle: Capturing that cow was definitely the biggest struggle for tonight! Even with the wheat, it wasn't especially cooperative, and I was terrified the other cow would escape, never to be seen again. To add insult to injury, when I returned a little while later to see how they were doing, one of the cows had someone gotten out of the paddock, but I was eventually able to round him up again. I'm still not quite sure how that happened. 

Observation: When my sister first began playing Minecraft, I would shake my head disapprovingly whenever she would spend hour after hour on the game. Now that I've begun playing it myself, I understand why it was so engrossing! In my homework routine, I've been setting aside an hour per evening to play Minecraft, but invariably, I spend at least the double of that. There are just so many things I want to do, and each accomplishment launches me towards a new goal. 

Question: Why are some of us quickly becoming hooked on Minecraft whereas others are quickly tiring of it?

edtech24's picture

MC Day 3

I finally tried the Creative mode today, still as a Single Player. This is probably not surprising for everyone, but I learned that in this mode we have almost everything in our inventory and we could build everything we want. That's exciting news for me because when I look up on Wiki and see all these cool recipes for crafting but I could never find enough ingredients or actually know how to get them. So having everything handy was very useful and it motivated me a lot. There was not much to worry about in this mode so I just went through several crafting recipe and was delighted that they actually worked!

Observation/Question I really like out talk with Thomas on Tuesday - there were so many things wonderful about the game that I never knew until he mentioned it. When one of us asked about the possibility of being addicted to the game, he said "if it has to be a thing - if it has to be a game, then this is the game" - there were so many implications in it that got me thinking for a while. But at the same time, knowing that there are so many potentials to it, I have this feeling that I would need to learn a lot more about it - such as coding, or spend much more time on it - to be able to have the same experiences. This is more like a question: Does technology, in general, allow us to enjoy it even if we're not fully aware of what it does to us or how it works? I guess the answer is yes, but is there any limitations to that? 

rlee03's picture

Day 4

Day 4

A Struggle: I think I really need a bit more light in my house because it’s kind of dark, especially at night. I’ve been searching up on wiki for some possible lamps and things, since I don’t really want to use torches. I think the best thing I found so far are glowstones? But I haven’t went to find any yet, so we’ll see how that goes.

An Accomplishment: I crafted a bed!!! It just feels great when you’re home in minecraft actually starts to look like a home.

An Observation: I feel like single player is a bit lonely after a while, but I do like how I seem to never use up my resources. I think I might go back to multiplayer again sometime. I’ve also noticed that there is a lot more to explore in minecraft, I went so far today that I wasn’t even really sure how to get back to my own house. So probably the first thing I’m going to do tomorrow when I play is to build myself a compass..

A Question: Is it crazy if I say I want a car in minecraft?

sborjas's picture


I had a had day in Minecraft today. I had managed to find coal and iron, which was awesome. I even figured out how to build a furnace. I had made myself a lot of new tools then decided to explore the world. Almost immediately I fell down a massive whole and died, losing a lot of the materials I had collected. Very disappointing. 

Despite this being a rather disappointing day, I was successful in figuring out how to make some new tools and have become much more efficient within the game. 

An observation: I have started planting some trees to replenish the limited resources. I have also observed that the more willing I am to go farther from my house, the more animals I find. Although there must be a way to make a farm or something so that animals are not a limited resource right?

nina0404's picture

Singleplayer bliss

So I have been playing minecraft in singleplayer this weekend. I wish I would have been able to go to the workshop on Sunday because I feel like I have to stop every minute to look at the wiki to figure out what to do.

Some big accomplishments for me were that I built a shelter by carving out a cave. Protected from monsters I figured out how to make a chest (do this to store your things bc when I died I still had supplies to come back to), a furnance, how to cook raw foods, and make a bed. Not only did I learn to create things but I have killed zombies and spiders from the sword I crafted!

I am excited to go back to class to learn more from my classmates. I can read all I want but its much faster and easier when someone shows me.

What has been really hard for me is doing other homework over minecraft. I can see how this game is addictive. Just in singleplayer mode I am keeping entertained but once I go back to our class world it will be even more interesting to interact with everyone virtually. Right now though it seems only to be a game. I guess as you become more advance and start building worlds comes the java education that articles we read talked about. I assume multiplayer worlds are more "educative" then singleplayer when it comes to virtual etiquette.

What I hope to do before tomrrow is to start playing in our class world and stay alive!

nina0404's picture


I forgot to mention that after reading all the posts I may be regretting playing in singleplayer mode as it looks like all the resources in our shared world may be dwindling. I hope we can work together to figure out how to create more resources. Particulary when it comes to animals and trees.

I like the idea of going around and planting trees we should all join in!

wendydays's picture


A struggle
I've been really busy the begining of this week so yesterday when I finally had some down time I played minecraft. I am definitely already "sucked in" to the game, and I played a lot longer than I'd like to. In fact I feel quite guilty for not doing something more productive and related to my academic studies. I just have so many things I wanted to do in minecraft! It was a struggle for me to stop. If I (as a 22 year old college student) am having the diffulty to stop and return to the analogue world, then I am sure it is even harder for a 5 year old or 10 year old to practice self-control.

An accomplishment

I will take this opportunity to do some shameless advertizing.

*Available: Sheep, Cow, Pumpkin, Wheat --> (Pumpkin pie coming soon)
*Most desireable items I am looking for at the moment are (Coal, cool minerals, Sugar, Chicken (alive), Eggs, Carrots, and other interesting things that you can entice me with) Please negotiate with me.

Yesterday I made my first trade! I traded a pumpkin with Isabelle for 5 bags of sugar. I plan on making pumpkin pie. I am currently breading cows and sheep as well as growing a pumpkin patch. In the spirit of halloween I have decorated my entrance with jack o'lanterns (I'm festive).

I will continue with my farm expansion next time. In the mean time, my farm and home is on the top of a mountain with alot of cactuses and trees. There are 2 jack o'lanterns in front of my house, you can't miss it.
I may decide to leave a public treasure chest near my entrance so people can drop off their items to trade with me when I'm not there.

*plesae do not take my sheep or cows if i'm not there. If not done correctly they will espace from my animal pen.

An observation

1. I am noticing that the more material posessions I have, the more paranoid I become about losing them. 

2. I am reluctant to kill my own livestock because I feel a sense of attachment to them.

3. This is becoming a bad habit, but when I am "starving" and too lazy to cook I just store all my items in my treasure chest and jump off the cliff so I can respawn with my health and hunger restored automatically. Now that I have a bed, every time I die I respawn back in my bed room. I am not trying to promote suicide culture but it is a cheap way to avoid cooking.  

4. Our five days is coming to an end soon, and I feel like we are still in our early stages of development, and most likely won't be able to see the eventual fruition of our little civilization.  

A question

Can we use Minecraft to mimic the economy? My monopoloy instincts are kicking in. 

multicultural5's picture

MC 4

accomplishment - today before playing i looked up online how to build a house. i've been paying in singleplayer but have heard others talking about building houses in class + in their posts and had no idea how they are accomplishing so much .. i found a nice site - - that breaks down exactly how to go about this, everything from getting wood --> crafting table -> cobblestone --> stone axe --> mining building materials, etc. It also goes over the + and - of each building material, and i had no idea this existed. so i got all the way through building my tools (more complex than ever before), but then it turned night and i died. this is seriously frustrating. but still making progress overall.

question - how can i learn more from my classmates?? they seem to be wayyy more advanced than me, planting farms, reforesting, tending to their daily routines! could we all play together in class on thursday? i think it would be so much more productive than the first time when we were all figuring it out ...

struggle - im finding it very repetitive to have to start from scratch each time i die. i tried playing in creative mode to avoid dangers but couldnt seem to actually pick up the wood from trees i chopped no matter what i tried, so i got confused and switched back to survival mode because i was able to function there. as someone elese said, the wiki is very useful but moreso right now only when i know what im actually searching for .. othewise i would have no idea that things exist, like a bowl or different building materials or a furnace, etc. 

observation - i was so inspired and enthralled by thomas' talk today - wow! he is so eloquent and insightful, and his reflections on everything i found very deep and thoughtful. and thought provoking. i am so grateful that i/we have the opportunity to work with and loved the open discussion session today. now looking back i wish i had taken notes or recorded him so that i could go back over his points. 

meganholt's picture

if you go into options you

if you go into options you can set the difficulty to peaceful and then the zombies won't kill you in your own singleplayer world!

also - I totally agree with your observation. I was REALLY moved, excited, inspired, etc. by our discussion with Thomas today! It was an incredible experience that really gave me a new perspective on gaming, its place in education, and even about the nature of education, in general. It got me thinking about many new and, I think, really important things!

multicultural5's picture

another thought!! this is

another thought!! this is exciting ... i actually wanted to keep playing today .. even though i was frustrated by dying/losing my materials, i am feeling increasingly 'addicted' which is really interesting to me ... i wanted to keep avoiding my other work by playing, which is not something i ever thought i would feel .. ! 

rlee03's picture

Day 3

- A Struggle

One struggle is that I don’t really know what to make after my house. I think because there are so many possibilities in minecraft, I don’t really know where to start. I’ve been struggling more with creating ideas rather than making things right now. I also still get really frustrated when I accidentally die and lose all of my items...

- An Accomplishment

Since I created my own world in single player survival mode, I’ve actually accomplished a lot more things than I imagined. I successfully created a door and made myself a small house for the night in order to avoid zombies and other monsters to attack me. I’ve also successfully made a furnace for my house to cook meat.

- An Observation

I like how in my own world right now, there’s so many more resources and possibilities than playing in multiplayer. Also because I wasn’t playing very frequently before in our multiplayer worlds so I think the resources just ran out really fast.

- A Question

Today in class Thomas was talking about how he would sometimes get together with his friends and build a city or something like that in minecraft. I was wondering if we could all do something like that, as everyone has probably played a lot more than before, we can probably all make something together too.

iwozniak's picture

Minecraft Blog 3

Stuggle: As others have noted previously, resources are becoming rarer and rarer. I hadn't really noticed it until yesterday when my food stash ran out and I had to go in search for something to eat. My struggle, however, eventually became an accomplishment: my difficulty finding food and wood drove me to become a more environmentally conscientious player. 

Accomplishment: Because resources are dwindling and food is becoming increasingly scarce, I've started a small, self-sustainable farm by my home. Up until now, I was relying almost exclusively on meat to survive, but when animals became a lot harder to find, I needed to explore some new options.
Furthermore, I've begun a one man reforestation project. When many of the players cut down a tree, they only take the trunk, leaving behind saplings, which can be used to plant more trees. Consequently, I've been wandering around looking for floating clouds of foliage, cutting it all down, and replanting the trees. 

Observation: In my last post, I mentioned that I had fallen into what had initially struck me as a tedious, tiring routine. Tonight, I noticed that I rather enjoyed peacefully tending to my wheat and replanting trees. To some this may sound dull, but for me, it was an oasis of sorts from the stress of my "analogue" life. The immediate rewards of building new kinds of tools or discovering new materials are no longer as important as they once were. 

Question: In class today, Thomas mentioned that many servers have rules of conduct. Could our first project as a class be creating our server's rules of etiquette? 

vspaeth's picture

Minecraft Day 4

A struggle: I'm really struggling finding specific resources that I need.  For example, I spent most of my hour today mining in search of Iron.  I had found some Iron earlier but I used it for other things, and finding more doesn't seem to be that easy.  The wiki says most iron is found underground so I spent most of my time playing today by digging farther down in the mines I usually dig in. 

An accomplishment:  I bred some more animals, which is good, because I don't starve in game anymore unless i wander too far away and get lost.  I also found a new ore that I hadn't found before, Lapis Lazuli which is primarily used as a dye apparently.  There are a lot of sheep and I made some sheers earlier in game so I might start playing with dying some wool, which I think can be made into carpet.  I also noticed that I have a very large amount of cobble stone so I might have to do some house expansions in the near future.

An observation:  I noticed that while I was playing today I really didn't wander farther than I needed to in order to not get lost.  I've kind of built my own mine connected to my house, so I never got lost mining, and I know where food is easily as well.  Maybe I should push myself to explore more and get lost a little in game and see if I find anything interesting.  Maybe tomorrow.

A question:  I wonder if it would be interesting to pick a spot and build a town of sorts.  There's the prebuilt town in the desert area, but if we all met up somewhere and cleared out some land and built houses right next to each other maybe the game would feel less lonely for a lot of people.  It's just an idea though!

wendydays's picture

I would like some chicken

Hey Veronica,
I have sheeps and cows but I don't have chicken.
Would you like to trade me some live chicken?
I can offer you some pumpkin pie! I will be making them soon :) 


vspaeth's picture

Hey Wendy! I haven't found

Hey Wendy!

I haven't found your house yet but yeah I wouldn't mind trying to lead a chicken or two to you!  I'll have to find your house first so I know when I'm going, chickens can be tedious to lead, maybe next time we're both on the server? 

wendydays's picture

Yay thanks!

I feel bad for making you come all the way to my house to bring me chickens. I can find your house instead. I live not too far from Isabelle's house, my neighbor built a big gate around the mountain I live on. It's kind of like a big compound. 

edtech14's picture

Breeding animals?

How did you figure out how to breed animals? Did you just get two cows or something into the same area (I assume by punching them because I don't know how else to make them move), building a wall around them, and waiting?

vspaeth's picture

Veronica's brief cow breeding guide

I figured out breeding primarily by reading the wiki.  Here's the page

Basically cows and sheep will follow you if you're holding fully grown wheat, so you don't actually have to hit them.  Chickens will follow you if you're holding seeds.  I built some small pens that I ususally keep at least two animals in at a time.  To breed them you find two of the same animals standing next to each other and you feed the two the type of food needed.  For example, if you want to breed cows you right click each cow while holding wheat.  Hearts will appear over their heads they'll "kiss" and an adorable baby cow will spawn.  The hardest part is getting the animals in pens but once they're there breeding them is easy!  Hope that helps!!

sborjas's picture


Struggle: I really struggled with just collecting things. At first I kept dying and found myself frustrated that every time I respawn I lose all of my materials. On top of that our world seems to be losing resources (where is all the food???). I also find the wiki for the game not very helpful or confusing. Unless I know exactly what I want, the wiki is useless to me. I also am having a lot of trouble finding food. I was basically starving to death and was too impatient to wait for the inevitable, so I let myself drown. Not my finest moment in Minecraft. 

Accomplishment: I finally have a house! It took me a really long time to find all of the materials to build the house and then create it. I ended up taking some other classmate's advice and building it into the side of a mountain so there would be less work. 

Observations: The fact that the resources are dwindling is really interesting and very real world. There is a finite amount of everything making me walk farther to find food or trees to use as wood. 

multicultural5's picture

MC 3

accomplishment - i made a crafting table within a few minutes (ok, not that advanced for those of you who have alredy built houses and are starting farms, oh my! but an improvement for me, small steps..) I toggle back and forth between the game and the wiki to look up exactly what i can do with the new resources i'm encountering. like tonight i learned that the poppies and dandelions i had can be used for dye and that 3 wooden planks make a bowl which can hold mushroom stew, which i can make with the 'shrooms i also gathered! cool. 

question - what is dye useful for ... ? why can't you deconstruct objects into their constituent materials, like breaking a ladder or bowl back apart to get raw wood? i still can't figure out how to kill/pick up meat from animals .. i hit them several times and they turn red but then just run off ... my inner vegetarian refusing to conform, maybe? 

struggle - i'm getting a little bored and discouraged because i feel like im wandering with my main goal as just finding different resources and figuring out what to do with them. but where are people finding coal and all these other kinds of things?? trying to keep motivated and remind myself things usually get more fun as you advance more ... how does this work for other novice MC players, though (not in a class setting) - do they have a more commual aspect to their development? i'm really inspired by the examples of others in our class working together, so that is hopeful! 

observation - i feel guilty in some ways playing this game. i felt too self conscious to do so while in the library and surrouned by others, so i wanted until i got home to my room. my friends just came in, though, and were in very low spirits about the state of their work, theses, stress, etc .. i share in all those same stressors! but i felt kind of odd when they asked what i was up to and responded that i'm playing MC/video games .. it's tricky to explain and help others to understand, just like i experiened when we were reading hunger games/with this course in general, like we discussed in the mid-course feedback. but then i just read some of the other posts and am reminded of what a cool and cutting edge thing we are doing here, building this community and knowledge base, so now i feel fine again :) every time i play i also always think of the hunger games! can't get it off my mind .. the aspects of physical survival, crafting, ingenuity, nature, building alliances ... it would lend itself so well to a HG lesson of some sort. i also really like the game's potential for exploring ethics and relationship skills, like some others were saying about cooperation, sharing, trading resources, etc. - it feels like an extremely resource if only we/educators (excuse the pun) know how to mine it! :) 

vspaeth's picture

Minecraft Day 3

A struggle: The biggest struggle I've had with the game today is, as others have mentioned, the sheer vastnest of the world.  Obviously it's pretty great the the world is continuous and endless but when I get lost from my home and resources it's almsot kind of sad, and definitely frustrating.  However, I have noticed that I've started to get a handle on landmarks around the space I've decided to base myself in, so the struggle is a little smaller each time I play. 

An accomplishment:  I've been trying to start a farm so we can all have more meat giving animals to eat.  It's been a slow process (because we've already used a lot of resources) but I've had a couple of successful experiences.  For example, when I first built my little house into the mountain (by the glitchy cow, if you've been around there you'll know what I'm talking about) there were barely any cows (except the aformentioned glitchy one) nearby, but today I counted about four or five around where I've been breeding them.  So yay repopulation!  I've also started with chickens, which was a lot harder because I had to travel farther to find chickens.  If anyone comes across my little farm, feel free to take some meat, just make sure there are at least two animals so I can rebuild the population!  Also, if anyone finds/has carrots you should grow some because you can't breed pigs without them!

An observation:  Other people in their posts have menitoned that Minecraft is a very loney game.  I agree to a certain extent.  If you're playing on single player, or if you're the only person on multiplayer it is a very lonely gaming experience.  However tonight while I was playing, Isabelle was also on and we ended up working together for a little bit.  She messaged me first off to see if I had a bed so we could "sleep" at the same time and skip night.  I mentioned that I was looking for coal, because I either used mine all, or someone borrowed some me (I can't remember how much I had the last time I played).  She was willing to trade coal with me for some food if I had any.  We met up, talked about how much coal she should give for how much food I should give.  We traded items and I showed her where my farm was being started.  We split after that, but it was nice knowning if I needed something there was someone else who was willing to help me, which I think is a really beautiful aspect of the game.  However, on the other side of that, I've also noticed that as a whole we're not much of a "community."  When I started playing on multiplayer again I noticed how many trees had been taken for their wood but not replanted, and as I've mentioned, finding animals to start my farm with hasn't been super easy.  It's interesting because I know a lot of people are still getting used to the game, but it seems that there isn't a lot of priority on making sure our resources are replenished. 

A question:  I think what I'm most curious about right now is the way everyone else is playing the game and how we're going to come together.  I know during our workshop it was mentioned that maybe we'll come up with and start working towards a class goal.  I think that would be something really interesting, and I wonder how it would change the way we're all playing. 

iwozniak's picture

Minecraft Blog 2

Struggle: I feel as though I'm beginning to stagnate. I spend much of my time on the server mining, breaking my tools, replacing them, and mining some more. It's become a very tedious cycle. 

Accomplishment: In my last Minecraft blog entry, I lamented our lack of cooperation. Tonight, however, I was able to collaborate with Veronica. I ran out of food and couldn't find any livestock, so she offered to trade some of her provisions in exchange for the coal I had mined. Although we probably would have eventually found what we needed, our ability to collaborate made life so much easier for the both of us. 

Observation: I would like to second Meron's observation that Minecraft can be a very lonely game at times. Most of the time I spend on the server is spent alone, and even when there are other people online, we don't interact much. Tonight, however, was very different because I not only interacted but collaborated with another player. 

Question: What can I do to overcome this roadblock and take my activities in Minecraft to the next level? 

sborjas's picture

I have to agree with the

I have to agree with the tedious nature of the game and I can see myself getting rather bored with it very soon. 

mkasahun's picture

MC Day 4

A Struggle

Not knowing what to do. I found myself in the middle of 3 processes that I had no control over and so I got quite bored just walking around on the terrain.


I was finally able to find a cow and retrieve leather and meat and then I harvested my crops and made bread.

An Observation

MineCraft is a lonely game. I'm not sure if anyone else has experienced this but although the life situations are qute realistic, the P2P connection was not there. It was a little creepy to have these "real world" experiences while baking bread or cooking the meat and yet lose what I think is the most important life experience, which s meeting and communicating with other people

A Question

Is there a way to communicate with the other players in the game?

P.S I found that I get major headaches and nausea when I play the game. I think it may be a motion sickness issue. Is anyone else experiencing this?

edtech24's picture

MC day 2

On Sunday I came to the workshop and was able to purchase the game with Paypal, so I started on my computer. It was very helpful that Thomas was around to answer questions, but I figured that I'm way behind everybody in terms of playing the game so I decided that I'd try on my own first in the single player mode to get myself familiar with the most basic stuff in MC

Accomplishment: I made use of the Minecraft Wiki from the smallest things such as breaking wook into planks and constructing the tools etc. I don't know why other friends are picking these things up so fast, I literally had to follow the instructions for new player through days by days and even so it took a lot of time. So after 2 hours playing I was able to use the craft table and built a bed, a pillar, kill some animal and have a bunch of materials for the next game. I also familiarized myself with the control keys and feel more comfortable using the tools now. 

Observation: Since I am in the single player and peaceful mode, MC is actually boring because there was no need to build anything (like shelter to avoid zombies or things like that) so I just wandered around collecting stuff and constructed things as in the Wiki. It'd be much more interesting I believe if I get to play in the multiplayer mode and have other challenges. 

Question: How do people make up new recipes? And do players actually remembers all the details about what kinds of tools are used in particular situations or are they usually just try different things? 

labdulnabi's picture

Minecraft Reflection #1

Struggle: Until about an hour ago, I was struggling to purchase the game because of some transactional problems. But I finally have access to the game thanks to Alice. After playing the game for a while, I am incredibly confused about the various functions and have no idea where to start, what to do next and/or what the fundamental goal(s) of the game is. At times, I find the game frustrating because the more I try to apprehend the game, the more I get confused. Also, another aspect of the game I am having trouble with is finding natural resource, esp. trees, to build a crafting table and basically everything else and food to survive. If I survive the zombie attacks, I end up dying due to starvation (how do you find food?!). And I think it is frustrating that we lose all our materials and crafts once we die,  which then means that we have to start from scratch.  Though I know I can't master the game in a single day, I wanna be able to play the game with ease and have full knowledge of the various functions.

Accomplishment: I have gotten better at handling the controls and am able to build myself a crafting table. Also, I now know how survive the zombie attacks in order to survive the game…I either find myself a shelter and hid there until sunrise or attack the zombies back and kill them before they kill me.

Observation: First, I love how we are able to resurrect after we die. Second, as mentioned by others in previous posts, Wiki, youtube, and google have proven to be amazing resources to understand/explore the basics of the game and its various functions for beginners like myself. Access to such informative sources make our struggles a lot easier. It was informative to have Thomas in class these past couple days to help us make sense of the game but it would have been annoying figuring out the game all by ourselves if it wasn't for wiki, youtube and google.

Question: What are the ultimate goals of the game? And does this game relate to our class, i.e. how does this game help us understand the concepts we cover in class?

rlee03's picture

Day 2

- A Struggle:

I think every time I start the game I don’t really know what to do, so I just end up collecting a lot of things. But then today in the multiplayer world, it was actually pretty hard to find wood and some other basic things because everything was gone. I decided to start playing single survival mode halfway through my time playing minecraft. Now I’m just trying to build a world I like.

- An Accomplishment:

I’m learning how to make a lot of things such as pickaxes, building my own house now and trying to decorate it a bit. For the next few days I just want to focus on decorating my house with doors, windows, lights, etc. I also learned how to use the chat system today because I was kind of confused about that at first.

-An Observation:

A lot of people are using minecraft wiki as a tool, or watching youtube videos to learn how to do things.

-A Question:

Is there a way to find your stuff back after you die?...

edtech12's picture

Food in MC

Today, the main struggle was just staying alive for longer than an hour. I died twice because I kept starving. By the end of the day, I had learnt how to eat food and that the way to conserve life power [?] was to jump less. It was great how MC forces us to prepare our own food. In the game, raw meat is about as nutritious as an apple but when cooked its ability to replenish health is startling. Thomas said that if a player eats too much raw meat, they could get infected and die. Also, players can't consume vegetarian items such as mushrooms, eggs and wheat without cooking them first. 

Maybe this is just blowing my mind because I haven't played any games in the last 4 years, but I thought it was neat how MC tried just a little harder to simulate reality. The players don't have to prepare gourmet meals to ensure survival [or maybe they do at some point, egad] but they can't just walk through a mushroom and expect the game to automatically replenish their health. 

This points to the direction of applications of MC as a training software. If the combination of predators, natural dangers and starvation can give us a space to think critically about survival strategies, it can help us prepare for two things: 1. navigating wilderness with greater foresight 2. dealing with chaos in a logical manner.

meganholt's picture

minecraft day 2

Struggle: Since we were at Bryn Mawr again for the tutorial session today, I was not able to connect to the multiplayer network. So, I just played on my own singleplayer world and continued to try to figure out the basics of the game. However, when I opened the game I saw that it was night time and before I could even process what was going on or where I was, I began being killed by Zombies. Then I would spawn again...and be killed again...and spawn again...and be killed again... It was a pretty sick cycle and was no fun at all.

Accomplishment: Luckily, Thomas was able to remind me how to turn on the "peaceful" mode so that I could play without being killed every 5 seconds. Once we did that, it was much more enjoyable to be able to roam free and to explore the world and begin to figure out how to construct different things and what different supplies can create. I also used the Wikki to learn how to eat, which is a definite necessity!

Observation: I now understand how incredible the Minecraft Wikki is. I can't even imagine playing it without it and trying to figure everything out by experimentation!

Question: I still have many questions regarding the multiplayer world since I have not been able to access it yet. Hopefully, those will be answered soon!

meganholt's picture

minecraft day 1

Struggle: I was unable to connect to the multiplayer network because, as a Haverford student, I can only connect to the Bryn Mawr guest network and that does not connect with the Minecraft network, apparently. This was a prime example of how issues with wireless or insufficient connections can REALLY affect the access that people can have to various online tools or systems.

Accomplishment: Luckily one of my classmates was kind enough to let me work with her in exploring Minecraft because she was able to get into the class's network. It was really helpful to go through it with someone else because we were able to share ideas and figure things out together. It was also fun to get to know one of my classmates that I haven't really interacted with very much before that! :-)

Observation: It was pretty clear that some people were "naturals" at Minecraft and were learning how to do various things very quickly, while others were struggling pretty badly. Especially in the beginning of the period, before I had joined with my classmate, I found myself to be in the second group. As it seemed like my classmates were getting farther and farther ahead, I began to feel worse and worse about my Minecraft abilities. I can definitely understand how people who do not have access to technology or do not use technology feel as though they are outsiders to the exclusive club of the tech-saavy.

Question: I still have so many questions, I don't even know where to begin!

mkasahun's picture

Minecraft Reflection

Due to my absentmindedness, I forgot to do my reflections for the past 2 days, so this post will include experiences from the last 3 days.


For the past few days, it has been difficult for me to grasp the concept of the ultimate goal of Minecraft. Though I understood that there are an innumerous ways for each Minecrafter to build their world and establish themselves, I just couldn't get why. What makes Minecraft so particularly interesting so that people spend hundreds of hours on it a month? At a basic level though, learning the controls, how to move, breaking blocks were a struggle the firsst day.


After the first day, I was finally able to get a feel for the "why's" and "how's" of Minecraft. Why do people like it so much? How can people get "addicted" to it? How is it fun? 

I got a chance to explore these questions today during the extra class session - where I realized I spent 4 hours on Minecraft and didn't mind. As I built my furnace and collected cobblestone for my house, I realized how similar it is to the real world. Everything that you create, you have to work for and when someone takes it away, it's gone forever. I feel like it's almost a digital copy of life. I was excited to harvest my crops and build my house and establish my existence in the game - just the way someone would in the physical world. 


I'm trying to think about the affects Minecraft has on people. Is it positive? Are people gaining positive views on the world and is it beneficial? Or is Minecraft a negative thing? Does it make people more possessive, "obsessed", too invested in something that doesn't bring any calculable gains?

maddybeckmann's picture


I like your question about the ultimate goal. I, too have been curious to understand why I like it so much and have no clear goal in mind. Maybe something to do with actions and instant rewards like building a furnace. I feel rewarded when I "craft" something or learn something new. Nice post! Good questions to think about!  

iwozniak's picture

Minecraft Blog

Struggle: Dealing with the sheer magnitude of the world has definitely been a struggle for me. On multiple occasions, I've wandered away from my home base in search of resources and gotten hopelessly lost.
Accomplishment: This isn't an in-game accomplishment but an offline one. My younger sister has been a huge fan of Minecraft for the past couple of years, and until now, I wasn't able to understand her exuberant enthusiasm and love for the game. Over the course of this project, she has helped me immensely, giving me pointers and answering all my questions. There never has been much overlap in our hobbies or interests, so it feels great to have this point in common. Minecraft may be played online, but its effects offline are definitely palpable.
Observation: I love the game's endless creative possibilities. For the time being, I'm still struggling to eke out a living, but nonetheless, I've gotten a taste of what I could potentially accomplish through the Minecraft medium. If we all collaborate, we could create some pretty cool things together.
Question: What can we do as a class to be more cooperative? If we can figure out a way to distribute tasks and work together, we could accomplish so much!

maddybeckmann's picture

Isabelle! Love the house you

Isabelle! Love the house you made!  I made a house as well but walked away from it and lost my way... Also, love the idea of collaboration! Alice and I have been talking about this, any ideas of how we could do so? What we could make? Maybe ask your sister... I would be interested to know if she has collaborated with others? 

wendydays's picture

Minecraft: Day Three

A struggle

Life is a lot easier now that our minecraft world is devoid of monsters. I can wander freely without ever worrying about going home before dusk. However, when I was exploring I became lost at one point and was in a critical state of starvation. I did not want to lose my items so I decided to eat a slab of raw meat and take my chances. Luckily I did not get sick and was able to find my way back to civilization afterwards. I will need to work on marking my tracks next time I go wandering so I won’t get lost again.

An accomplishment

While I was exploring the terrain I realized we live in a big world and there is still a lot of unchartered land and resources! I discovered a new tree species I’ve never seen before, apparently it’s called “birchwood.”

It has been a productive day for me! I have basically commandeered the whole top of the mountain where I am currently living. I did some home renovating and expansion today.I am still in need of a real door. I have begun working on a second home, which I am in the process of figuring out what to use it for. Perhaps I can use it for my impending business or farm. I have finally made a treasure chest so I can store my valuables without being paranoid about dying and losing everything- it is essentially my savings account! I have learned how to cook steak, porkchop and chicken. I made a bed out of wool and wood planks (although I am having trouble place my bed in my house for some reason).

An observation

I agree with the previous posts that we owe a lot of our accomplishments to the wonderful minecraft wiki. That site is the bible of minecraft. Without it, we would be struggling a lot longer.

My next task will be to learn more about mining and specialize in some means of production/labor. I need a job and occupation of some sort. I am kind of interested in agriculture. Veronica told me she figured out how to breed cows and grow wheat, perhaps that will be a potential industry I am interested in. I would not mind starting a little garden on the top of my mountain to do some sustainable farming. I think we should all specialize in some form of occupation. We should try to build a community so we can behave less like “every man for himself/dog eat dog world” and more like a society. We need some kind of system that will bring us together because I think we are currently living in a state of anarchy. 

A question

Would any one like to collaborate with me as business partners?! (i.e one of us specializes in hunting and gathering the other one goes to mine for minerals) We can have a mutually beneficial relationship and trade our items with each other.  

@NapoleonBonaparte: There is a lot of animals you can harvest for wool if you venture out further from the spawn site. Is your house the one at the bottom of a mountain with a lot of torches? I can give you some of my wool too because I think I have been using the coal in your furnace. 

maddybeckmann's picture


I will collaborate with you! I think it would be awesome if we could all work together to "craft" something! Isabelle is interested as well, I think! 

wendydays's picture


Would you like to help build a public libray so we can eventually get an enchated book :)?

jpagan's picture

Minecraft Reflection

a struggle

A major struggle I experienced with Minecraft was trying to purchase the game from the website. The first time I attempted to purchase the game, the transaction was cancelled and there was a hold on my bank account. Today in class, we attempted to purchase the game and apparently it was not working for other students. Alice then decided to purchase gift codes so that people who were having trouble purchasing the game can be able to use the code to download it. I am waiting to receive an email from Alice with the code information so that I can be able to download the game.

In the mean time, I have been able to play the game using other student’s computer and have been able to understand the basics of playing the game. Although Thomas has been really helpful with providing us with assistance while we are in the process of trying to figure out how to play the game, I decided to look at the Minecraft Wiki online that also displays information on how to play the game. I’ve found it very helpful because it is a resource I can easily go to if I have any questions when I am playing the game outside of the classroom. The game involves a lot of knowledge and skill in order to be able to succeed throughout the game such as remembering what tools will help you the most in getting the best resources for survival. I am still in the process of trying to figure out this information and will eventually be able to get enough knowledge to play the game.

an accomplishment

I am still in the process of trying to download the game onto my computer but other student’s who were also experiencing similar issues have been able to download the game with the help of Alice. Therefore, I know I will be able to also download the game soon.

an observation

In the little time I have been able to play with Minecraft due to the problems I’ve experienced with downloading the game, I have tried to mentally immerse myself into the game, by thinking that the game is real life. Throughout this exploration, I’ve observed the frustration and anxiety of trying to survive with little skills I have in comparison to the skills I need in order to survive in the game. The game consists of several steps needed in order to accomplish the next step and the step after that, which will eventually allow you to proceed longer in the game. Minecraft is a game a survival that also challenges what you already know and forces you to think of more skills that will get you to the next level.  I am interested in seeing how the skills I attain as I continue to play the game show in what I develop as I play.

a question

Am I curious to see what kinds of skills other players will attain and how limitless the game can become?

aamer's picture


a struggle: I think conceptually minecraft has been somewhat like this class for me: Self-defined levels of accomplisment and the freedom to explore and do whatever you want. Sometimes that idea in itself can be overwhelming, presenting the questions of where to start, what to do next, and what are you ultimately trying to accomplish? As opposed to games (or classes) which have very clearly delineated goals and paths to achieve those. Wrapping my head around the idea to embrace this as a truly exploring experience rather than having a clear set of instructions was a stuggle for me. 

an accomplishment: I gave myself room to explore the landscape and learned to create a sword, an axe, a pick axe, a hoe, sticks, ladders, crafting table, a furnace to cook my chicken (it was delicious), and torches to put light in my house

an observation: The wiki is extremely helpful, and google is your best friendd, for people like me trying to find a starting place or advice of what kinds of things we can do

a question: I'm just curious to test the limits of this game and see how far engrossed I will allow myself to be in this virtual reality, and how engaged other players are as well.

multicultural5's picture

minecraft day 2

Lots of questions and observations today!! First, an accomplishment - I stayed alive for more than 5 minutes (ok, maybe mainly because Thomas turned off the monsters ...), but a great improvement from the first class, I've stayed alive for over an hour! I built my first crafting table. I mined some totally new things, mostly by accident - sandstone, wool, seeds, and doors and ladders from people's houses. I also made a wooden shovel! But totally by accident - I enjoy messing around in my inventory and putting things in the grid and seeing if anything happens. Then I figured I could use the wiki to actually learn these things - they're called recipes and ingredients - fascinating! I think the language the minecraft community (? that's who came up with this, i assume?) has chosen to use for these things is interesting. The wiki is incredible, wow!! So impressed. I enjoy looking up anything I can think of and seeing how it works in MC. A question - are resources limited?? As others have mentioned, too - but I can't seem to find any more wood, all the trees are trunk-less. Does this mean I have to go to another part of the world to find more resources? A struggle - I get bored when I can't keep making 'progress' - when I can't get the resources I need (like wood) and feeling like I am stuck and cant do anything else in the game. I'm sure I could solve that if I spent more time on the wiki or talking with my peers (shout out to Maddy, who teaches me a lot!) - so I'm learning that going it totally solo in this experinece is generative but also more slow-going in some ways than learning from my peers as resources, too. It's interesting to me that we are all absorbed in our own screens but also talking and teaching/learning with one another. Even though I stopped having as much fun when I felt I couldn't get more resources and keep moving forward, I still found it strangely addicting, in that I didn't want to stop roaming around. Interesting ... 

SMarrie's picture

minecraft day 2-October 27th, 2013

a) I still cannot make a table, even after I learned to control-click my wooden planks. I did not know how to combine them into a final item, so I ended up throwing random blocks in front of my character by accident. 

b) My experience was an improvment from last class mainly thanks to outside forces. I was also able to stay alive for about an hour, though only because the survival game mode was reset in such a way so that there were no longer any zombies. I still nearly died of hunger because I only had an apple and mushrooms, but then I chickened out and decided to switch to creative mode. 

c) I just realized that creative games in general appeal more to me because I don't like the idea of always having to defend myself from monsters and face the risk of dying when I escape from reality into fantasy. That's why I preferred games like Animal Crossing over action stuff like the Legend of Zelda (though I used to love Zelda) or shooter games. And here in Minecraft, it's the same. I think I'll stick to building a garden paradise from scratch in Minecraft from now on. It'll be my new big project, and tough in its own way, since professor Lesnick told me that it's easier to destroy than to create (according to our human history). This notion was so true for me, because I accidentally destroyed blocks when I was trying to plant a flower on a given square. Even when I double-press the mouse, because I have a mac, it's hard to tell whether or not I'm left-clicking (destroying) or right-clicking (planting).

d) What's up with that mincraft wiki? I tried to look up the helpful hints to creative mode, yet the section on that was incomplete while the section on survial was filled to the brim with various survival tips. Is it because nobody does creative mode these days, but survival instead? Or has the wiki gone under? Have the mods been lazy?

edtech2's picture


Frustration! frustration! My computer is very old and downloading the systems requirments was very difficult and tme consuming. Because, even if you make, one small error the game will not run. It took a lot of figuring out what to do. Finally I google minecraft game and matched the sydstem requirements for NVIDIA to what I had tto donload. That took an enormous amount of time. Finally I got to work. Now, navigating through and try to play thats an other big challenge  if you never played a computer video game in your whole life. I want to find a way to play both, the game and run a tutorial for step by step instructions. I wasn't able though. If anyone has a suggestion please let me know, otherwise I am not surving this game.

edtech24's picture

Minecraft 1

1. Struggle: I still have problem with purchasing the game. It just didn't let me pay for it even after I entered my credit card information. Does anyone have the problem or know how to ffix it?

During class hour on Thursday, I got to play MC for about 30 minutes, and I was so confused that I couldn't follow up with Thomas's instruction on how to navigate and picking things up and building things, so we (Georgia, Jennifer and I) ended up trying to look through the manual ourselves. I guess I was very slow to get the game because I haven't played online computer games for too long, and I died so many times. Even so, while I was playing it for a very short time in class I felt like this was going to be addittive. I could just keep going on and on to different places and the world just open up along with my frustration not to find any resources (probably because I was too slow) and then even when I found one I didn't know how to pick it up or what to do with it, so I kept pressing "w". I haven't had experience with the game enought but it seems there's no limitation to what we can do with the game, and that's what makes it very different from the games I used to play - there was always a path to follow, a certain number of things to collect or scores to achieve before moving on to the next level. So I guess having limitless possibilities can sometimes be dangerous too because we never know when to stop. Is it true for real life? One more thing, at this moment, I am happy that it seems that at least for beginning level player like me this game is not about speed (which I am very bad at). 

I hope I can explore more about the game when I am actually able to play it on my computer. 

vspaeth's picture

Minecraft day 2

A struggle:  I think a major struggle I'm still having is that I still haven't fully immersed myself in the game.  Not that I'm not playing, I've probably been playing too much, but I haven't been back on the multiperson server since class, and I just started playing with the monsters at night again today (I already died once, oh well what can you do).  I think I'll try getting myself into multiplayer later on today, so I can be accustomed to it again before our extra meeting tomorrow!

An accomplishment:  I made a few today.  I've finally started getting a better handle on controls, which is one of the reasons I've been exploring singleplayer.  I'm starting to manipulate the world I created, I've built a small house, I started a small wheat farm, I've explored some of the naturally occuring mines, I've made some iron armor.  Another accomplishment is that I decided to turn back on the monster spawning, and even though I died the first night I tried to kill some, I didn't end up doing that horribly, and since I was right outside my house (and the bed I made!) I was able to recollect the items I lost as soon as the sun rose. 

An observation:  I've used the Minecraft wiki a lot during these first few days of exploration and it's kind of incredible how helpful it is.  It's this well rounded, completely informative source that I'm assuming was created by younger people who play the game.  How exciting is that?  All these people coming together to create this source to help orient newcomers into their environment!

A question:  Reading through some of the posts I'm hearing a lot about what's been going on in the multiplayer server.  I can't help but wonder if playing there is going to be harder?  I wonder if it's going to become a competition of sorts or if we're eventually going to manage to come together and create our own community in this world. 

rlee03's picture

Day 1

A Struggle:

I’ve never played a game like this where you’re supposed to build things. I’m more used to the games my brothers used to play with me, like Diablo or League of Legends, where the goal is to kill and level up. So it was hard for me to even start the game because the concept was pretty different from the past games I played. I’ve had a hard time trying to build things, even though I’ve learned how to build a crafting table and collect materials. I don’t really know what kind of things I can make, and how I’m supposed to rearrange them to get what I want. Also, on Thursday which was the first time we played, I had a really hard time surviving. It would frustrate me how I would collect a bunch of materials, try to make something and then suddenly night time comes and I get killed by zombies or other monsters.

An Accomplishment:

I’ve been more observant of when day turns into night! Thus I know when I’m supposed to start finding shelter, and protect myself from the zombies that I still stand no chance against. I found that digging holes are actually quite a good way to stay alive.

An Observation:

The environment has been changing quite a bit from the first time we entered the game on Thursday. It is harder to find trees and other materials than before, a lot of them don’t seem to be growing back as fast.

A Question:

I’m always kind of confused of where I am, and find myself wandering around a lot. So is there a way to create a map? Or is there a map I can use at all??

edtech14's picture

Minecraft Blog 1

a struggle:

Especially at the beginning since I felt so unsafe and didn't know what to do, I had a bad habit of punching any living thing I came in contact with. In fact, Wendy mentions that her and I were online at the same time and when I first saw her, I thought she was something that was going to attack me like the men with bows and arrows do. Therefore, since I know if you run they just chase you anyway, I punched her to see what would happen. She then responded very civilly, "Hello. Don't punch me." and I had to figure out again how to use the chat since I couldn't remember at that moment how to do it. This experience taught me how to be a little less reactionary and a little more apt to prepare ahead of time for possible dangers. 

an accomplishment:

I have had conversations with a couple of classmates regarding strategy and Isabel advised me 1) digging deep 2 by 1 holes is an effective way of avoiding monsters as well because they cannot fit inside with you and 2) that instead of putting in the extra time to start a house from scratch, it is quite effective to carve a little fixer up house in the side of a mountain to automatically have a roof and part of the walls built. I started this project today. However, I think I have boxed myself into the house and will have to ask someone about how to make a door so that this does not happen again! 

an observation:

I am noticing that the trees near the respawning site are disappearing and this means that eventually other materials will start going away as well. I suppose this means we will all have to start charting new territory in order to get what we need. I've noticed that a bunch of us have built our homes around the spawning site and this makes it easier to know where your home is. Once we get farther from this area, maybe we can build another set of houses together to have multiple, easily recognizable places to go for refuge.

a question:

With tools like the internet and particularly with the tool of Wikipedia, I wonder how much Minecraft is really fostering the creativity of players. If the answers to a large part of one's difficulties are at their fingertips, already figured out by someone else, how does this teach problem solving skills? I find that asking others for their input is a great tool, but that it is tempting sometimes to do so before really putting in the time to figure it out yourself. Just another example of how instant gratification can be dangerous.

Also, sometimes I see blocks that move by themselves as if they are alive. What are those?
edtech14's picture

Minecraft Blog 2

From our session on Sunday:

a struggle:

I was struggling with figuring out what to do now that I had a house. I have the problem that many of my other peers have of not being sure of how to get back to my house if I go too far. Also, now that I have a house, I am not sure what the next big accomplishment I could be making is. I know that I should not be expecting there to be a ready made and linear "next step" or goal as Thomas was saying today, but since I am still unfamiliar with the game, I am not sure what my options are yet.

an accomplishment:

I did not have a concrete accomplishment at our session on Sunday. However, I feel that in general, I did get more familiar and comfortable with the idea that when crafting things at your crafting table, you can follow your intuitions about how the general shape of something would be in order to guess how to make it. For example, to make a chest, you fill in the perimeter of the 3 by 3 grid with wooden planks leaving a blank space in the middle. This is kind of like a chest, which is square with a space in the middle to put things. 

an observation:

I noticed during the session and immediately before when I was playing Minecraft with Sarah that although people communicate with others while playing the game around each other, there is still quite a bit of silence as well as talking to oftentimes talking to oneself! 

a question:

When people are silent and playing the game with lots of concentration, I wonder what this actually means. Sometimes people call this being "into the game," but I wonder, to echo a point Robert brought up today in class discussion, how much of this is attentiveness and how much is the zoning out than can occur during moments of mindless repetition (e.g. such as when one is mining and must break block after block until something pops up)? However, I wonder if these moments are also useful? Do they teach patience?

edtech14's picture

Minecraft Blog 3

a struggle:

I was struggling trying to find new materials today. I did quite a lot of mining straight down because Thomas had said that the deeper you go into the ground, the more different types of material you can find, like iron. After what I thought was quite alot of mining, I still didn't find much. 

an accomplishment:

As I mined, I found myself wondering how I would get out of the hole when I was done. I attempted to make steps  but they were uneven and I wasn't sure the best dimensions to make them in order to get out effectively. Luckily, as I went around looking for new places to mine, I found a place another person had already been working on where their steps were 2 blocks by 2 blocks and although this takes time and patience to construct, it is far superior to single block steps from which it is quite easy to fall off of any which way. I then tried the 2 by 2 steps myself and it made everything much more efficient.

an observation:

I noticed that if you dig deep enough, insects called "Silverfish" can appear that can kill you. This is another reason to have nice wide steps for an easy exit because if there is no room to run, you will be in trouble. I will now be more wary when mining whereas before I thought it was a completely safe activity!

a question: 

I returned to my house today after I died falling off of a cliff and there was nothing in my chest! I thought that the items in your chest remained no matter what happens? Is this true?

I am also wondering about the ways in which we as classmates can collaborate in the game. I know that we can mine and build together and thus, that the sky is the limit in terms of what we can do. However, I suppose that with a little more time and energy, one could do the same things on one's own. I am curious to know if there are there any activites that can ONLY be done with the help of a partner or a team and not by oneself.

edtech14's picture

Minecraft Blog 4

a struggle:

I lost my house and even though I was finding all kinds of supplies in the jungle like cocoa beans and sugar cane and things like that, I had a sense of anxiety the entire time because I knew that I was not going to find my way back. The farther I went and the more new things I explored, the surer I was that I was losing a sense of how to return to where I came from. I thought about building a new house and just starting again in a new place. However, it made me sad to lose my old neighbors Isabel and Sarah. I had gotten familiar with my old rickety house in the side of a mountain.

an accomplishment:

I have not put the plan into action yet, but I had the idea of trying out the Hansel and Gretel strategy and forming some kind of trail of objects like torches in order to know my way back to my house. I might also use invaluable items like blocks of dirt so that people aren't tempted to pick them up. That way, during each session I can explore all that I want and then head back to home base at the end of the day.

an observation:

I noticed that living right next to a river and in the midst of mountains might not be the best location for a home. They always say that the most important thing about choosing a house is location, location, location, so perhaps once I get my bearings in terms of sense of direction, I can go to a place with more open space for gardening and keeping animals. I saw someone's house today with both a garden and a pen of cows with baby cows in it. Having a lot of space seems key.

a question: 

I really like the idea of having a community center along with a community garden and a farm. I was wondering if there was anyone who wants to volunteer just building upon stuff they have already made? It seems like that would really jumpstart the process and also give incentive to those who have already made lots of progress to participate in the project. Also, that way, people who have not made so much progress can have a set place that they know they can go to in order to find shelter and eat. 

SMarrie's picture

Minecraft-Day one

Day 1, October 24th, 2013-

I have not played a computer game for years, and it showed when I did Minecraft for an hour. I was thrust headfirst into zombies, and that did not make a good impression for me for the rest of the hour. I was sure that I was going to hate playing this game because I died a lot, I never got to do anything. 

a) I had no idea how to fight zombies, and I had no idea how to run away. By the time I figured out how to move my plain avatar, it was already too late. I died, and I kept dying at night. There was always this one zombie that was right behind me and kept attacking me even though I couldn't see it. I was only able to navigate freely during the day, but even that got boring in its own way. All I wanted to do was explore, but I was told that I had to make a table and tools. I could find nothing of value except an apple and mushrooms. I did not know how to create a table or an axe, and I never got to do so, because all the materials needed for that were already taken by many other players who had entered the game before me. It was like room draw last year where everyone before me had already taken all the good stuff and I was left with scraps. 

b)I was able to do two very small things (things that could not possibly be considered huge accomplishments, but I gotta aim low here because I'm so bad at this): I could jump out of water and off of blocks and I could hit enemies. I learned to swim upward by pressing a certain button (the space key) and jumping could help me escape (briefly) from enemies. If I kept pressing another key, I could kill a zombie at a time. However, a huge horde of them kept going at me, so I got hurt and died again. The point is, I could keep myself from dying from drowning and I could survive (for a few minutes longer) while in the company of zombies. 

c) I notice that there are a lot of cows and pigs here in this world, and I have no idea why. Why not cats or dogs? Did somebody create them? But who? And how?

d) Can I just do creative mode instead of survival from now on? I wonder if I can stick to creative mode from now on, since I hear that there is no dying or survival zombie mode in that area. I would rather stick to creative mode for the next four days of blogging, and I hope my professor/the leader of the game will let me. I just do not enjoy being thrust into a game that seems like it's for hardcore gamers and messing up due to a lack of years and years of experience. 

wendydays's picture

Minecraft: Day Two

A struggle:
I have been through living hell on minecraft. I was stuck deep inside a mountain for the longest time waiting for death and trying to tunnel myself out. It was extremely frustrating. It turns out you take forever to die from starvation, and there was no quicker way to “off” myself. My pick-axe was gone, I didn’t have enough wood to make a crafting table and it was pitck black in there. I was hopelessly digging block after block only to find myself faced with endless more walls of the mountain’s interior. If anyone finds some tunnels within a mountain it is because of me. That was a horrible experience; it felt like the worst kind of imprisonment. I was basically in solitary confinement being trapped inside a mountain with no light, or windows. I would have gone insane had I not finally been able to spawn somewhere else. It took a lot of faith to be able to break block after block, believing that eventually I would be able to reach the edge of the mountain and be free. I was so glad when a skeleton eventually found me and “rescued” me from my misery of tunneling in darkness. The skeleton was like my angel, my savior.

An accomplishment:
I felt so liberated once I was reborn back into the outside world. I had missed the freedom to wander, the open spacious environment and especially the day light. I stayed in other peoples’ houses for a few nights to avoid monsters. It’s nice that zombie’s can’t open doors. It was very tempting to steal people’s items in their treasure chest, (since no one would ever know I did it) but in the end I decided not to. I then tried to build a house of my own. I found a place on top of the mountain and planted two cactuses on the side. It’s a very primitive and crappy house compared to some of the other houses already built which are much nicer – but it will have to do for now. I haven’t made a door yet so at night I just fill the entryway with sand/gravel and barricade myself inside.

An observation:

The trees that were harvested don’t seem to grow back on their own. We may have a deforestation problem in the future once everyone is online and using up all the resources.

I feel as if I am already developing a second life on minecraft. I'm really getting into the game. I can see why kids can become addicted to this thing.

A question:

Are there enough natural resources in the map for everyone to take as much as they please?

vspaeth's picture

In response to your tree concern

Sometimes when you break leaves apart seedlings drop.  If you plant them they grow into new trees, which is important, because I'm pretty sure the wiki said trees don't grow back on their own, so as a group I don't think we should be waiting for that.

wendydays's picture

Minecraft: Day One

A Struggle:
I feel as if I am Tom Hanks from Cast Away where I am thrown on a deserted island left to die. I skimmed through the beginner’s guide and its recommended strategies are to find shelter, food and safety. I have trouble doing all of this because all the natural resources are not that easy to find and require mining/scavenging up in the mountains or obscure places in the map. Your tools don’t even last forever; your wooden pick-axe eventually breaks and you have to make a new one. You can’t eat trees or flowers; you actually have to eat real food. The only “food” I’ve managed to find so far are 2 mushrooms. I may try to eat some raw meat next time and take my chances. You become desperate when you're starving.

The “noises” of zombies and monsters and the immbolizing darkness at night is kind of scary. I can't wait to make fire and a bed. I feel very insecure.

An Accomplishment

To increase your chances of survival I have learned that when its dark out and you don’t have shelter it’s best to find a makeshift one. Find a cave on a mountain, or dig a hole somewhere- it’s safer that way. I climbed onto the top of a mountain and tried to build myself a dirt-house. I managed to build a crude barrier of some sort, I had some trouble putting the roof in too. Eventually, I heard a zombie coming and completely freaked out and started digging downward into the mountain to hide. I kept digging until I couldn't see anything and was trapped inside the mountain. I think I will probably starve to death now because I can't get out.  

An Observation:

In the beginning (like our cave-man era ancestors) you start with the most primitive world possible. You have to try to fulfill your basic needs such as food, water, shelter and (weirdly) human contact. I felt like I took comfort in the fact that I was in multiple player server and that I wasn’t completely alone. I was online with Cindy for a little while and it was kind of nice to have someone to talk to. (kind of like how Chuck Noland from Cast Away had Wilson the Volleyball for company). Comes to show us how we humans are truly social animals :P When you see predators and don’t have weapons, the smart thing to do is to RUN. Don’t step into burning fire and don’t drown in the water. These are all real life common sense things that for some reason didn’t seem to dawn on us college kids during class because we all kept dying hahaha.

The fact that I know gamers on minecraft have created entire cities and civilizations on this game shows how it has the ability to mirror the trajectories of our own human civilization and how we developed. 

In many ways, survival in this virtual world is highly realistic. 

A Question:

How does my 5 year old cousin and his friends play this game so effortlessly? It’s not that easy. 
Can minecraft be used in a simulated wilderness survival course? 

vspaeth's picture

Minecraft Day 1

I'm not good at video games.  My brother has always been the one who could sit down and figure out a game in little to no time.  By the time I would even decide to give it a try he would practically be a pro.  That's not to say I don't enjoy them.  I love video games, and I love games like this, where the idea is based in creating instead of purely destroying.  That's not to say that my first day with the game today was by any means easy.  I struggled a lot (and am still struggling a lot) with the logistics of the game.  As mentioned by others, moving was hard and I still have trouble jumping.  I decided to play around in single player.  At first I started off playing on easy, where monsters and things still spawn.  I decided though that having to hide out at night to avoid dying wasn't really working out for me, so I eventually switched to peaceful mode.  I figure I'll try to grasp the basics before I start worrying about giant spiders and skeletons that shoot arrows.  I like the option of the game to play in "peaceful" mode.  I still have to worry about things like drowining and starving, but I'm not limited by whether or not the sun is up.  I plan on moving back up to "easy" or even "normal" mode once I have a better grasp of the game.  I've also spent a lot of time today exploring the Minecraft wiki.  I found it really interesting that so much information existed about a game that..doesn't really have rules or a plot (although there is a type of "Ending" which involves travelling to another dimension and slaying some dragon...which seems cool, but I don't know if that's much my style).  There are so many ways to play this game that I'm honestly beyond excited to explore it more.  Just during my first day I can see how the open format and freedom of gameplay could be useful in working with imagination.  I think the game allows for the development of authorship as well.  We could see in class today how a lot of people were looking to be told "what do I do?" (I was one of them at some points).  The game isn't about that though, it's about making it what you want, and I think that's a skill (the ability to explore and figure things out on your own) that isn't always focused on in schooling.  

I explored some youtube videos of people playing the game as well, and I was blown away by the additons and changes some people make to it.  I also was just flawed by how effortless building was for these people who made the changes as well.  I guess you can say I still have a lot of learning to do.  

As far as questions go, I can't help but wonder about the broader community of minecraft.  Once I understand the basics a little better I might be interested in exploring some other servers just to see how other people play.  Logistically questions I'm working on, I feel like this is a very "hands on" learning experience, and the wiki explains things when I just can't figure them out.  Basically, I'm exploring and learning as I go, and enjoying the process along the way.  

multicultural5's picture

minecraft day 1

Wow! A totally humbling experience. I first opened the game the night before our workshop with Thomas, and I truly had no idea what I was doing. I felt as if I were in a foreign country where I didn't speak the language (i mean, in some ways, I was ..) I didn't even know how to walk or move around at first! I just pressed every key on the keyboard until I figured out the basic forward/back and jump commands. With that though, I still had no idea what I was 'supposed' to do. I walked around and tried to karate chop a pig and some grass blocks but quickly became frustrated because I couldn't figure anything else out on my own. I'm amazed that all players literally drop in to the game like this, with no tutorial, no rule book, etc. That makes me even more excited to explore this online community with the wiki and instructional videos that people have created together, that really astonishes me. I didn't understand at first how truly imaginative and creative the game is because there really is no aim, which is hard to wrap my head around as so much of what we do (in school, play, other kinds of games, life, etc) has some sort of a path and direction. (well, i guess the game does, too - you have to collect dirt, wood, etc and then make things, but much more broadly). Anyways, this proved to be an obstacle  in our class today because I found myself quickly losing interest - gathering sticks and dirt wasn't that exciting, but I understand that like learning most new skills, the 'basics' can be tedious but act as a gatekeeper to the more 'fun' higher skills. So I hope my interest increases as I become more competent. An accomplishment, too, was successfully gathering wood and starting to convert my resouces into other products, like sticks and the beginning of a crafting table. (baby steps!) Excited to move forward: My first two experiences with MC remind me of when I started learning Spanish by teaching myself .. I had a grammar book that didn't make any sense to me and a bunch of songs I was listening to. Just like my first night with MC when I had no Thomas, no wiki, and no plan, I began by grasping at any random words in the new language, trying to make sense of any pattern I could. I see a really strong parallel between my experiences starting out with both Spanish and MC - I'd like to use my/our experience as novices to minecraft as an extended metaphor for/way to abstract the learning process in general - what other parallels can I draw? 

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
9 + 10 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.