After repeated requests from both my own children, and various children of friends that realised I might have the skills required to do it, I have installed a Minecraft server on the internet for them all to play on together. It’s perhaps worth mentioning that I have only played Minecraft for a few hours, several years ago, so had no idea in advance of how, what, where, or why the “world” inside the game works the way it does.
Let’s just say that after a late night reading session, and a further lunchtime, I’m ready to open the doors. I’ve restricted access to named users (so in effect the world is private), and discovered after a little digging that I have what amounts to godly powers. In effect, I am “the creator” – which also means I cannot really take part, other than to police the children.
I can’t help thinking of the book “Ready Player One”, and the “OASIS”. I have essentially taken on the same powers as “Anorak” – the founder of the system. I can conjur animals, weapons, and gold out of thin air at a moments notice. I can teleport both myself and other users anwhere instantly. I can smite anybody instantly. Perhaps best of all, I can travel the world cloaked in invisibility if I so wish.
I can’t imagine being “the law” is going to be any fun though. Within five minutes of starting playing the game last night our eldest daughter was shouting at her sister for stealing her chickens… God knows what will happen when one of them develops heavy weaponry, and arrives mob-handed.
I suppose there might come a moment when somebody particularly horrid is attacking somebody particularly innocent, and they might instantly find themselves standing on a hilltop instead of in battle, with no clothes, no money, no weapons, and no map home.