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Minecraft Wins Gaming Arts Award 87

An anonymous reader writes "The BBC reports that Minecraft has won a new arts award for games, beating the likes of Portal 2 and Ilomilo. The prize was announced at the finale of the GameCity videogame culture festival in Nottingham. From the article: 'Minecraft does involve traditional staples of gaming, including night-roaming monsters and the chance to fight multiplayer battles online. However, it was ultimately selected on the basis of its mood and ability to encourage gamers to become creative. "It's the broadest definition of art that you can have," said Mr. Hall.'"
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Minecraft Wins Gaming Arts Award

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  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Monday October 31, 2011 @05:35PM (#37900626) Homepage Journal

    I'm all for games where you build something. The hack-n-slash games have grown tedius by now (after decades, it had to happen.)

    But from the title I expected to be digging a pit, exploring a seam, drilling for something.

    • See, for that you need is Dwarf Fortress []. It's free, too.

      Oh and just a little more challenging. And by a little I mean "holy shit a lot".

      • Obligatory. []
        Minecraft was based on dwarf fortress, view it as bringing the glory of the dorfs to the masses.

      • Remember, losing is fun!
      • Dwarf Fortress is the only game that can make you cry...from your heart.

      • See, for that you need is Dwarf Fortress []. It's free, too.

        Oh and just a little more challenging. And by a little I mean "holy shit a lot".

        The screenshots look like a cross between a beta version of Civ before they did the artwork and a random Sinclair Spectrum game from the 80s. I know gameplay is more important than shiny graphics, but even so...

    • by The MAZZTer ( 911996 ) <> on Monday October 31, 2011 @05:49PM (#37900810) Homepage

      Minecraft is a sandbox game. As the name implies both mining and crafting are important parts of the game. Mining is necessary to get the ingredients to build the strongest and most resilient tools. Crafting is necessary to produce most of the materials in the game. There is no point or goal at the moment other than any goals you set for yourself (or in an MP server, you can take part in large projects together).

      The latest update coming up is actually going to add real mineshafts complete with train rails and archways. But for now you get caves with goodies marking the ceilings, floors, and walls at various points.

      There's a lot more to the game too... enemy monsters for example. Flowing water and lava (not entirely physically accurate, but it's easy enough to predict how it will act... most of the time), day/night and weather system (monsters come out at night!), different biomes, near-infinite world. Oh, and you can create portals to hell which allow you to quickly cross large bits of the normal-world map in shorter time. I'm not joking (it's called the Nether).

      There are plenty of videos on YouTube. look some up. It's really quite fun, especially online with people you know (strangers tend to be destructive and not fun to play with).

      Also there's a subreddit on reddit (/r/minecraft) if you want to see pictures of peoples' creations.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Minecraft is a sandbox game if you want it to be, but be sure to pay attention to the current direction of Mojang's development. Ever since Terraria came out, Mojang has been heavily focused on the action-rpg aspects of the game. Most of the game's mechanics that give it a sandbox feel are riddled with bugs (see piston bugs [] and redstone bugs []), and have been since their implementation.

        I wish I would have paid more attention to the direction the game was headed. I probably still would have bought it, but I wo

      • by noodler ( 724788 )

        Minecraft is nothing but a big pool of locked-up potential.
        And the sad thing is that Mojang is not touching it.
        They realy fail at tapping into it, maybe out of fear, maybe out of lazyness, noone can read the mind of Notch at this point.
        What i'm afraid of is that Minecraft will be released in it's half-baked form and everything fun (and i mean like 80%-90%) of the fun will have to come from the community.
        So i'm pretty sure that Mojang should just let it go so the community can finaly make a good game out of

      • by Dreth ( 1885712 )

        It's damned boring is what it is. Even Spider-Man on MAME holds more interesting things to do, even if it's just to laugh at chubby superheroes.

    • by JanneM ( 7445 )

      Well, if you're going to build a railroad, for instance, you'll need a huge load or iron, and redstone and gold for the power. That alone will take a whole lot of digging for resources right there.

      And that's where I think the brilliance is of Minecraft: You're basically in a free-form building game, but you have to actually work for your resources, and do so in an environment that is actively looking to kill you.

  • Ooooo (Score:4, Funny)

    by Delarth799 ( 1839672 ) on Monday October 31, 2011 @05:35PM (#37900646)
    That'ssssss a very nice reward you have there. Would be a shame if something were to happen to it. ssssssss......
  • by poity ( 465672 )

    Are actual sandboxes also art? Shit, are we artistically doomed to walk in the shadow of beaches?
    I could maybe (lot of maybes) accept player creations as art, but this is too far of a stretch.

    • by ADRA ( 37398 )

      In other news, the Paint brush wins the award for Artistic Excellence because its so good at letting one express themselves artistically....

    • by mrxak ( 727974 ) on Monday October 31, 2011 @08:08PM (#37902002)

      If the game were just an endless flat space and you could build on top of it, you might have a point, but the worlds it randomly generates are truly beautiful in their own right. I've spent hours just running around looking at the terrain.

  • I think Portal 2 is a much better game, but for every hour I've spent in it, I've spent 20 in Minecraft.

    This is mis-placed credit, though. The recent changes to Minecraft have been uninteresting and poorly implemented. The real value is in the mods created by the user community. Without them, I would have quit playing a long time ago!

    • I think Portal 2 is a much better game, but for every hour I've spent in it, I've spent 20 in Minecraft.

      This is mis-placed credit, though. The recent changes to Minecraft have been uninteresting and poorly implemented. The real value is in the mods created by the user community. Without them, I would have quit playing a long time ago!

      Only tried a few mods, but Equivalent Exchange is very nice. I'm not so sure about BuildCraft, and IndustrialCraft stuff. I quite like the pseudo-medieval/primitive world.

    • Are you running 1.8 or the 1.9 release candidate? Some of the changes put into 1.9 are very cool.
      • I'm not, I like getting more than 4 fps. I'll wait for the release, even if it looks cool.
        Say, do those villagers have a purpose (other than tormenting) yet?
        • No not yet. Right now they just stand around and attack you if you attack them. Apparently they some day will trade you items and have other functions.
      • Are you running 1.8 or the 1.9 release candidate? Some of the changes put into 1.9 are very cool.

        I've played all of the 1.9 pre-releases. The server I play on has been on PR 5 since an hour after the jar was available. I still enjoy 1.8.1 with mods (such as Twilight Forest and Weeping Angels) more than the changes in 1.9.

        I disagree that the 1.9 changes are great. Villagers have villagers now, but they still do nothing. Animals can breed, but it's a pain. The enchantments are interesting, but not as exciting as lots of mods that have done the same thing . I'd take the "Bone Sticks" mod over enchan

    • I think Portal 2 is a much better game, but for every hour I've spent in it, I've spent 20 in Minecraft.

      mmm, I think it applies to sandbox construction style games in general. I haven't played minecraft but I've spent countless hours on various variants of transport tycoon, roller coaster tycoon, sim city etc. There is always something more to do.

      Wheras with story based games you either complete them or get stuck on them and then you move on to playing other things. Some story based games have a load of side stuff to do but it's often not all that engaging.

  • I know that slashdot is now pretty much famous for being behind the curve on geek news, but in this instance they got scooped by The Today Program on RADIO FUCKING FOUR.

    For people not in the UK who don't know what that's like showing off your new liquid Nitrogen GPU cooling system and your grandma saying "Oh that's nice dear, it's like the one the nurses put in the home last year".

    • You mean, since it's mainstream, it's no longer cool?

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      Why do you think this is the first time /. has had an article on minecraft?

      And why don't you credit your stations for becoming more up to date? Oh, because neither on of those means you get to hate something.

      Tell me, is hate how you make yourself feel worthwhile?

  • by Kinniken ( 624803 ) on Monday October 31, 2011 @06:33PM (#37901240) Homepage
    Shameless Minecraft-related plug: I'm the author of Millénaire, a Minecraft mod that ads NPC villages of multiple cultures that collect resources, extend their villages, trade with the player, and since recently give quests to the player. Have a look, it gives new aims to Minecraft. []
    • by MBlueD ( 1464095 )
      Your mod, sir, is awesome. Thanks for all the effort you put in it.
    • Thumbs up to this post. People who have tried out Minecraft for an afternoon and then left, thinking that they have seen everything should come back and give this mod a try.

      I seriously do not understand how Kinniken has built this mod so quickly. In any given month, Millenaire has more changes, and with greater quality than Minecraft itself.

      I did not know you were a slashdotter! I'm proud that people like you are on Slashdot!

      • by Khyber ( 864651 )

        "People who have tried out Minecraft for an afternoon and then left, thinking that they have seen everything should come back and give this mod a try."

        I have seen everything.

        When a computer that can run Crysis 2 near-flawlessly STUTTERS and SHITS on fucking MINECRAFT, it's pure and simple garbage, and that's all anyone needs to see.

        Wake me up when the n00bs learn code optimization and move away from fucking JAVA and get into something REAL like C++.

        • Congratulations on totally missing the point.

          While I must admit to finding Notch's disinterest in the conservation of CPU and GPU cycles personally irritating, and the complications involved in installing mods (such as Kinniken's Millenaire) as frustrating as hell - the fact remains that Notch has created something that is extraordinary to millions of people - including me.

          Perhaps you have some expertise that i am unaware of, but your attitude suggests you have little understanding of what makes a gam
          • by Khyber ( 864651 )

            "I don't think you "have seen everything" Khyber"

            I've seen and experienced everything up to and including my own death in real life - TWICE.

            As a gamer of over 25 years, I'm quite qualified to know what makes a good game.

            You want to know what a better game is?

            Sonic Fury, on the Action Maxx.

            Yes, a game on a console that required a VCR for games, with a far inferior set of hardware to what Minecraft runs on, has better graphics, better gameplay, and essentially solid framerates.

            And all you're doing is shooting

    • This sounds very interesting, but I'm going to pass. The amount of time I've put into Minecraft with no real direction is scary; adding quests or anything that resembles a goal would be bad news.
    • now I have to go home and install a new mod for my kids.

      And minecraft needs a built in way for adding mods that doesn't depend on the users opening files.

      • Good news for you, Millénaire come with an installer that removes the requirement of manually editing the jar ;)
  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Monday October 31, 2011 @08:10PM (#37902014) Homepage Journal
    For all that it's all blocky and lego-like, it's also one of the creepiest games I've played. There's always some undead thing or other creeping up on you. I get jumpy in the game just from the sound of my own footsteps or the furnace cooking something. I'll be all like "ACK A SKELETON! Oh wait it was just the furnace..."

    I've barely even scratched the surface on building in the game, but there are a ton of neat builds on Youtube. And then this [] never stops being funny. Watching the youtube videos are almost as much fun as playing the game.

    Unlike traditional MMOs where you have no effect on the world you play in, you build your own world in Minecraft. It's a lot more fun that way.

    • In most games, if the baddies 'get you' you end up having to load from a save point or restart a level. In Minecraft, the baddies don't simply threatten your on-screen avatar, they threatten to destroy things that you have built. When I think of the time, effort, and joy involved with creating a 1 to 1 model of Shakespeare's Globe theater in Minecraft, I'm pretty nervous about some green hissing bastard blowing it to hell.

      Damn right I'm jumpy.
  • by yanos ( 633109 ) <yannos@gmail . c om> on Monday October 31, 2011 @10:11PM (#37902954)
    This game is telling a story without saying one word. It's a game about us, human beings, having to adapt to this hostile world that we don't really understand. It's about trying to control it, to forge it in a way that makes life is easier. It's about making a shelter for the night, about finding food and ultimately cultivating land (because it's much more practical). It's also about resources and ways of getting them. It's about making tools and weapons, about curiosity and exploration. Minecraft is really about the history of the human race, and it is told without a single line of dialog. To me anyway, this game is a piece of art.
    • by dskzero ( 960168 )
      Well I disagreee. It's just a big box of legos. It still deserves praise, but not because of being art or not, but because it's a sandbox game coded by one guy, independently, and was successful. I'm still waiting for the prize to go to some game that might actually be close to art, such as Pathologic.
  • I absolutely love Minecraft. It's one of those games that is thoroughly entertaining to my play style and also thoroughly entertaining to everyone else's pay style at the same time. Like to explore? Do it. Like to build? Do it. Like to craft? Do it. Like to kill stuff? Do it.

    I will say that the direction of the last few patches has been a little weird. The addition of all the RPG elements that Notch has slowly integrated into the game really skew the focus. The achievement system is a weird ad
  • Not everyone was convinced of Minecraft's merits at first. The composer, Nitin Sawhney, who was also on the panel, was critical of its soundtrack.

    Really? The subtle, subdued nature of Minecraft's soundtrack perfectly matches it's visual aesthetic: silence interrupted by brief punctuations of tension.

    You find yourself deep underground, alone but for a single torch lighting a dim hallway, and suddenly out of the silence erupts a sharp note of dischord? You will shit your pants.

    • Agreed. If it were a running soundtrack you'd just end up shutting it off after a while. I did this in WoW since the music can get repetitive and annoying, especially when you are in a zone for an extended period of time.

      That said, I wish Notch would incorporate more of C418's music into the game via records. Right now there are two (gold and green) records you can get through a difficult process (kill a creeper with a zombie-shot arrow) but it would be great to have more.
  • Congratulations, MInecraft! i enjoyed playing the game. May you continue to provide great games in the future.

Order and simplification are the first steps toward mastery of a subject -- the actual enemy is the unknown. -- Thomas Mann