It’s Earth Day Again!
But what on earth does that have to do with Minecraft?
The world is a very strange place these days with the majority of us staying indoors to make the outside world safer for all the people with essential jobs. I don’t know about you, but my couch is the center of my world right now. I say this like it hasn’t always been, but you have no idea how terrible my posture is so I feel like I’m going to get away with it!
Since we currently have a lot of time to sit around and think, let’s take a moment to direct those thoughts to the outside world. Specifically, the one that we want to return to when this storm has passed. We’ve read about some of the unexpected effects that quarantine has had, such as swans returning to the canals in Venice, which are crystal clear these days. Since we don’t want to resort to quarantine as a solution for environmental issues, we’re going to need some other ways to take care of our planet. I’ve heard we only have one so we should probably get on that.
This is probably the point where you’re asking yourself “Sure, this is important but what does this have to do with Minecraft?”. A valid question to which I answer “Everything can be connected to Minecraft if you try hard enough”. Luckily, I don’t need to try very hard in this case which is why this assignment landed on my desk.
Minecraft is all about building new worlds. Sure it’s also about flirting with Endermen and trying to pet ocelots (each attempt will fail, trust me), but a big part of the game is about exploring biomes and building a world you want to play in. Some people even use Minecraft to design worlds they want to play in in real life, like this neighborhood in Ethiopia that came together to turn a polluted area into a park. That’s pretty impressive, I can’t even control the builds on my own server and I’m the only one on it!
Last month, Eurogamer brought another very impressive build to our attention, namely PippenFTS’ 1:1 scale build of the entire world. Yeah. So we do have a second planet, only it’s not livable for real people. Stop looking so smug, Steve.
PippensFTS has opened up their map so that anyone can join in, which is both considerate (sharing is caring) and smart (I love to outsource my work too, Pippy!). Do you want to join the Build the Earth project? You can find more information on their subreddit or Discord server.
It’s pretty cool, and an incredible way to both appreciate our world and to think about ways we can improve it. Hmmm. Maybe I should take my own advice and do that too. Maybe even in this article! It is Earth Day after all, which actually started as an initiative to encourage people to conserve energy by turning off their lights and electronic devices. These days, that might not seem as appealing since we’re staying inside. Dear reader, don’t worry! I’ve got your back with this handy list of ways that you can enjoy Minecraft offline:
Turn off all the lights and tell Minecraft-inspired ghost stories. The Nether is what nightmares are made of so you can just recount your last visit there.
Play a board game. My favorite game transports me to a sugary sweet country that is absolutely appropriate for adults and not made for children. I also heard there was a fun one based on a mildly popular computer game that you or a friend might already own.
A lot of people use Minecraft to plan real-life projects, like this artist who designs his sculptures with blocks before he creates them in the real world. Switch it up this year and draw or craft your build with paper or recycled materials before you turn it into a blocky masterpiece!
I’m sure there are plenty of other things that you can do without electricity on Earth Day, but they don’t involve Minecraft so I know nothing about them.
Let me leave you with this instead. Earth Day is just that – a day. It's never been more clear that we need to take better care of our planet. Right now we are witnessing people going out of their way to make the world a safer place for others. When this ends, let’s put that same love and energy into making the world a better place, period.
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- Sofia Dankis