A little more than 10 years ago, I started to play Minecraft. At first, I just watched my father play Minecraft over his shoulder, but eventually, he got annoyed by my back-seat gaming, so he set me up with my own computer and Minecraft account.

Once the computer was set up, I dove into Minecraft with a verve that would probably remind you of a starved person at a feast. 

When I played Minecraft, I played in creative mode for the most part. That meant I was immortal, invincible, could fly, and had access to every single block or item in the game. It was the ultimate sandbox. The best playground in. The. world.

When I would play, I’d build giant villages with castles in the middle, and all the while, I’d be chattering to myself about the pretend people I’d created to live in these block houses and castles I’d created. Along with the stories I told myself at night to make myself fall asleep, and the worlds I would create with my friends while playing with our imaginations, Minecraft was one of the first ways I wrote. I rarely put these stories down on paper or even told my parents about them, but they lived inside my head and gave me the same comfort and love that writing gives me now. 

And I’m certainly not the only one to tell stories using Minecraft as the medium. May I direct your attention to the great and mighty YouTube, most powerful of all video-viewing platforms. I grew up watching SkyDoesMinecraft and his gang, ExplodingTNT, Aphmau, and NerdCubed, these just being a couple that come to mind. Just scrolling through my YouTube subscriptions is a walk down memory lane, greeted by my old Minecraft-ian friends. 

Minecraft isn’t alone in being a storyteller-friendly platform, either. Creators of all stripes use video games to relate stories. The freedom of video games to tell interactive stories isn’t just an up-and-coming medium, it’s a here-and-now storytelling device. And as the world gets more internet-oriented, it’s only going to become more relevant. If you go on Wikipedia and look at the page listing the top 50 best-selling games of all time, you won’t help but notice how many of them have stories woven into the actual gaming experience. Even Minecraft, which can be utterly creatively free when you use it as a sandbox, has lore written into it that I’m sure has made some writer or writers at Mojang very proud over the years. 

I still love Minecraft. And even if I don’t use it as a petri dish for stories the way I did when I was 10, I still crack open my account every so often to build the worlds I create in my stories. It helps me actually see the worlds I create inside my head. And if I had the skills necessary to build my own video game as a way of telling my stories, I’d do it in a heartbeat. It’s simply a more immersive version of the choose-your-own-adventure books that pervade school libraries worldwide. 

Even though this won’t seem like news to many people, I still feel it’s important to talk about. I was born in late 2001, I graduated high school in 2020, I’m going to graduate from college in 24’, and I’ll probably live another 50 or so years. Assuming society doesn’t fall into some Mad-Max-esqe non-technological apocalypse, digital storytelling is only going to get more prevalent. It’s time we leaned into it. 

Meet the blogger:

Kivi Weeks with a Mouse Rat shirt in front of the water.KIVI WEEKS is an emerging author based in Minnesota, splitting her time between Saint Paul, where she goes to college, and Duluth, where her parents live. She has three cats and three tattoos, and wants more of each. 

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