Minecraft is an incredibly popular game with the younger set. And by younger, I mean kids under the age of 15. If you don’t have kids, you just need to know that basically, this game has taken over more than one family – mine included!
The object of the game is described in its Wikipedia page:
The creative and building aspects of Minecraft allow players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D procedurally generated world. Other activities in the game include exploration, gathering resources, crafting, and combat. Gameplay in its commercial release has two principal modes: survival, which requires players to acquire resources and maintain their health and hunger; and creative, where players have an unlimited supply of resources, the ability to fly, and no health or hunger.
There is very little in common with most video games that adults are used to playing. Adult games are usually focused on points, passing levels, killing bad guys and defeating the game for the highest score possible. The graphic quality of Minecraft is very poor compared to adult games, and for years the creation of the game was simply the work of one man. However, the game obviously does have something that is very attractive to these millions of young people around the world.
The game of Minecraft is much different: it is about building things and discovery. It is also about showing off the things that you’ve built and discovered to your friends. And that is the most important and notable difference that has driven the game into unprecedented popularity.
Rather than share something simple like project merely built from a Lego set, the game allows users to build entire cities upward and to dig underground too – hence the name Minecraft. After these complex worlds are constructed, other players can visit, and sometimes construct more on top of the world. This is pretty amazing-what it basically means is that people are playing a collaborative game, with friends and other people online. In fact there are millions of people playing the game.
There are very few adults who are interested at all in Minecraft. But some basic research reveals that millions of kids from around the world are actually playing the game obsessively. And that proves the point – collaborative building together, aka crowdsourcing, is a common activity for young people. Marketers need to understand that the world of on-line competition is slowly making way for the world of on-line collaboration. Setting a high score is no longer a brag – building a roller coaster in your virtual city can make you legendary. Kids get together, build shared worlds, and tell jokes that make no sense to their parents.
The pioneer spirit that drove America’s growth is being replaced by a new spirit of cooperation and community, especially amongst our youngest people. Watch your kids and you know why forward-thinking marketers are turning to the crowd.
Jonathan Frutkin is CEO of Cricca Funding, LLC. He’s written a new book called “Equity Crowdfunding: Transforming Customers into Loyal Owners” which was published in May, 2013.