We've heard a lot about Minecraft lately, haven't we? The game finally hit 1.0 on November 18, for a start, which caused much celebration as games journalists across the world flocked to their copies of Microsoft Word to finally type up the 10/10 review they'd been hankering to dish out for yonks now.
My first thought, then: can Minecraft really be worth all that praise?
Then, of course, there was the frankly gargantuan convention that was MineCon 2011. I'd only briefly seen the effect Minecraft has had on people first-hand before now, as zillions of people walked across the halls of gamescom and PAX wearing cardboard Creeper masks. This gigantic game, which has now sold over four million copies, has grown in two years to become absolutely massive - can those four million people really be wrong?
So I, ever on the cusp of predicting the latest gaming trends, decided to get started in Minecraft roughly a year after everyone else started banging on about it. I hear all the cool kids are playing something called Terraria these days, so I might give that a look in 2013.
Our benevolent editor Tom Orry clearly saw something in my latest noble endeavour, tasking me to keep a diary of my first week's progress and post it to you, the Internet. I was more than happy to oblige, because it meant I got to play Minecraft during office hours. And also out of the office. That's the kind of effect this game has on you.
Monday November 21 - The first day
Hello friends! I've started playing Minecraft because if I don't then I won't be able to keep up my cool indie cred. So, what's a Minecraft? I'm in a forest and there's absolutely nothing here. I can see some trees, a few mountains, and more trees.
I've heard zombies and Creepers come out at night - that's the thing I have to avoid isn't it? How am I supposed to build things? I don't actually have anything in my inventory. I'm going to pick up some blocks.
I started playing Minecraft but I got killed by a Creeper, which are grim little spotty green dudes with a shocked expression like you've just told someone who reads the Daily Express that maybe the Government didn't conspire to murder Princess Diana. They explode when you get near them and are sods. Boo!
I've had to bury myself alive. I'm not even joking. I don't actually know how to build anything yet, and day turned into night and the monsters arrived - the only thing I could realistically do was claw up patches of sodden ground with my hands and then cover myself in dirt. It's quite dark down here. I'm hoping for morning soon.
I got killed by a skeleton thing.
Alright, I've had a couple of hours to tinker around with stuff and I'm still virtually clueless. Pearson is getting pretty annoyed with me asking him stuff every twenty seconds and keeps telling me to just go read a Wiki. This seems quite useful. I think I can build up a basic assortment of tools now - wooden pickaxe here we come!
I'm lost and alone and hungry and it's dark and there's zombies :(