Book Review: A Year With Minecraft
Written by Graeme McGaw
Minecraft is one of those things that you either get….or you just haven’t played it yet. It’s an incredibly popular sandbox game spread over a variety of systems from the computer to consoles to tablets.
My 10 year old son was the first one to really get into it a couple of years ago when it came out for the XBox 360. I couldn’t figure out the appeal until I sat down and tried it myself. It’s really indescribable – but it’s one of those games where time just flies playing it and you find yourself thinking about it even when you’re not playing it.
Minecraft is all over my house. My son goes to school wearing a minecraft hat and carrying a minecraft backpack. We went to an outdoor event last year where you could make your own t-shirts, and well – this picture pretty much sums up my sons live in Minecraft:
And if you’re wondering – yes, that IS a creeper facepainted onto his cheek.
Now while he loves playing it, I’ve always been more interested in everything that goes on behind the scenes. I love following the developers on Twitter or on forums and seeing what they have to say, or reading interviews with them. I’ve always found that stuff fascinating.
So of course, I was very excited to recieve the book A Year With Minecraft: Behind the Scenes at Mojang from ECW Press for Review Purposes.
About The Book:
Thomas Arnroth, who is a top video game journalist from Sweden, goes behind the scenes for a year at Mojang. For that year we get to see the perspective from inside the offices at Mojang from their experiences at Minecon to the development of the game to the 0x10c issues.
A Year With Minecraft Book Review:
Right off the bat I’ll tell you this is a very easy book to read. I had the pocket book version which is 203 pages in length. It covers each topic very well, presenting all of the facts before moving onto something new. It was very refreshing that it never got bogged down with detail, and really did a great job of just flying through the year.
There were a lot of interesting facts and trivia notes that I learned while reading this. For example – the usage of Minecraft in the architechtural world was fascinating to read. Also while it’s a “year” with Minecraft the writer does cover the coming together of everyone and previous years so you get the full picture which I thought was great for the book.
Really – the only bad thing I have to say about the book is there actually isn’t as much focus on Minecraft as you might expect. Despite my son being a Minecraft addict, he stopped requesting this book for bedtime reading! It’s more focused on the developers behind Minecraft, their encounters with the world, and everything not just about the development of the game – but what comes after that.
I found the book overall very fascinating. Minecraft truly is a unique game. While most game development companies are focused more on quantity and producing sequels to already hit games, Minecraft is essentially the game that is NEVER complete – they’re always adding to it.
If you’re interested in the gaming industry behind the scenes at all, and everything associated with it, then this is a must buy. Even if you’re just interested in a general business and everything involved there, then I’d highly recommend it. If you’re someone who has no interest in the behind the scenes stuff, and generally just want to own everything Minecraft related then I’d probably skip this book. However if you do have dreams of working in the gaming industry one day as many of us do – then this is a really great insight into how everything works beyond just the development process.
You can purchase a Year With Minecraft at Amazon.com.