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Minecraft STRUGGLE

mfarbo's picture

It all began when I went to download the application and had to download another plug-in that my computer was missing. Once I finally got all the downloads configured and set up an account, I logged in and began playing. I vaguely knew what to do from the video in class the other day. 

The first thing I tried to do was gather wood--I went up to a tree and punched it A LOT and got nowhere. I went online and watched a YouTube video and it showed punching the tree. I returned to the game and tried punching the tree. Again, continuous punching and NO wood. I went to another tree and FINALLY it worked! I got one block of wood. I continued punching the tree and couldn't get any more wood. At this point, I had been playing for about 25 minutes and was yelling at my computer. I had to stop because I was so frustrated. 

I may go back and attempt to continue playing but right now, I'm too annoyed. I'm unclear on the purpose and focus  of the game. I know that when you pause there is a bar for achievements but what is the ultimate goal? I'm hoping that the panel on Tuesday will help enlighten me on 1) how to play and 2) the purpose of playing and 3) the ultimate goal. 



alesnick's picture


Thanks for sharing your first try so honestly!  Your experience reminds me of McGonigal's focus on the role of choice in gaming: it has to be voluntary.  I wonder whether, if your experience were grounded more in an individual choice and accompanying set of social relationships, your initiation would have been less frustrating.

Also, not being sure of the purpose/goal at the outset is interesting.  How can a game, or a lesson plan or course, be structured enough to allow beginners/newbies to gain access but still maintain some freedom to explore open-endedly? 

mfarbo's picture

Re: Frustration

That connection to McGonigal makes sense! 

That's a really good question--I think it definitely depends on the game and what it is trying to accomplish. If it were used in a school setting, it would be hard to allow freedom and still have students acheive the goal unless the topic was very broad.  

mfarbo's picture

I found this video and it

I found this video and it made me feel much better, enjoy!