The Pierson eighth grader spoke about his interest in computers and coding, and how it led him and a friend to organize and host what proved to be a very popular Minecraft Adventure at Bay Street Theater last weekend.
By Mara Certic
I’m a little embarrassed to ask this, but what is Minecraft?
It’s an open sandbox world made of blocks. You can play in multiple ways, either by surviving and collecting finite materials—obviously the world is very big so you have to go get them—or you can free-build, where you have an infinite amount of materials, and then you can build really, really cool things. And you can play different games in Minecraft. Minecraft updates come up every couple of months, and they add new content. But community games get added all the time. A new game came out last week and my friends like it a lot. You go in and you’re put into a lobby with 13 other players. Each person is teleported into their own room and is given a topic. The first time I played the topic was “T-Rex,” so everyone went and built the best T-Rex in five minutes, out of any block. Then all of the players were teleported to other players’ rooms at the same time and then you vote on all the dinosaurs. The ratings are: super poop, poop, okay, good, epic and legendary. If some kid built a giant T-Rex knocking over a tree, you’d rate that “legendary;” if another kid builds just a green blob with black eyes you’d give it an “okay” or a “poop.” Each of my friends has won matches, we’re pretty good at it. It’s a really good game and it really shows the creative aspects of Minecraft, as well as the fun community game side.
So is there a limit to what you can build?
There’s a maximum world height. Each block is measured on a 3D graph, so it has an x-value, a y-value and a z-value. Once the y-value hits 255, you can’t go any higher, and you can’t build below zero. But other than that, not really. For the Minecraft Adventure at Bay Street I made a big “Bay Street” sign for the world, I built two whales and an anchor.
When did you first start playing Minecraft?
It sort of starts with my partner, Miller Croke, who goes to school in Southampton. He and my other friend Gabe—who was one of the contestants on Sunday—were the first to get Minecraft in like fourth grade, and started telling us stories about them doing whatever in their worlds and I became interested. I looked it up on YouTube and got into that, but I didn’t get my own computer until two years ago, so I didn’t get the game until then. Fast-forward to sixth grade, and Miller watched Season 20 of the Amazing Race, and he got the idea to make a game for Minecraft. So for Miller’s birthday, we all brought our laptops and made our own races, with obstacles and challenges, and then tried each other’s races. It was all very rudimentary, I mean we were in sixth grade, it wasn’t anything close to what it is now, but there was definitely the basis for it. And then he created one world, and we started having group Skype calls and playing altogether in the same world he created. Then for my mom’s business, Macaroni Kids, me and Miller built a little world with multiple games to play for an event, and then the winners would get real Minecraft-themed prizes. And we thought, oh cool, we can do Minecraft events! And then last week we got the chance to do the first ever Minecraft Adventures at Bay Street.
And so how do you think the first ever event went?
It went on the better side of things. There were at least a hundred people there and a lot of them came from up Island! I was talking to them and they were like “We drove an hour and a half to get here,” just to watch, not even to participate. We’re trying our best to do another one soon, but chances are we won’t be holding another Minecraft Adventure at Bay Street until the fall. But we’re going to be building and working on things in the meantime.