By Daniel Soares

During this time of quarantine, I have found the lack of social interaction to be taxing to my mood. So my friends and I talked about how to feel less isolated, and we decided that we should play video games together. We have been playing Minecraft as our game of choice due to its robust options for gameplay. Most of us have had accounts since middle school, which made it easy for people to hop back online and get back to crafting. If you do not own Minecraft already, a lifetime account is only $30 for their computer version. Minecraft also offers a mobile app, as well as versions for Xbox and PS4. If you cannot afford the game, or just don’t feel like paying, students also have access to Minecraft: Education Edition for free if they sign up using their Colorado College email.

Minecraft offers three types of gameplay: solo, multiplayer, and realms. In multiplayer, players can join public servers, which range from competitive minigames to complete anarchy. Some CC students have actually taken advantage of this time away from school by recreating CC’s campus in their own server. Realms, on the other hand, are private worlds that can be used by you and up to nine of your friends. In order to easily communicate while playing, my friends set up a Discord channel, a free service that lets us voice chat without a time limit. By being able to talk to each other, we can not only chat about the game, but we can also easily stay up to date with how everyone’s quarantine is going.

Videogames can also be useful for making new friends while you are stuck at home. To help acclimate our friends who were new to Minecraft, we decided to play on a “safe server,” where there are no monsters and fighting is not allowed, a type of server that I would recommend for players looking for a relaxed, but social, gaming experience. While on the server, we ran into a veteran user by the name of SonicXD9000. SonicXD9000 immediately extended his friendship to our group and showed us how to navigate the world, a gesture of camaraderie frequently seen in the gaming world. We cherish Sonic’s friendship dearly and hope it will continue even after this crisis is over.

While videogames can build friendships, if you are not careful, they can also tear them down. In Minecraft, diamonds are by far the most valuable resource. Since they are quite rare, finding them tends to be a cause for celebration, and losing even one is a grave offense. During this block, one of our friends, 6Rays, an ex-Minecraft YouTuber, has died multiple times while in possession of diamonds, losing not one, but upwards of thirty diamonds. We are currently reconsidering our friendship with him.

Videogames, and Minecraft in particular, offer something for everyone. From highly competitive to leisurely play, there are great online communities that allow you to both make new friends and keep in touch with old ones, making social distancing a little less lonely.

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