The Slow Goodbye

Minecraft is an intoxicating experience, and its universal appeal is no more evident that the experience of playing on a server, sharing a world with several other people. At its peak, playing on a server can be a way of life. You work it into your routine, you actively look forward to it while at work or uni, and the ecstasy of expanding your world with the help of those around you however you please fun on an extreme level. 

But just as easily at it caught you, it can easily be taken away. 

A server might end for several reasons. Perhaps the host can no longer afford it and has to shut it down. Perhaps you moved onto another game. But there’s two instances of a server ending that hit the hardest. 

The first is a trivial thing for me; cheating or adding creative mode. Servers are almost always in survival mode, in which you must manually create or find all the materials and blocks you need, have a health bar, require food, and can die. Creative mode nullifies all this, and all it takes is the server admin gifting creative mode to one of the players “just so they can get a few diamonds” to destroy a server. Just like that, the value of progress in the game is eliminated. What’s the point in playing anymore? Players begin to get complacent with creative, and this leads to further abuse of the game mode, and almost always culminates in the world being utterly destroyed. It’s an unwritten rule among players on survival mode servers that no one should ever have the ability to cheat; it’s a slippery slope. 

But by far the worst feeling associated with playing on a server is the gradual drop in interest. You won’t notice at first; perhaps someone on the server is busy and can’t join that night. As it begins to happen more and more, what’s happening is clear: they’re losing their investment in the game. As quickly as it was created, you’ll see the world before you stop advancing, stop being inhabited by some of the most fun experiences you’ve ever had, and stop being something you look forward to every day. No one is at fault for this, it is perfectly okay to lose interest in a game, I myself have been guilty as one of the people who drop off a server. But you never really lose those fond memories. 

One day, someone will send the last “anyone wanna hop on tonight?” and receive only silence. 

There’s a lesson in here somewhere about accepting the increasingly busy schedules of your friends, recognising that you might be depressed, or acknowledging your fleeting nostalgia. Personally, it just feels like a long and painful goodbye. 

Written by Malachy Lewis

Catalyst has been the student publication of RMIT University since 1944. We may be older than your parents but we’re still going strong!

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