What I'm Playing: Minecraft

With COVID-19 locking people indoors, James Troughton finds himself back at Minecraft's pearly gates

James Troughton
17th March 2020
University is out, flights are canceled, and self-isolation is recommended, so what am I doing amidst this COVID-19 season? Well, to soothe the rapidly sinking depression and anxiety, I'm enjoying the therapeutic bliss of Minecraft.

There's something calming about this blocky sandbox, whether its the feeling of progress that you make as you elevate from stone tools to iron through to diamond before hitting the sweet spot of enchanted goodies or whether it's down to the creative flow. Minecraft is a time-killer that lets you breathe and lose yourself like few other games out there.

It's a good outlet for socializing because of how inherently co-operative it is.

Whether you're on PC or console, multiplayer is a must, and there's nothing quite as rewarding as building up a world of your own with some friends. With people under quarantine, it's a good outlet for socializing because of how inherently co-operative it is. But hey, if you fancy a bit of player on player action, just slap up a colosseum and duke it out with your mates.

Other titles have tried to encapsulate the charm of Minecraft, whether it's Terraria, Don't Starve or Cube World, and as much as I enjoy games like The Forest, I always find myself back in Mojang's sandbox, playing with Microsoft's tools, enjoying the calming music as I build in a medieval-style because modernity is better suited to The Sims.

With updates coming in hot and heavy, constantly adding a barrage of fantastic new content, Minecraft has stayed fresh even a decade later. Now I find myself playing with bees, delving underwater in search of treasure and exploring the hellish landscapes of the Nether, hunting for Wither Skeletons. It's a true testament to the live-service model that not even Rainbow Six Siege or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive have managed to nail, at least not to the same extent.

Related: Battlefront 2 to get double XP through March due to COVID-19

COVID-19, or the coronavirus, is taking the world by storm, but it's not healthy to get caught up in the anxiety of it all, and Minecraft is the perfect outlet to keep you sane.

Featured image credit: u/SSquarish (Reddit)

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