I want to begin a blog post series detailing the many ways gaming has contributed to inspiring my walk. I’ve drawn a lot from games over the years, and now I seek real and tangible sources from which I can derive the feelings games have previously inspired within me. Today I’ll explore the sense of discovery.
I have a very distinct memory of one of the first times I played Minecraft. I had been playing for a couple of in-game days (about an hour) when I finally had gathered too many resources to carry in my inventory. I dug out a little hovel in a hillside, put a chest and torch down, then waited for daytime. Dawn rolls around, enemies aren’t spawning anymore, time to gather. Dusk was approaching when I realized that I put my excess materials in that hovel, so I had to go back.
A problem presented itself; where exactly is back? A scan of my surroundings only yielded dense trees, you don’t exactly leave footprints in Minecraft. Holy crap, I’m lost. I’ve never experienced this in a game before in this way. This wasn’t getting stuck in a linear game and having to look up a guide or reference a map. There is no map. There is no breadcrumb trail. There only is the nigh-infinite terrain generation of Minecraft’s mechanics.
I was immediately hit with the true scale of the game. I’m lost, well and truly lost! This is nuts! I was so caught up in looking over vast plains, forests, and mountains that I forgot that the worlds are functionally endless.
Climbing mountains, fording rivers, making home and finding it again. Build a forge, a farm, a bed. Gather materials. Improve your gathering tools. Build cities! What I would give to forfeit my memories of Minecraft so I could experience it all over again.
Games are powerful, so powerful that I don’t feel weird about having such strong feelings about them. Feelings we normally hear describing experiences like seeing natural wonders or passions. Gaming was a passion for me before I let it get in the way of trying new things for so long. Now I get to discover these feelings all over again, but across the country.
And I have! It’s feels an entire other world to finally experience life as I had only experienced games before. Walk for miles. Take in the sights, take pictures. Make sure to intake the proper foods and water for best performance. Meet people. Acquire new skills. The list goes on.
Where I hope to derive this in the future is pretty straightforward, but this is the first of the series to feel it out I suppose. I want walk the mountains in West Virgina. To stand over a valley and watch as the clouds roll over it, the land silent except for the wind in the trees. I want to see the rolling hills, the deserts, the Garden of the Gods, the Pacific Ocean. Worlds of experiences, landscapes, and friends-to-be lie ahead, and I can’t wait to discover them all.