64 Stack: Applying Minecraft Logic to Life
Updated: Dec 19, 2019
Do you know how hard it is to get a fireplace in Minecraft?
The idea to put a warm and cozy hearth in the center of your first survival cabin has probably crossed the mind of every player braving the stakes in Minecraft's Survival mode. After all, "home is where the hearth is," so this isn't a crazy idea.
But the process can be.
So, you're definitely set on making this thing? Ok! Let's do it.
First, you need valuable diamonds to create a diamond pickaxe. Then, you'll use this tool to mine the hardest material in the game, even capable of withstanding the explosive force of TNT.
Using this material, you will then need to create a 4x3 gate structure, then light this structure using a previously crafted flint and steel tool to create an open portal to the Minecraft version of hell, within which is a land full of vast lava lakes, hideous creatures intent on destroying your character, and, among all that, you will find perpetually burning blocks of netherrack, ideal for a fireplace, as far as the eye can see!
That wasn't so bad, right?
The fantastical quest one must undertake just to create a simple fireplace is a perfect case study in how we must do what we must, in order to obtain what we want.
Whew, that was a a bit wordy. Let me try again...
Struggling after a goal is, in no small way, the definition of life.
We like adding the fireplace because it adds that missing cozy element to our blocky wood plank cabin. And frankly, when we boot up Minecraft, we have these dreams of creating vast cities, towering castles, and fleets of sailing ships that stretch across the cubed horizon as far as the eye can see.
But we can't have the castle, or the fireplace, until we have the garden.
The instant your character spawns within the survival world, you're vulnerable. Your hunger meter starts to deplete. Monsters in the shadows are alerted to your presence and inch closer to you. And without armor, any fall from a great height or stray arrow from a hidden skeleton will end the game for you right then and there. Simply put, there are more important things than architectural embellishments. If you don't immediately start doing something, your character will die. And real life mirrors this! We all want that house, that job, that significant other. But if we don't establish some fundamental practices in our lives, these things are nigh unattainable.
For example, let's consider Minecraft again; Instead of making a pretty house right off the bat, the best course of action in the game would be to establish a reliable and sustainable food source. Perhaps a garden! And like the fireplace, this endeavor demands time, and substantial resources to acquire before the seeds put into the ground yield something useful. We need to cut down trees, craft those trunks into planks, those planks into sticks, those sticks into a hoe...well, you get the idea. But unlike the fireplace, after we expend time and material resources, a garden has substantially more long term value than a fireplace, as it will continuously provide the player with a food source.
With this need satisfied, the player can stock up on food within their inventory and set out on a grand adventure into the blocky world. This food source grants them the freedom to discover the deep and colorful coral reefs, the towering Mesa cliffs, and the ability to heal from otherwise crippling attacks from enemies.
Similarly, IRL (that's "in real life for you non-gamers out there) life also demands of us a similar mindset of resource management and prioritization. If we come home after a long day at work and immediately plop down on the sofa with a glass of red, rather than something we need...we needlessly suffer. My laundry doesn't get done, so then when I wake up the next day, I have nothing clean to wear. If I don't start making dinner, I have to stay up longer to make dinner, so then my sleep schedule suffers. This is not a lifestyle becoming of a nice house, a rewarding job, nor one that a significant other would want to be a part of.
What's more, when we invest the time and energy to do the things we need, we then are granted the freedom to do what we want. Spend quality time with friends, be present with family more... To go off on that adventure overseas.
Because, at the end of the day, life is a grand adventure, but not every day can be the main plot-line. Not every day can be us fighting the Dragon at the End. Most of the time spent in Minecraft survival mode is spent resource gathering or constructing habitats. Similarly, most of life is maintenance and duty. But that's a good thing. Without the continuous maintenance and dutiful actions, we wouldn't have the proper weapons and supplies to fight against our Ender Dragons and slay them. Every adventurer needs a home base.
So the next time you think of something you want to do, or encounter a large dragon of a problem in your life... think of what you NEED to do. Then you can slay that dragon, and set off to explore that undersea temple.
But consider your goal first. It isn't wealth and prestige for all of us. Some of us want to help heal others. Some of us just want an inner peace.
No matter what, this is your journey. Take it a chapter at a time.