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Video: Kids explain why they play Minecraft
February 5, 2013 | By Frank Cifaldi

In the embedded video above, filmmaker Britt McTammany manages to capture the unique appeal that Minecraft has on its younger players in less than two minutes. It's not about the game design itself: it's about building and having fun together.

We found it a particularly inspirational way to start a Tuesday, and hopefully you will too.

(Source: Kotaku)

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Carlo Delallana
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I love that it's still in the top "Paid and Grossing" apps on iOS, Google Play, and Amazon App Store. It's like the lone champion of "Hey wait, Free to Play isn't the only way to go!"

Bart Stewart
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Also the lone champion of self-publishing directly from your own web page.

Also the lone champion of yes, you can make and sell great games with Java.


Bob Johnson
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My kid loves Minecraft as do many kids in his school. We bought it for both Xbox and the pc.

But I thought we were going to hear from more kids than just one family's 2 kids. A montage of opinions to show the wide appeal.

Instead it is basically a home movie with slightly better production values where the 2 kids at are asked what they like about Minecraft. Meh.

Carlo Delallana
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I do playtests with kids aged 6 - 12 and Minecraft always appears on the list of games they actively play. Anecdotal evidence of course but the kids I've talked to cite the same reason as the two above as to why they play Minecraft. As far as the split goes, about 70% of kids we encountered play Minecraft on mobile with the remainder on PC.

Vin St John
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I love that in the first thirty seconds the kid drops the words "voxel" and "biome." Makes me think of how I might have a selectively developed vocabulary from growing up on games.

John Gordon
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"It's not about the game design itself: it's about building and having fun together."

Building and having fun together is part of the game design.

John Flush
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When I ask my kids why they keep playing it, it is because they can play with their friends - split screen on the Xbox. Kids come over and play together, no logging into live to play. They like the fact they can build "anything" they want. They like that they can turn it on creative and do anything without having to dig for it. Other times they like to turn off the monsters and not have risk of being attacked.

I remember myself going out in the back yard and digging for stuff. This game takes that itch and explodes it to huge levels.

With how many minecraft clones are out there it makes me wonder if even if someone took the concept and expanded it if it would even catch on...

Carlo Delallana
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I think the groundswell and eventual popularity of Minecraft (and why its competitors have a hard time against it) is because it was on simmer for the longest time. It was an enthusiast game, and these players dig deep roots. Because Minecraft didn't have built in virality players had to rely on traditional, yet more powerful, means to spread the message: talking to their friends on and offline. They had to set-up their systems so they could record their gameplay and output it to YouTube, more effort than a casual player would expend on such a game.

There's something to be said for games who are built-up from the ground like this. How it naturally engages curiosity that you want to share it with others organically. It makes it more meaningful compared to, lets say, a "Share this post with your friends" prompt on FarmVille 2. It takes more effort, you have to "craft" your viral message because you are compelled to share this experience with others because you know how it can benefit them (not just you).