Your Daily McMaster: love and Minecraft

, | Games

When I first discovered Minecraft, it was still pretty early on. Survival mode had been added but there weren’t a ton of monsters in the game yet. It resembled what the game has become, but it wasn’t nearly as advanced. I played around with it a bit and fell in love.

Whenever I find a game I love, one of the first things I do is introduce it to my wife Sarah. I love watching people play games. Watching someone play, the concentration on the action and the elation at success, is like a drug to me. However, before I introduce a game to Sarah, I go through my checklist of things that she likes. If I don’t, I end up with two copies of the same game sitting on my shelf.

After the jump, she likes it!

Number one, she loves to loot and explore. She is at home in most any RPG and Minecraft certainly contains that element. Survival mode creates a random world, or you can recreate a favorite world by keeping a code that the game creates, and fills it with monsters, dungeons, towns and all sorts of other stuff.

She also loves to build and create, which is what made me connect her to this game in the first place. There are powered mine carts and simple circuits as well as different artworks and any number of other items between. You can craft a staggering amount of stuff to make your virtual life easier or more refined.

Sarah was hooked almost instantly.

When my wife takes on a gaming obsession, it is pretty much lost to me. I can’t keep up. I’ve never been one to spend a lot of time on any one game and becoming a game reviewer only intensified this issue. Once the job is done, you have to drop whatever you’re playing and move on to the next assignment. Giving the games I really like to Sarah helps me quite a bit in this regard as I get to live vicariously through her.

To this end, I spend a fair amount of time looking at towers and castles she has built or cool underground dungeons she has cleared out. A lot of times I wish I was with her in her explorations – sharing a new world with the woman I love – but I co-own a small business and that takes a lot of my time. Sarah keeps our books and helps out, but she does most of her work from home while I work in the company office.

As most people know, times have been hard and we’ve certainly been affected. We used to try and go out and have dates, etc, but we’ve had to cut back and try to be reasonable with our money. To make up for less social outings, I set up a Minecraft server for us to explore together. Spending time with my wife, virtual or not, is one of my favorite things to do. Our relationship on the server has been interesting so far.

Sarah likes to hunt, mine and explore. I like to build stuff and experiment with new ways of doing things. So, my warrior woman goes and clears the way while I invent new devices to make life easier for the both of us. We’ve cleared out a ruin and moved into one of the massive abandoned libraries where I’ve set up a powered rail station to carry ore and other items back and forth from our base to wherever we’re currently working. Our goal is to fill this playground with whatever wonders we can dream up and create. The only rule is that we try to spend most of that time together.

Valentine’s Day comes around and we don’t really have the money to do anything spectacular. And, though my wife is really cool about the whole thing, I always feel bad if I can’t do something nice for her on that day. This is where my wily plan comes into action. It’s time to break the only rule.

I wait til Sarah isn’t around and I log in to our server. I’m going to need a lot of materials and time, so I set up a secret base near the beach for my master plan. I quickly form three furnaces and begin making glass. The furnaces run by themselves, so if you set them up you can leave them smelting for as long as they have material. I gather a few pieces of glass, my pick axe and head for a nearby lake.

I slide carefully out on the ice and find one of the deepest spots I can. With a few swings of my pick, the ice shatters and I sink below. Swimming quickly to the bottom, I form a small room out of glass and hungrily gasp in the newly found air. Time to kick it into high gear.

Over the next few hours I made several trips back and forth, between my secret base, my home base and the new underwater lair. Though what resulted is not exactly what I had imagined (what ever is?) when I began this project, I was still pleased with the results. When I got home from, I led her on a journey to the underwater spa I had created.

Once inside the new base, you can hit a button to close the airlock and stop the flow of water. There’s another button to open the doors to the rest of the cavern.
After leaving the airlock, you descend into a private bath chamber, dimly lit by red stone torches and fed by a man-made waterfall in the back. She was delighted and impressed with my pluck and charm. Mission success!

It wasn’t until I logged in the next day, my birthday, that I realized she had broken a few rules of her own.

This is what greeted me upon login. Intrigued, I turn around to find the next clue.

What manner of shenanigans is this? It’s snowing! I suppose I’d better climb the tree before I freeze.

How very Robinson Crusoe!

At the top of the ladder, I found this sign. This isn’t the first time I’ve punched a bunch of leaves and it certainly won’t be the last. It’s clobberin’ time.

There it is. Built into the side of a mountain is one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for my birthday. It didn’t cost anything more than a copy of Minecraft, my wife’s love and the desire to make it exist, but it has meant the world to me. I’m a lucky man.