What sets Minecraft apart from other video games


Photo By Paige Whiteside

A student plays Minecraft on a computer. Collecting resources, fighting hostile mobs and building are just a few of the actions that can be done in the game.

     A soft crunch of feet on grass with mellow music playing softly in the background. Sounds of cows, sheep and pigs fill the air and the opening of a chest is heard. Even when the game is not being played, the sounds can be imagined. It is none other than a game full of a nostalgic ambiance known as Minecraft. 

     The world’s second-best-selling game has touched the lives of millions and created a huge community. According to IGN, as of April 2021, Mojang has sold 238 million copies of their game, trailing only Tetris (520 million), a game that came out 25 years prior. 

     As the game evolved it gained popularity and it added more items, blocks and lore to fuel the fandom with. So, what sets this Swedish game of cubes apart from all the others?

     To some, it represents freedom to express themselves. Freshman Lucas Serrano is one of those people. 

     “My fondest memory is when I built this giant arcade, and it was really cool,” Serrano said. “You have the creativity to build anything and you have the tools, and that’s what sets it apart from other games.”

A player uses a skeleton farm. Mob farms are one of the many ways to be creative and make Minecraft an easier game to play. (Photo By Tom Thill)

     Serrano enjoyed playing Minecraft with friends and recalled his introduction to the game.

     “It was back in the year 2016 when I first got my laptop, and I would play games like Roblox and Minecraft with my friends,” Serrano said.

     The big bonus was the sandbox-style world that set no boundaries to what a player could do. Meanwhile, a smaller reason for Minecraft’s continued popularity has been its competitive aspect.

     In Minecraft, you are never safe, and even when you get the best gear it is easy to die. From the nearly invincible Warden to the lava of the Nether, you are never completely safe. Even the smallest mistake can end you. 

     Aug. 12, 2022 – My brother and I had just destroyed the Ender Dragon (the final boss) with ease and set our sights on an extremely rare and useful item known as the Elytra. We had been playing the game for over seven years by that point and were both geared out with the best armor and weapons. We prepared for the journey following the fight and had ender pearls and slow-falling potions in case we made a mistake. 

     We split up to search for End Cities that could hold the treasure. I was extremely lucky to find four of them and loot them completely, distributing all of the loot into the ender chest. I did not find the elytra. Slowly my ender pearls were used until I was down to one. I planned to use that pearl to jump to a neighboring island in hopes of finding endermen to kill and replenish my stock. So, I drank a slow-falling potion and threw the pearl.


     I had hit the very edge of the island and failed to move quickly enough to block-clutch and save myself. So I was left slowly falling to my death into the infinite void with all my gear to disappear.  

     Nothing is ever safe, and that gives Minecraft a small connection to our real lives. On any given day we could lose something we care about whether it be jobs, items, family or pets.

A Minecraft player flies with an elytra. An elytra is one of the rarest obtainable items in Minecraft.

     The impact of this silly block world game can be felt all around. A few days ago, I came across a paper-mâché recreation of a Minecraft parrot, and it was one of the coolest things I had seen in a while. Then there is the previous year’s mural, which had so many iconic pop culture references with the Minecraft representative being the creeper face. 

     Finally, we get to perhaps the most iconic part of Minecraft: the music. So much can be said about the music that makes the game, from the short cave sounds that will scare you to the ends of the Earth when you’re in pitch dark to the epic finality of Pigstep to the original calmness of Sweden.

     C418 and Lena Raine, the creators of all of the music, have gained 1,841,827 and 601,459 followers on Spotify respectively. Lena Raine’s Pigstep has over 31 million plays, while C418’s Sweden has amassed over 113 million.

     Music defines Minecraft, and even someone who doesn’t play has probably heard at least one of the songs.

     Minecraft has pleased millions of people around the world and appeals to the youth and to adults who feel nostalgic for their days as children. That is what sets Minecraft apart. It’s a game designed for everyone, and that gives it an edge over all other games.