Paris and Abby Survive The First Night

…kind of.

Paris and Abby

Abby’s Rig vs Paris’ Rig

For me, the idea of downloading Minecraft has always been a passive kind of desire. Sure, I’ve dabbled on friend’s accounts; spending thirty or so minutes building very square houses in creative mode before giving up and returning to the Sims or Stardew Valley. However, crafting, fighting and exploring past my home bases (which were never even that aesthetically pleasing) was well out of my wheelhouse. When I disclosed this to Abby, the wheels of this article were set in motion.

When Paris informed me that she had never played Minecraft before, it sent me into a spiral. There’s not much age difference between us—what could you have possibly been doing in 2012 other than playing Survival Games, Herobrine’s Mansion, Tekkit? This game built the foundations of my being with oak planks and texture packs. Maybe Paris and I are not as close as we once thought. I was determined to bring her into the fold, to show her the small joys and big triumphs this block world has to offer.

Thanks to the Craccum expense card and an extremely stressful LAN party (over the past week I even learned what that means), I can now say that I’ve played enough Minecraft to form an informed opinion. Will this opinion result in angry emails to Craccum? Probably. But in proper journalistic fashion, I refuse to omit the multiple meltdowns that this game has caused me. If you read our prior article, ‘Abby and Paris Take On The Menu,’ you might already be aware of my general incompetence and the persisting fragility of my mental state. I have no doubt that this article will reinforce this. Please enjoy it, because I certainly did not.

Admittedly, I went into this experiment with some unrealistic expectations about the amount of progress Abby and I would be able to make in one night. As someone who watches trash on YouTube while getting ready in the morning, I’ve stumbled across some Minecraft streams and was vaguely aware of an Ender Dragon existing somewhere in the game. And as an overachiever, I wanted to kill it so bad. I also thought I’d have time to build a cottage-core-ish farm before actually getting my hands dirty. Admittedly, this was what I was most excited about. I’m a Sims girl through and through. Sue me. In short, my naive little brain thought the whole thing would be a breeze. A meditative experience even (it was for me, at least at first). Abby’s gentle scepticism did nothing to dissuade me from setting such ambitious goals. I regarded this with the same attitude with which I approach most new hobbies; I was going to be amazing at it instantly and with very little effort or I would inevitably throw a temper tantrum.

Paris learning to craft

For the record, I did my best to manage expectations—but forgive me for thinking beating the Ender Dragon in one night was achievable,

When I finally joined Abby’s server, these dreams were dashed almost immediately as I couldn’t even work out the controls. You might think I’d be capable of adjusting over the course of our session, but you would be so very wrong. Within the first five minutes, I fell into a chasm and was so completely incapable of getting myself out that Abby and I were forced to set up a base down there. Translation: no cottage-core farm. The temper tantrum was approaching at a rapid speed as I spent the next ten minutes trying unsuccessfully to reach the surface. Yet against all odds, I managed to push it down. I bravely pressed on, slowly adjusting to underground living and setting up my little chasm home as best I could. Honestly, I remember thinking it looked pretty. Little did I know, Abby had been busy building a well-decorated fortress just a few blocks away.

Almost as quickly as Paris fell into that ravine, I forgot my role in this night was as a mentor. Minecraft sends me into a deeply contemplative state, and soon I had wandered away peacefully into the fields to collect materials, ruminating and reminiscing. This would have been fine had Paris known how to read coordinates, though in hindsight I’m not sure how you would learn to read them without ever playing Minecraft. So I left her alone and unsupported as I mined and farmed for base decorations. She continuously died to monsters. I debated quickly popping to the nether for magma and soul sand to make an elevator in my base. But I figured we should stick to the task at hand.

Making the comparison between our homes felt extremely similar to being aggressively humbled by my classmates during a crit in my design degree (I dropped out). However, it did motivate me to reach the surface as I honestly couldn’t stand to look at it anymore. With this, the Ender Dragon quest began.

Paris trying to make a pick axe

By this stage in the game, Abby was very aware of my ineptitude (though I think she had already predicted it when I repeatedly referred to the game as mine craft, with a space, in the Arts group chat a few days prior), and the journey to the little room with the portal thing was a long one. Excuse my lack of proper terminology. Even with this knowledge, Abby seemed surprised, and visibly disappointed, at the lack of time it took for us to get separated. Whether it was my lack of direction or lack of minecrafting ability at fault, we’ll never know. However, what I do know is that when I died I was under a mere 50 coordinate points from where I should have been and had not placed any beds (which I think serve as checkpoints?). We had been travelling for three in-game days. I cannot express the feeling of devastation this caused me. My death seemed to have a similar effect on Abby, who, while aggressively sighing, immediately committed to using cheats and changed the game mode to creative. As I was now desperate to throw in the towel, this suited me just fine.

What Paris doesn’t know is that throughout the night, as I slowly discovered the breadth of her noobness, we progressively started cheating more and more. It started as a good honest slog to diamonds, I farmed some ender pearls, the usual. When I realised it would be wilful endangerment to send Paris into the nether, I set off with the seed map to find a ruined portal and make the journey myself. But as Paris continued to die, somewhat inexplicably often, this quickly progressed to finding the coords of the nearest stronghold and hauling ass so she could have her moment fighting the dragon and then I could go to bed. It truly remains a mystery to me how Paris could not follow me in a straight line (though it was a good hour into playing when she first asked me how to sprint), but regardless she couldn’t so there was nothing between her and that creeper. She was back at spawn and I was desperately wishing we’d done the Stardew Valley article idea instead.

When Paris keeps typing it as mine craft

I have to apologise to those invested in the storyline because honestly, this is as far as we got. After making it to the maze bit (again, sorry about my terminology), we never actually found the portal as Abby was summoned to collect her flatmate from work.

A saving grace! My flatmate asks if I can pick them up from work. I kill the server and drive Paris home—we agree never to speak of this strained experience again, except for this one time. I guess you can’t always teach someone into loving something.

I really hated this fucking game.