The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

2024 Commencement Student Speaker: Lea Tarzy
Alexandra Slofkiss: 2024 Commencement Soloist
Outstanding Senior Award: Bernadette Maramis
Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion: Gloria Sporea

Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion: Gloria Sporea

May 10, 2024

Excellence in Athletics Award: Meghan Quinn

Excellence in Athletics Award: Meghan Quinn

May 10, 2024

Excellence in the Arts Award: Joselyn Busato

Excellence in the Arts Award: Joselyn Busato

May 10, 2024

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Minecraft: A diamond in gaming history

Over the years, there have been hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of different video games. There have been several great ones, ranging from first person shooters (FPS), sports, racing, open world sandbox games and several others. However, there have been far fewer games that have been able to transcend all genres, ages, consoles and demographics. With over 300 million copies sold, Minecraft sits comfortably as the second best selling video game (only Tetris outsells it, but I personally wouldn’t count it), and is one of the greatest games ever made. I understand, although it has certainly become a meme, there are only a handful of games that retain their charm even after extended periods of not playing. However, games like this can only evoke this reaction if they have one key thing – timelessness. 

To ensure a game stands the test of time, several key components come into play. Firstly, graphics play a crucial role. Games like Doom or Half-Life were groundbreaking in their time, but as computing power has surged over the decades, graphics have evolved significantly. While some games aimed for realism upon release, they now appear dated due to advancements in graphics technology. However, exceptions exist, such as the original Mario games, which maintain their appeal regardless of graphics. Minecraft distinguishes itself in this regard. Its graphics are relatively simple, comprised of cubes with distinct textures. This simplicity avoids comparison to real-life models, unlike other games. Consequently, Minecraft’s graphics remain timeless, unaffected by aging. Moreover, players can enhance their experience with hundreds of downloadable modifications, such as Ray-Tracing or lifelike leaf simulations, ensuring continued interest and realism.

Secondly, let’s consider the music. I’ve previously delved into my thoughts on the Minecraft soundtrack when discussing suitable study music. The gentle piano notes and soft strings found within the soundtrack never fail to soothe me. There hasn’t been a moment where these melodies haven’t calmed me down. This contributes significantly to the game’s timelessness. Unlike FPS games, where soundtracks typically accompany title sequences or menu navigation, or upbeat tracks in games like Mario Kart that match the fast-paced gameplay, Minecraft’s soundtrack offers a unique experience. While I admit to occasionally skipping certain songs, the overall vibe of the soundtrack is exceptional and unlikely to become dated. Moreover, the soundtrack doesn’t play at specific moments during the game, but rather shuffles randomly (albeit with some criteria for song selection, albeit limited). This unpredictability keeps players engaged, ensuring no song ever grows tiresome. Simply put, listen to the soundtrack and see if you disagree with its timeless appeal.

Finally, let’s consider the community aspect, which I believe is another key factor in making Minecraft one of the best timeless games. “But Ryan, isn’t it mostly just young kids goofing around these days?” Yes, it’s true that many players are kids. However, there’s also a significant adult player base, especially among those who grew up with the game and still find joy in playing it. Unlike other games where fast reaction times are crucial, Minecraft’s gameplay accommodates players of all ages, increasing community diversity. And let’s not forget multiplayer. I remember playing the Pocket Edition on my Kindle Fire back in 4th grade, building vast worlds with my sister or friends. The multiplayer experience extended to playing at friends’ houses, collaborating on shared worlds. This was just the beginning. With hundreds of servers available, players can join random strangers or friends for a good time. Mods enhance the experience further, allowing players to communicate in-game, even when thousands of miles apart. Moreover, the supportive community offers help, building ideas and competitions, constantly refreshing the game’s appeal. These factors contribute to Minecraft’s timelessness, as the community continues to grow with new players joining every day, ensuring it’s longevity.

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As I’ve mentioned, there are many other great games out there, and some may even be considered better than Minecraft overall (though I personally disagree). However, when it comes to timelessness, no game surpasses Minecraft. With graphics that never seem to age and a largely supportive and inclusive community, it possesses all the qualities of a timeless game. I haven’t even touched upon the creative aspects of the game, which allow players to express themselves, relieve stress and enhance problem-solving skills. Timelessness isn’t about escaping the passage of time or artificially striving for it; it’s about creating moments that naturally resonate eternally. And that’s precisely what Minecraft achieves.

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