Minecraft, Day 2. Time passed. I learned more about the game and logged back in. The zombies hadn’t quite killed my guy but quickly finished the job. Enough of that. I deleted my second world and started anew, now knowing what to do – change the mode to “Difficulty: Peaceful.” Spruce and birch trees decorated with snowy platforms on stair-step hills. Relaxing music. Chickens clucking, laying eggs that popped into my bag. Cows mooing, grazing near an icy sea. It looked a little like late winters I’m familiar with. I felt more at home, safe. I gathered wood at leisure, then watched the sun set over the water. In real life when things get too hectic, wouldn’t it be nice if we could set the world to “Difficulty: Peaceful”?
Day 3. Well, things are a bit hectic in my real world now, so I can only fit Minecraft into slivers of time. I finally got advice on how to have a better mouse experience, something about changing the video settings and tapping F8 to turn off “Mouse Smoothing” (odd, but it worked). Great! now I can do some real exploring. I jumped my way up a mountain to see what I could see. Peaceful seems to be an archipelago, although it was hard to tell because it started snowing. Snowflakes shaped like tiny checkerboards gently fell as I made a crafting table (also called a workbench) and then a storage chest in which I put eggs, smiley-faced pumpkins, and wood. Accompanied by light piano music, snow accumulated on my workbench.
Day 4. Peaceful began foggy this evening. First thing I did was build a basic shelter, two blocks high with a door; then I put my workbench and chest in it, crafted a pick axe, and left to search for stone (thus the need for an axe).
I wandered far from home, crossing on ice (fun to slide on) and then swimming (if you want to call my underwater jumps that) from one island to the next. I started sensing how Robinson Crusoe must have felt before Friday showed up. Except for occasional chickens, cows, and pigs – and I think I’ve glimpsed octopuses swimming – it’s lonely here, not another blocky guy to be found. Lots of snow on the ground, yet here and there are patches of red and yellow flowers – must be early spring. I chopped a red one and a “rose” and seed popped into my bag. I chopped a yellow one and a generic “flower” popped in. I even harvested sugar cane, which seems an odd crop indeed to find on these hilly wooded islands in a great northern sea.
Finally I spotted two solid gray blocks high on a hill. Stone! The path to it was a puzzle: how to get there by jumping as high as possible (one-block high) and side-stepping across blocks that share a point. I made it and began mining a vein of cobblestone, creating a cave in the process, which made me realize that I could have created my own steps to the vein and probably could have found stone within lower blocks – good to keep in mind. In any case, I was pleased with my find and built a short dirt tower with a pumpkin on top to mark it. I was amused to see, right before my eyes, grass grow on top of several dirt blocks.
I’d learned enough for one evening and wanted to retire to my shelter, but I was totally lost. There’s a sameness to this area, and I can’t zoom out to see very far in any detail to speak of. So I’m wandering around when I see a pretty patch of glowing orange and thought I’d try to mine it. Oops! I fell into a pool of lava and immediately died (am I in Iceland?). I respawned and discovered that I’d lost everything I’d gathered that day, along with my pick axe. I hope I’m near my shelter, with its workbench and chest. I’ll find out next time I log on.