Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus ‘Notch’ Persson and the Game that Changed Everything (Audible Studios, 2014)

Book Review –

Do you have children/grandchildren that play Minecraft and would like to know more about the game and its creator? Then this is a book for you!

I listened to this book about the creation of Minecraft and its author, Markus “Notch’ Persson because two of my grandkids play this game and it provided good information about the game and what led up to its popularity. It isn’t a ‘technical’ book explaining how to play it, but it did make mention of a few items such as different servers and ‘creative mode’ where zombies and other creatures are not present in the game. The game can be played on different servers which could be servers you do not want your children/grandchildren playing on. I found interesting that creative mode is a very popular mode because the players can build without worrying about creatures attacking. Another ‘technical’ point are all of the ‘movies/videos’ posted on-line by players and from observation, some of the players use foul language while they describe how to build in Minecraft. I learned there is more to the game than it appears when watching my grandson plays the game. In fact, I was impressed some educators were using it for their students.

Furthermore, the book explains briefly the mobile versions and how they differ from the online/computer version and the ‘ownership’ by Microsoft and Sony/Erricson.

The story was interesting and put together well highlighting some of Markus Persson’s youth and his obsession with coding and playing games. Markus did what he could to take care of his sister when needed, but it appears he didn’t enable her when hand-outs would have ruined her chance of addiction recovery.

I am glad the creator of the game didn’t become like many others who become mega rich and turn into a wreck and indicated that unlike other megamillionaires, he realized that what he produced and how he made money provided minimal value for society.

“In 2010, computer games were sold to the tune of $46.7 billion. That’s more than double the total amount of music sold, $16.4 billion. If you believe the industry’s own statistics, the consumer demographics are a far cry from the usual picture of gamers as mainly young men and boys. Four out of ten players in the United States are women. Three out of ten are over fifty years old, and only one out of ten is a boy under seventeen years old. Today, gaming is one of the world’s largest, most appreciated, and most demographically widespread forms of entertainment.”

Daniel Goldberg, Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus “Notch” Persson and the Game that Changed Everything

The audio version is an easy listen and not too long compared to similar books.

A few quick take-aways.  1. There are different versions 2. Different ‘servers’ present a different scenario for playing 3. Education version for schools 4. Mobile versions are not the same as the online/computer version 5. Creative mode enables the child to play in a world and create without zombies, skeletons, and monsters.

  • Listening Length: 5 hours and 7 minutes

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