Minecraft: The Game that Changed My Life

April 07, 2021
three side-by-side tan and brown cubes floating on a pixelated background of a blue sky with clouds
Art by Kim Salac

“What happened at car riders?,” Sydney asked at our party that I had strictly set to “invite only.” We played Minecraft every day after school, so we picked up where we left off on Llama Land 2. She still had a tuxedo skin on and was working on her signature spruce and snow house. I was adding a heart-shaped glass pool and golden block water slide to the top of my castle.

 

We played Minecraft every day after school, so we picked up where we left off... I was adding a heart-shaped glass pool and golden block water slide to the top of my castle.

 

In middle school, our parents used to pick us up after school instead of letting us ride the bus. My brother heard a cuss word on the bus in first grade, and after that my mom pulled him off the bus and never let me ride. All of the “car riders” would have to stand outside and wait to be picked up, and eventually everyone established unofficially assigned standing areas. My cousin Sydney, our family friend James, and I would stand at the far end of the sidewalk near the lamppost. I liked it there because I saw a praying mantis there the previous summer. Beside us was a guy named Wyatt, with long blonde hair--people called him “Baby Thor.” We stood there because our art teacher would yell, “get OFF the GRASS,” with a couple of jumps, for people who ventured in the grass during the summer time.

“I couldn’t say it in front of James,” I said dramatically. I had come out crying, and been unable to explain because I was still at the stage in my life where I was self-conscious about having a period.

I had just started in school, and I had gone to my locker with its little plastic chandelier to grab a far too large pad (I wore overnight maxis when I had a light to moderate flow out of fear of bleeding through, thanks to my older cousins' horror stories). It was in the middle of class, and the only reason my teacher let me go was because I never asked before. As I was changing my pad for the first time during school (crinkles and ripping of pad paper and all), a group of girls came in. I immediately froze and tried holding my breath. They didn’t realize I was in there (I don’t think), and so one girl kicked my stall door and broke the latch, causing it to swing wide open; thus my bloody nether-regions were bare to the world. I had erroneously chosen the large stall as well, so I had to waddle over in my panic and rig it shut. They left the bathroom laughing. When I was washing my hands, one of the girls came back in to see who it was, I guess, and started laughing again.

 

One girl kicked my stall door and broke the latch, causing it to swing wide open; thus my bloody nether-regions were bare to the world. I had erroneously chosen the large stall as well, so I had to waddle over in my panic and rig it shut.

 

“I’m sorry, girl. You don't have classes with them, though! It’ll be okay,” Sydney said after I recounted my harrowing pad changing adventures. Sydney and I are only four months apart in age, but we were in separate grade levels because of the way our birthdays fell. In moments like that, I always wanted her in my classes. I started a campground in the air as she worked on a glassy, classy dog house for the courtly hounds in the throne room. She even put a sign up with our dogs’ names on it (RIP Snickers, Copper, and Todd).

I only had a slide keyboard phone in middle school, and she didn’t get a phone for a long time either, so having the headsets and Xboxes worked well. We could add and kick out anyone we wanted too. My brother was the one who first got me interested in Minecraft. He and his friends used to play all the time after school. I would try to join their games, but usually they just chased me when I had no supplies and killed me, or they would ask, “What is the shape of Italy?” and kick me out of the parties. 

 

My brother was the one who first got me interested in Minecraft... I would try to join their games, but usually they just chased me when I had no supplies and killed me, or they would ask, “What is the shape of Italy?” and kick me out of the parties. 

 

I am in my third year of college, I still play Minecraft anytime I start feeling stressed. I just got the Xbox Series X, and the updates from 360 to now are absolutely incredible. I just built a whole forest cottage (shoutout to zaypixel for the tutorial) when I was supposed to be working on a ten-page essay in the past week. Minecraft feels like a time capsule in a weird way. I have a lot of cringey middle school and high school memories tied to it, but I have gone through nearly every level of education playing it. And one of the best things? It's a bloodless game, involving zero faulty toilet stall doors, and only a few trolls as mean as those middle-school girls from long ago.

 

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