So I worked through Minecraft over Thanksgiving weekend. It doesn't have an ending as such, but I got to the bottom of my cave, found some diamonds and redstone, mined some obsidian, built a portal, and saw the Nether. I built the things I was interested in building. I didn't get into the whole trap business or the multiplayer. It's a really compelling little piece of art, and I'm boggled with joy at the amount of money it's made for its creator.
The whole experience got me thinking about the power of open land, and the effect that the concept has on us. American history in particular is full of the idea that land is there for the taking: just move in and set up shop. Even setting aside moral/ethical questions, that idea hasn't really been operable for over a hundred years, but I think we find it compelling anyway, because land is so inherently desirable to us. Almost like gold, or jewels.
It gets me thinking about how and where people like to live. People love water, and love to live next to water. People love to live near their food. People love to live next to other people. People love to have their own land. People love to have ownership over their space. From an evolutionary point of view, it makes a lot of sense. Games like Minecraft and Dwarf Fortress hit a lot of these notes, and add just enough game to keep us hooked.