I used & # 39; Minecraft & # 39; to deal with my anxiety about the apocalypse

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Minecraft It has always been a lonely place. It is understandable that this opinion disagrees with its popular image as a game about creativity with friends. The world of each player is an infinite desert generated by procedures, and the objective is to fill the space with digital gadgets, castles and fortresses, circuits and ships, but that is not for everyone. If you don't like to build, you may not have much appeal. Unless you're a bum. For me, what is the most attractive? Minecraft it is not creation; Is the world. What I find there always surprises me, from dense hills with unknown flowers to wells covered with wildlife. Far from wanting to disturb that world, I just want to delay it.

When I get bored of other games, the charm of that wild and lonely desert calls me. Then I decided to conduct an experiment. I downloaded the Java version of Minecraft on PC, the most suitable version for player-centered mods, and I looked for ways to make my worlds even more amazing. I found a complete set of modifications that are based on the single-player Adventure game mode to create new types of gaming experiences within Minecraft, from dungeon trackers to roguelikes. I downloaded a couple of them: one called Lost Cities and another called Biomes or & # 39; Plenty. Together, they changed the world that I generated in a giant apocalypse, and I continued the work of losing myself.

To live in a time of man-made climate change is to live in a paradox. On the one hand, I constantly yearn for lost nature. Walking through the cities, driving on the highways, I imagine what the world was like before human structures fundamentally changed it. But the natural world terrifies me, and on some level I hope it kills me. When the world changes dramatically, as it is already doing, what will happen to the structures we have built? What will happen to us? Probably nothing immediately apocalyptic. But it is difficult not to imagine it in those terms, to fantasize about the end of the Anthropocene.

That's why I chose to put cities in my void Minecraft world. And what cities they are: vast empty metropolises. Immediately after loading my explorer not equipped in this space, I find abandoned squares, empty houses and desolate subway tunnels. Almost immediately, I get lost in these tunnels, wandering underground, beset by the kind of monsters that only come out in vanilla. Minecraft At night. I soon came to understand that they have been established in the abandoned buildings and artificial caverns of my creation, an understanding that has cost me more than once my life.

I try again, reappearing in the same green loading zone where I started the first time. The multi-storey buildings are mixed on the horizon with trees that appear to have been growing for 100 years. I turn off the game and install another mod that allows me to play with its graphics. I increase the sharpness of the shapes, I increase the drawing distance as much as possible. Occasionally, frame rate crawls. Worth it.

I choose an address and start moving, and soon I enter a basic rhythm, exploring during the day and rummaging through the houses at night when all the monsters take to the streets. The world in which I am constantly deceives me. The concrete forest gives way to the frozen tundra, gives way to rivers and islands and even more to the city. I choose a path and follow it, just watching this abandoned space unfold before me. The pace of my trip is like many of the survival games that came after Minecraft. I am looking to build enough materials to survive, taking them with me. I learn to use beds to restore my character's point of generation, so that when I die I don't have to completely restart in my original cargo area. I install one more mod, a map, to be able to follow the form of what I find.

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As I explore, I begin to imagine what caused this world to end like this. Some buildings have huge holes, as concrete has collapsed due to age or erosion. In MinecraftThe minimal world based on blocks, small details like that go far. Entire districts of this city, which extends in all directions, are natural reserves covered with vegetation that are recovering concrete blocks and pavers. The monsters from which I mainly run away do not seem to be causes here, but symptoms. It seems that nature itself has surpassed this place, and people died or left due to the assault of the Earth. There are also shocking moments of beauty. A herd of sheep grazing, located between structures. A forest of fresh watermelon. Inexplicably, once I find a flock of chickens that perch on top of a skyscraper. I wonder how they are going to go down. I leave the door open after collecting their eggs.

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