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Full disclosure - I've played Minecraft off and on for years and have dabbled in amateur game programming. That's probably part of why I find the story of Notch and Minecraft so fascinating.
This book is the telling of Notch's story from his childhood, first jobs, creating Minecraft, and the aftermath. I was already familiar with many aspects of the story, but the book filled in a lot of the details. In particular, the parts about Notch's family and early jobs were completely new to me. The parts about forming Mojang, its financial success, and Notch's evolving role within the company were filled with tons of details I had never heard before. The book seemed sourced from a variety of interviews of the players involved, which added a lot of color.
The book also unfortunately contained quite a bit of filler. The exhaustive descriptions of other Stockholm based game studios really added nothing. In fact, the book even concluded that chapter with a line about how this story is not about the little guys versus the big corporate giants. Also, all of the needless info from psychologists about online communities and human perception of realistic computer graphics just seemed like filler.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. The story itself is excellent. The book's telling of it is ok. Together this makes for a decent book. I'd recommend it to anyone who plays MInecraft or wishes to learn more about Notch's story. However, if you aren't already at least somewhat into Minecraft, this book will probably be quite boring.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
From saying, as an adult, “Mom I’m going to live with you forever,” to one of the biggest names in gaming, Markus “Notch” Persson is an example of the old cliché that following one’s dreams will pay off.
The game “Minecraft" looks deceptively simple, but once you dive in, it expands into an entire block-y universe. People build fortresses, castles and scale models of real life objects. I’ve even heard of one player’s quest to find the edge of the “Minecraft" world.
Where did this phenomenon come from?
Persson went from using the computer as a sanctuary alone with his thoughts away from family tensions, to building a community online and in real life.
This book does an excellent job of subtly pointing out the roots of “Minecraft” in Persson’s life; Legos, “Boulder Dash,” “Magic the Gathering.”
But it also tells the story of someone relatable, someone with an un-extraordinary background, but who always knew what he wanted to do, and through perseverance, challenged the status quo of gaming (macho guys killing each other), and created something playful and creative that he is proud of, and is beloved by gamers all over.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful