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What are they thinking?! August 16, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
Tags: , , ,

Men. I’ll never understand them. Silence Dogood here. The other day, I was reading one of the quirky, delightful human-interest pieces that The Wall Street Journal loves to put on its front page. (It’s actually my favorite part of the paper, highlighting just how diverse and eccentric the human experience is.) This one was called “Lovers of Minecraft Are Belting Out Odes to Digging and Smelting.” (Read it at www.wsj.com; it’s priceless.) It’s about grown men who not only spend hours each day playing a video game called Minecraft, but also post Minecraft-based videos on YouTube. (Minecraft debuted last year and now has 37 million registered users, according to the article.)

Admittedly, I don’t even begin to get the allure of video games, having never played one. (We’re such Luddites here at Hawk’s Haven that we’ve never been on YouTube, either.) They strike me as a total waste of time. I can certainly appreciate the appeal for kids, but why would any adult play a video game when he could actually be doing something interesting and/or constructive? Or at least getting some fresh air and escaping to the golf course or a favorite stream or lake. Yikes!

But the guys profiled in the article have taken their Minecraft obsession to a whole new level, creating elaborate Minecraft music videos featuring the blocky characters performing original verses to popular tunes against a backdrop of blocky Minecraft scenery. They post them on YouTube, where they attract huge followings. One, by CaptainSparklez, is called “Revenge,” sung to the music of Usher’s hit “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love.” It has been viewed on YouTube 54 million times, compared to Usher’s original, which has been viewed 75 million times.

I’ll leave it to you to judge the quality of the lyrics. The article featured this excerpt from a Minecraft rap song that has attracted 2 million YouTube views: “It’s night, it’s time to dig,/ I need some health, man,/ But it’s too dark to find a pig.”

It seems clear to me that both YouTube users and these video creators have way too much time on their hands. But what’s also striking is the level of technical skill required to create one of these videos. We’re not talking about a guy focusing a video camera on himself and singing a stupid song. The backgrounds are elaborate and animated. It must take practically forever to put one of these videos together. Which raises the question: If you’re talented enough to create one of these videos, why don’t you develop your own video games? Then at least your obsession would pay off, and you’d have the satisfaction of creating something original instead of derivative.


          ‘Til next time,




1. William - August 16, 2012

It is a “male thing”. Even though I have grown out of video games, there are times I will indulge in a game. My sons do not find a kindred spirit in their mother with these games. The salvation comes from dear ‘ol Dad. This does not explain the oddity of grown adults playing these children games, and I can only think we males grow up wanting adventure and the games provide this. The music part… we wanted to be rock stars at some point??

Ha! Didn’t we all want to be rock stars, William? (For a great taste of that, rent “It Might Get Loud,” a documentary film interviewing Jimmy Page—my hero—as well as The Edge and Jack White. Lots of great guitar playing and guitar talk. Not to mention some pics of Jimmy Page’s amazing British manor house…)

2. narf77 - August 23, 2012

Not only male…my 30 year old son and his 21 year old girlfriend are both addicted to Minecraft and are actual functioning members of the human race! I think its a generation thing more than a man thing 😉

Maybe so, Fran. I certainly don’t get it! But then, I’ve never gotten sitting mindlessly for hours in front of the TV, either. Maybe it’s just me!

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