Boats in the Works! - A Balance of Freedoms and Constraints

Discussion in 'General Minecraft Discussion' started by ForeverMaster0, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. I was writing this report for school about the upcoming revamp of boats in Minecraft 1.9 announced last Wednesday and I find it to be very important to share with the Minecraft Community. Hopefully, these words will spread. ^_^

    *This message has also been posted on the Minecraft Forums.

    We Minecraft players have been waiting forever for Mojang to ‘fix’ boats. Boats were first introduced by Markus Persson “Notch”, the creator of Minecraft, during the game’s Alpha era of development in 2010. They’re used for fast transportation by water, making it easier to explore the game’s lakes and oceans. However, they have been heavily criticized by the community for how fragile they are, as well as how buggy/glitched they can be. If these wooden boats crash into land or any squid in the water at about mid to maximum speed, they’ll break into planks and sticks. Notch may have made boats breakable for the sack of realism in the game. He also probably didn’t like the fact that users wouldn’t get penalized if they always were sailing at max speed.

    Now that I think about this, the crashing mechanics of Minecraft’s boats corresponds to real-life cars. When driving a car, you have to be careful to not destroy it. Otherwise, you’re probably going to have a bad day. Car accidents happen every day. We can’t teach future drivers to always ‘go fast’. That would likely make our world even more chaotic than what it already is.

    Now, back to the boats. Regarding how they can be improved, we have to consider what will be better for the Minecraft Community. Do we keep the realism of crashing boats or remove the mechanic entirely?
    When it comes to designing a video game, the playability of it is generally valued greater than the realism it depicts. How much gameplay overrides realism, or the other way around, varies on the game. Minecraft is primarily a sandbox game. It’s a type of game that should give players a lot of freedom with very few rules to follow. Therefore, I think it’ll be better to get rid of the crashing mechanics of the game’s boats, and I have my reasons.

    Having only a few simple rules to follow is extremely important for child development. Minecraft’s Community consists of mostly children. Over 50% of players are under the age of 21 years. About half of those people are younger teens, like ages 13-15, or younger. Most of these people’s brains haven’t developed the complex conscious and critical thinking possessed by older people. Many of their brains also can’t handle as much stimuli, especially those on the Autism Spectrum. This is possibly why a lot of kids don’t want to read a long paper or book, or a tutorial. They mentally can’t handle too specific, nor too many, strict rules. These people work best under few simple constraints where they can have a broad level of creativity and lots of freedom that can’t get too chaotic and out-of-control.

    Minecraft is intended to achieve the needs of the young while also attracting older audiences. It has little and easy rules to follow for all ages. The minimal constraints makes it a place for kids to express their creativity and potential. And finally, its retro and block-based graphics and minimally noisy nature sets foundations for players to build off of.
    German Minecraft YouTuber JL2579 would agree with me. He once said that the game is better for autistic children than other games these days because the graphics aren't overwhelming by default. Minecraft can be an excellent video game for children, as long as their parent(s)/guardian(s) set the right kind and amount of constraints on them.

  2. I for one am fine with the boat-crashing mechanics as it can make you more careful, not to mention help you decide how many resources you will need throughout your journey while traveling with boats such as wood.
    ForeverMaster0 likes this.