I’ve started to wonder if Minecraft is draining my creativity. I must admit there is some logic to the argument. The game is an act of creating. In the latest iteration I’ve created an underground city, a mock Wayne Manor complete with Batcave, and now I find myself walling off a small village into some type of keep. I haven’t decided what it will look like, but I know there will be a Batcave deep beneath the surface. This tells me two things: I still love batcaves (secret rooms of all sorts, in fact) and I’m pouring creative energy into things that are not writing.
This is not to say I am not writing. I penned the opening paragraph of a story just two days ago and then stopped. Lately it has been more of the stop and go and slow process of trying to get to the page and make things happen. I am taking outside advice and pulling back from the closed-in drama in my own life to try to reach outside of that and create a situation for myself that gives me the material from which to write. I am trying to do all that without looking like a creeper, which is hard when your entire goal is to observe people in their element and from those brief observations glean character and story.
So, maybe I am a bit of a creeper. What writer isn’t? I am no Stephen King—an admission that deeply pains me—but I do seek out terrifying and interesting characters to populate my imaginary worlds. Which brings us back to Minecraft.
The fact is Minecraft allows me to build structures and, to a lesser extent, worlds which are forged around the principal of discovering, enhancing, and exploiting what already exists and what was already created via randomized seed. Stories are populated by characters. Minecraft is populated by things. So, when I do craft I am feeding a version of the creative need, but I am not telling stories and I am not shaping identities. Still, I’ve long held to the Minecraft excuse. That means that it is a smokescreen for what is really going on.
While I am still uncertain of what that is exactly, I now recognize that it has to do with characters.