Sandbox Games Are An Artform – Here’s Why

Inland Sea at End Colony
Inland Sea at End Colony

I think the most beautiful thing about playing games like Minetest and Minecraft is that they give you so many tools to create pretty much anything you can imagine and that’s true whether your creative expression is through colors and textures to bring forth stunning visual pieces, or maybe you’re good with redstone circuitry or mesecons in the case of Minetest and music so you put together noteblocks and timing circuits to play a musical tune at the push of a button or by activating a pressure plate.

Whether you build medieval and rustic or modern and technical, if you’re imaginative enough and persistent enough, you can make it happen with Minecraft, Minetest and other sandbox games of that ilk. Plus, on a server, you can have others along to help you with your creation or to enjoy what you have made and give you the satisfaction of an appreciative audience. Most games out there are all about competition and winners and losers. Depending on how you play sandbox games, they can be quite competitive too and there can be clear cut winners and losers. But the beauty of it is, it doesn’t always have to be about competition.


It can also be about cooperation and coming together with others to make something great, something unique and something you can come back to and enjoy again by yourself or with others.

I think all of this is great exercise for the mind on many levels. No matter how deeply you get into the mechanics of it and whether or not you get into modifying it from its original design or just playing it vanilla, there’s always something new to learn and new ways to challenge yourself in Minetest and Minecraft. They’ve got more going for them, to me, than a lot of the puzzle games and the old standbys of cards, checkers, chess, etc. that many people pursue to pass the time.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking any of those things by any means. I’ve spent many a leisurely and enjoyable hour playing cards and dominoes with friends and family to pass the time. But, none of those challenge me to think outside the box the way Minecraft and Minetest do. It’s something you can do whenever and wherever these days since it’s available on so many devices and you’ve got a community right at your fingertips to learn things from, share stuff with and get inspired by.

Just my thoughts on this lazy Tuesday evening of the Winter Solstice and a few days before Christmas. Yuletide Blessings to one and all and to all a good night!


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