Monday, April 20, 2015

Minecraft Social Experiment

About a few months back, i had one of the most fun, interesting, and socially enlightening Minecraft experiences to date.

I feel as if much was learned about human nature, from this one session. Though when me and some of my friends began this match, we had no intention of getting anything of the sort out it.

So ill start from the beginning.

I invited 5 people, some of them i knew personally, some of them were simply friends of friends. Out of the 5 people there were 4 males and 1 female. This one female would significantly change how the game was played out, simply due to her being female, and us being male. You'll see why later. So lately i had been wanting more of a challenge out of Minecraft, such as a harder time gathering food and resources, and surviving overall. So before i loaded the world, i came up with a single new rule. That rule, was that you only get one life. No matter how you die, if you die, you will be kicked from the session and will no longer be allowed to play. That was the only rule, any and all other actions, were allowed.

I did not realize just how much this would change things.

So as soon the world loaded, and we all spawned in. We looked around at our surroundings, and we saw relatively flat plains, with a few trees dotted about in the distance. We then did exactly as anyone who has played Minecraft would expect. We all spread out, but agreed to all meet back at a specific location, and began to gather resources. We all understood that starving didn't just mean despawn then respawn, but rather, permanent death. As a result, we were all careful not to travel to far away from each other, lest we get stuck alone at night, which would mean almost certain death.

As the sun began to fall, we all anxiously hurried back to each other, and due to the lack of resources, had to make our temporary home a lowly hole dug out in the side of a small cliff.

While all huddled in this small area, we realized some of us, had little to no food due to the scarcity of life in the area. When one person said they were hungry and needed to eat before the end of the night, We all got quiet in the voice chat. We all felt it, and it was likely all our first time Normally you can gladly share your food with others because there is not much risk in doing so. But now. Sharing your food with someone else, could mean your death. When the person asked again, someone eventually broke the silence with a small offering of their food, then another person offered a small amount of theirs as well.

I had plenty...but offered none. I also kept the information as to just how much food i had, to myself. I believe this was the first time i noticed something different about myself, and about the others compared to all my past sessions.

The night felt long. To try to sleep through it, my good friend Devon tried to make beds, but only had enough resources for one.

I sat in a corner and fashioned myself a stone sword, little did i know how much of an effect this stone sword would have on me, and everyone else.

During all this time we also made the hole we lived in a bit bigger.

While Devon was mingling with the others, i saw his bed in the corner. A thought ran through my head..i wanted the bed. While Devon wasn't looking, i decided to take it for myself, but only as a joke.

When Devon came around and noticed that his bed was gone, he asked who took it. I said "I did".
He asked for me to give it back. Still jokingly, i said no. He then pulled out his, Wooden, sword, and threatened me with it. But because i was the only one that gathered enough stone just before the night came, i pulled out my stone sword.

In that instant we both realized something, that i had the power. Normally whether you got into a fight or not, or had the weaker weapon or not. It didn't really matter, because if you died, you'd just respawn.

But this was not the case. Now, you could threaten someone with death, and it would actually mean something.

We stared at each other for a moment. But Devon, understanding the severity of the situation, eventually backed down, realizing that his life, was not worth a bed.

That confrontation between me and him, stirred something in me.

From that point on, instead of asking for things, i began to give commands.

Ordering people to give me more food, to give me their stone, and other resources. And that if i ever found them holding out on me, they would be punished. Devon and another guy were always reluctant to do so, but had no choice, However, to my surprise, one guy gladly obeyed my orders.

I elected myself as leader of the group.

When morning finally came, i knew we needed more food, so i decided that we should travel.

I chose a direction, and the guy that gladly followed my orders, without hesitation, followed my lead. Which then caused the female to follow, and Devon and the other resistor, not wanting to be left behind, followed as well.

After much walking we saw a village in the distance.

At that moment i began running towards it, killing any villager i came across, yelling and telling the others to do the same. I commanded them to pillage the village, kill all the men and children, and rape the women!

After all the villagers were dead, i claimed the village and its farms as my own, all Mine and only Mine.

After a while i saw everyone harvesting the wheat from the farms, My wheat.

I gave the order that these farms are my farms and that you must give me a portion of all the bread you make.

I was really beginning to push Devon to his limit.

This other person however still oddly, gladly followed my orders. I decided to make use of him, i commanded him to go mining and get me enough iron for a set of iron armor.

Devon, his fellow resistor, and the female were picking out their homes. I saw that Devon chose to make the biggest house, his house. I did not agree with this decision.

When my follower came back with a piece of armor, i decided to reward him.

I told Devon to get out of the house, and that the house will be my followers home, as a reward for all his great deeds. I even gave my blind little follower a title. I called him, my Thane, and that he had earned the title for being such a great warrior, and for his service, to the king.

This was the last straw. Devon couldn't take my shit anymore, he grabbed his stuff, and left the village. His fellow resistor sharing the same sentiments, left with him. The only female of the group, decided to leave with Devon as well because she had known him longer.

 I would have stopped him and threatened him with death, but i knew even though i had slightly better weapons and armor. That it was risky to fight all three, even with my Thane at my side. Devon could have also fought for the village right there and now, but he also understood, the risk. So i let him leave.

But he and i understood that we would not be seeing the last of each other. That when he has gathered enough resources, he would make an attempt at my life.

Without saying it, we both knew there was an arms race going on, where ever he was, he was definitely trying to get stronger weapons and armor.

So i commanded my Thane to keep getting iron and make me a full set of iron armor.

later on through out the game, Devon and i, both knowing whats to come, decided to meet at a empty field. To make sure they did not try anything, i brought my Thane with me, and to make sure i didn't try anything he brought the two other people that left with him as well.

When we met at the field, we stayed a good distance apart from each other, making sure no one got too close. We stared at each other and discussed somethings. I forget the exact things we discussed, but what i did take from them this meeting, was that there soon would be war.

As we were leaving, i saw the female. A thought ran through my head..i want her. So i stopped and told her to hold on. Devon concerned for her safety stayed as well.

I asked her, why not come with me?

I am stronger, wealthier, better, a king of a whole village.

I said these exact words, "if you stay with him, you will continue to be nothing more than some whore living underground in the dirt."

And before she could get offended by my words, i told her. "But if you come with me, you will be a great princess, you will have an entire village with farms to yourself. You will live at the top of the tower."

Reluctantly, she agreed to come with me.

Even though this was all just a game, i know this hurt Devon's Male Ego in someway.

But at least for a moment, it seemed as if we all forgot that this was all just a game.

smugly, i asked Devon how he felt about me taking his woman. He of course tried to act it off as if it didn't phase him.

We parted ways for the last time.

When we returned to the village, as promised, i guided my new princess to her home, and had her climb to the top of the tower, At the top, laid her bed, the same bed, that i took from Devon at the beginning of all this. Not only was the tower a nice sight, but we could also see for miles, allowing us to see if Devon and his fellow resistor were coming to attack the village in the night.

Knowing that Devon is a better miner and resource gatherer than i am, i decided to attempt a preemptive strike, before he could attain better weapons and armor.

At first light, me and my thane left to attack Devon, telling the princess to wait for our return.

We carefully moved to where Devon and his fellow resistor where holed up. They were underground, just below us.

When i broke the block under my feet, It all happened so fast. I dropped down ready to swing at anyone i saw, hoping that the element of surprise would give us the advantage.

...I slipped on blood (a figure of speech that my friend Devon still uses today).

When i dropped, the ground below me was too high, so my head was still poking out at the top. I could barely see what was going on below me. Surprised that i was there, they reacted fast, grabbed their weapons and made their way toward me. I saw them coming and i attempted to select a block to place below me so i could get out, but i know i couldn't do it quick enough. So as a last ditch effort, i swung blindly. Helpless as they stabbed me to death.

The End.

It was interesting to see what we would all do in a simulated survival situation.
It was somewhat similar to the book, Lord of the flies, and the book Grendel.