Seeds – an odd side-effect…

The introduction of world-generation seeds into Minecraft set the community ablaze, with discoveries of weird and wonderful locations, brought about by simply entering words and/or numbers. Minecrafters immediately began sharing amazing seeds which others could explore for themselves, simply by entering the same seed as the intrepid explorer who first set foot on the virgin soil. Glacier was one of the first, with its floating island and bizarre overhangs; gargamel (which inspired @WelshPixie to sing about its epic landscape formations); and perhaps the most infamous to date, 404 – which led to the creation of the daunting “404 Challenge”. If you’re still not aware of the dangers of that particular cave system and the accompanying challenge, click here to learn more.

Naturally, I had a go at finding interesting seeds. Cleethorpes (the name of a seaside resort in Lincolnshire, England) produced a sizeable forest – which became much less sizeable after my Minecraft pyromania got the better of me*. Meanwhile, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious brought about a vast frozen sea; I think I had to drown myself because I couldn’t find the spawn point again.

But it was while visiting the caves of the 404 Challenge that I was struck by something which I’ve not yet noticed anyone else mentioning…

Since my computer is only just capable of running Minecraft at a decent speed, recording gameplay footage is totally out of the question, without a second machine. So, since there was no point taking the challenge, I decided to break all the rules and play on Peaceful, bringing torches down with me, so I could see what others had been letting themselves in for, up close and personal (minus the monsties, of course). It was as if I was an ant in an ant farm, where another ant had gone before me: the tunnels twist here, there and everywhere, with lava-falls and waterfalls, and seriously large amounts of iron.

This was all a surprise to me, because the only 404 Let’s Play I’ve viewed to date is the one by my new friend Bob Mills (his adventure starts in this video), and because he’s sticking to the rules, you can’t see much, at least not until he starts making good use of the abundant lava down in the depths. But I also travelled farther than he has (so far), because of the aforementioned rule-breaking.

But it was when I decided to stop exploring, and go to where Bob had been spending most of his time in the two parts he’s recorded so far, that I was hit by the strange realization I hinted at earlier (not the one about feeling like an ant). As I looked around, I was saying to myself, “Oh, that’s the dirt patch where Bob grew that tree!”, and, “Ah! There’s the overhang those mobs were stuck behind…”, and other things like that. Because I was in the world that Bob (and countless others) have been in, minus the players and the mobs, it felt as if I was wandering around an abandoned movie set – and the sensation was somewhat overwhelming, even though it was all happening within the virtual confines of a computer game.

Has anyone else experienced this sensation? I’d love to find out, so please let me know in the comments – if only to reassure me that I’m not alone and possibly completely nuts…


* Please note! I only set fire to things in SINGLE-PLAYER mode. Minecrafters on multiplayer servers everywhere may rest easy that I am not a griefer of any ilk or material…

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One Response to Seeds – an odd side-effect…

  1. Keivin says:

    You are not alone. People actually exploited such sensation in some RPG designs – use familarity to pique players’ interest and draws their attention. Memories are pretty powerful.


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