What Minecraft Has Taught Me About Mindfulness

Minecraft was frustrating when I first began to learn how to play it. It’s the kind of game that has a steep learning curve, so my avatar died in a lot of silly ways in the beginning.

I am not a big gamer in general, but Minecraft is one of those pastimes that I keep cycling back around to. I’ll play it for several months and then take a long break from it. No matter how long I’m away, though, I always come back to it eventually.

Recently, I’ve started to play it again. The other night I began to think about the lessons this game has taught me as I was putting up a stone fence around the home that some friends and I have been working on.

Pay Attention to Your Surroundings

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I got lost in Minecraft when I first began playing it. If you happen to wind up in the middle of a biome, every hill looks the same after a while. This can make it difficult to find your way home before dark when the monsters begin to spawn and the game becomes dangerous for anyone who wants their character to survive the night.

To be honest with you, I’m still not an expert at navigating my surroundings. I have gotten a lot better at knowing where I am relative to home base, though, and it’s much more rare for me to get totally lost than it used to be. A big part of the reason why this is so is because I’ve learned to pay attention to where the sun is in the sky and what landmarks are close to my home.

Even something as simple as a patch of flowers or an oddly-shaped tree can potentially be a clue that you’re almost back to a safe place to spend the night.

Live in the Moment

Minecraft is the sort of game where everything can be peaceful one moment and a life-or-death battle with an army of skeletons the next. You never know what a day will bring to you, but you also won’t progress at all if you spend all of your time assuming that there’s a skeleton lurking behind you.

Sometimes I like to watch videos of what other players have built in this game. The homes I’m able to build at the moment are simple, but I dream of the day when I, too, will be able to build a mansion without using any cheats.

In the meantime, I enjoy the skills I’ve picked up so far. I’m learning new things almost every time I play it, and I see a lot of improvement from where I was as a player when I first began.

Photo credit: Andy Dingley.


You Can’t Prepare for Everything

Just because the monsters usually spawn at night doesn’t mean you won’t come across any of them during the day. One time I was collecting wheat near my home when a creeper (see photo above) snuck up behind me and exploded. My avatar was injured and a piece of the fencing around the wheat was destroyed.

I’d followed all of the rules the night before by going to bed as soon as the sun set. Doing this is supposed to dramatically reduce your risk of running into a monster as they won’t spawn if you’re asleep.

You can’t prepare for everything, though. Sometimes Minecraft and real life throw you curve balls. Accepting that anything could happen at ay moment wasn’t always easy, but it did make for a better playing experience once I started to do it.

Stay Peaceful

Photo credit: Gilda from London, UK.

Like many other things in life, Minecraft operates on a cycle. It has a steady cycle of day and night modes, of course, but it also seems to shift between times when there are many monsters and when there are fewer of them.

The number of friendly creatures in this game seems to change, too. There have been times when I’ve found valleys full of sheep and pigs and other times when it was hard to find any of them at all.

Once you grow accustomed to the ebb and flow of it, it’s easier to accept that sometimes things aren’t going to go your way. A hunt for the sheep that my farm still needs might be unsuccessful today, but that doesn’t mean I won’t find any the next time I go searching for them.

If you play Minecraft, what lessons have you learned from it?

Comments Off on What Minecraft Has Taught Me About Mindfulness

Filed under Mindfulness and Meditation

Comments are closed.