A few weeks ago, I signed up for a Minecraft server with Shockbyte. Reuben, Joshua and Isaac have been playing Minecraft for about six or seven years, and having our own server means that we can all play together safely* with our friends without Joe Public sabotaging our world.
*Note: If you do sign up for your own server, at Shockbyte or elsewhere, do make sure you switch on ‘whitelisting’. This allows you to specify exactly which users are permitted to use your server. Otherwise, there are hackers who are scanning for available Minecraft server IP addresses and they will come in and vandalise your carefully created environment. We know this from personal experience, having been visited by someone with the helpful username ‘UGotTrolled’. Honestly, they’re worse than creepers!
It has been great fun! At times almost contemplative, crafting a small wooden rowing boat and setting out on this largely unspoiled world. In a strange way, I felt a sense of what it must have been like for those great adventurers setting out to discover new lands.
On my travels, I’ve seen sheep, pigs, cows and chickens. I waved at some horses and donkeys. I’ve met and tamed a wolf (which sadly drowned beneath the ice on our return trip). I’ve passed polar bears with their cubs, and had to fight off my fair share of zombies, skeletons, spiders and exploding creepers.
I’ve dug some tunnels, dotted some Scottish bothies around our home island. I’ve found iron ore and diamonds, grown some pumpkins, and built a chapel.
My current wee project is a chest room co-op where we can store our finds and support each other.
Having grown a bit tired of the old first person shooter games, this has been a welcome change and a great opportunity to share an experience and some quality time with my children. They’ve taken great delight in teaching me and helping me out when I’ve got stuck with something.
A few of my friends are getting involved and we’re having weekly chats on Discord while we build and explore. We have room on the server for about 60 players. If I know you in the real world and you’d like to get involved, contact me.