February 25, 2014: a date that will remain in the history of Minecraft, the Swedish virtual world (technically a “sand box” game in which the player can freely create and edit content, but without import/export outside) created by Markus Persson launched in 2011 (the first alpha version was born in 2009, in late 2010 was launched the beta version) that has experienced a worldwide success. Persson has in fact tweetted that “we’ve reached 100 million registered users on the original Minecraft”, adding that until now there is a “14.3% conversion rate to paid accounts. Wow!”
For those who do not know Minecraft is a video game developed by Mojang AB, available both on computers and on smartphones / tablets (in Android and iOS versions), as well as for the main consoles (XBox and PlayStation, but not Wii) adored by children and young people in the age group ranging from 10 to 15 years at least. My son, eleven year old, we played for almost a year at least 2-3 hours a week, looking for videos on Youtube that show you how to build from castles torollercoaster and inviting home friends who also own the game to let them see how he is good orto be taught a few new “builder” tricks. The socialization of children and teenagers in the twenty-first century is also expressed through the use of these type of instruments.
While other platforms such as Second Life, focused opn an older audience, initially were able to generate greater media coverage, but were laterforgotten by the media themselves (although they continue to be active and perfectly stable as the number of active users and total turnover), Minecraft did not generate a similar media hypedespite his success, that does not stop the sold copies of the game or downloads: in the wake of its increasing popularity are, in fact, born of the setsof Lego characters inspired by the environmentand the characters of Minecraft, a documentary produced by 2PlayerProductions (“Minecraft – The Story of Mojang”), sold online from 8 to 20 Dollars depending on the version and he production of which was funded by the crowdfunding site Kickstarter.com, and a long series of books, manuals an adventure tales, for sale on Amazon.
Also usable in multi-player mode and online, Minecraft (whose tutorials are available on the website of Mojang, also involved in the development of Scrolls and Cobalt) offers according to many experts in the field (opinion also confirmed by an “average user” as my son) a good mix of elements of exploration, construction and adventure, even if someone pointed out that might give the impression of a game not completely finished (but this kind of criticism seems to me inevitable in a platform that wants to give creative freedom to its users, as is well known to fans of Second Life).
If still you have doubts about the validity of this game/virtual world, know that always Persson in December last year had reported how the PC version had already exceeded 13 million copies soldand that for the XBox360 10 million copies. Currently the game is on sale in Italy for 20,98 € in the Xbox 360 version, while the pocket version for Android smartphones costs 4,99 €: this is like saying that you can choose the version you prefer both based on the platform and on your pockets(there are of course free demos of all versions): ease of use, usability across multiple platforms, modular price. Three characteristics that largely explain the deserved success of what some have dubbed the Swedish “digital Lego”.