Capitalism in Minecraft

Kieran Coe , Opinion Writer

If you had a childhood like mine, the game Minecraft was definitely a part of it. Long nights were spent building, mining and exploring. After I played the game for a while, two new parts of Minecraft were introduced to me: mods (modifiers) and servers. With mods, the world of Minecraft was expanded immensely. Mods are new textures or systems that expand the game in some way, either with new weapons, decorations, animals, abilities or some other type of expansion. Whole new worlds and fascinating new materials were available to me. With one of my friends hosting a server, my friends and I could play together in the same world.

In the world of Minecraft, certain mods allow users to build rockets, such as the one above, and explore other planets. Bing Image.

I hopped on the server, all ready to go! When I loaded on, I was immediately greeted with restrictions and a list of rules: you may not build here, not mine there, etc. All the best areas were already taken. Regardless, I could still explore all the new mods I had access to… or so I thought. I soon found out that some of the mods available in the “mod pack” (Attack of the B Team) had already been “claimed” by my friends who had been on the server a while before I was able to get on and join. For example, arguably the best mod in the game, “advanced genetics”, was claimed, and I was therefore not allowed to use it. I did not realize it was so incredibly good at the time, but when I played on my own later on I realized how amazing it is; infinite food, 50x your original health and flight are just a few abilities granted by this mod. On top of all of this, I was completely new to Attack of the B Team, seemingly light years behind my friends who were trying to build a rocket to the moon at the same time I was trying to plant some carrots to survive.

Beyond the in-game hindrances, I had a problem in real life too. My parents were, and still are, much stricter than any of my friends’ parents in the Minecraft crew. I was allowed to play only a fraction of how long they could, and it showed. When the server finally died, my greatest feat was building a small, box shaped hot air balloon. On the other hand, my friends went to the moon, built mansions and created voodoo dolls of the other players. All these disadvantages seemed incredibly unfair to me; it wasn’t my fault I was so far behind! It’s not fair! So, being a 6th grader, I tried (on multiple occasions) to steal the items I needed to advance my progress. Sometimes I got away with it, but most times I’d get caught and then killed.

Now this might suck and all, but what does it have to do with economics?

Well, this whole story actually doubles as an analogy for capitalism. All the different elements that were against me can be aligned with a real-life hindrance. I was at the bottom of the totem pole, just trying to get by, feeling as though the whole system was against me. Jealous of the best players, looking how far ahead they were of me, and resorting to what I felt was necessary. Alas, by stealing, I was still in the wrong. Some elements were out of my control, such as the best areas being taken, but I could still be successful. Maybe not the most successful, but instead of making the most of things, I complained and stole, leading the best players to hate me in-game.

Minecraft did teach me not just to play the game of Minecraft, but the game of life too. Be knowledgeable, get to the good spots first, work hard and don’t let jealousy take control. Although I might have played the game wrong in the past, I won’t make the same mistake in the future.