Minecraft, Dokodemo Hamster 3 and Monopoly.

March, 2014

These are notes from three play experiences - 

I went back to playing a Hardcore Minecraft Server (Permadeath, time limited regeneration after death).

I previously had a hidden base deep in a mountain. I dug a winding, deep tunnel, and constructed an underground garden and creature spawner, and in doing so I was able to gain many levels of experience. 

I died in Hell, so I left off playing for a while. I came back yesterday to see if I could find my old base.

I wrote down the co-ordinates somewhere - and spent ages trying to find them. They were on a post it note size piece of paper in one of my sketchbooks, under a pile of tax forms. It was like hunting for a treasure map. There were three sets of coordinates, extremely far apart from each other. I couldn’t remember which one it was, so I was forced to walk for ages til I got near to one. 

The base was completely hidden from the over world. I filled in the tunnel I dug, and marked the spot with a flower. But I left a portal to the nether open, and someone got into the base. They poured lava buckets all over my garden. 

I didn’t expect to see it intact, coming back after so long. Luckily, the vandal missed a hidden chest I kept, so some of my items were retrieved. The vandal also missed my hidden library, so I packed up the books and decided to head north. I reached the world limit (North 5000) and found a small island. I think I’ll dig down and set up another secret base here. 

Dokodemo Hamster 3 is a game for the Wonderswan. In all respects it’s a typical Tamagotchi pet style game. You can make your hamster perform tricks, feed him, and decorate his living space. Whilst not playing with you, Dokodemo Hamster will choose a random vector each second and move one space ahead in that direction. His is a meditation labyrinth that will never end. 

I like that there is a drawing application, a minimal freedom in DDH3.

(Perhaps similar to my K exp)

I hate monopoly. 

Monopoly. Jesus.

We went out for Hotpot before, then back to a mate’s house. His girlfriend was keen to play Monopoly and so we did. I don’t like Monopoly, but until the other night I wasn’t really sure why I didn’t like it.

It was a fairly intense game.

We played the New Zealand edition - full of local landmarks that would soon be fitted out with Hotels and drastically overcharged. Whoever made this edition didn’t pay much attention to the logistics of architecture - it was viable to construct Hotels on places like Rangitoto - a desolate volcanic landscape. 

The Long Dark Tail of the game shows it’s face quite early. Two of the four players were forced out quite early , and gave up their properties and cash to the remaining two, one of which was me. I ended up second.

Bizarre deals were struck. 

Dancing - if you dance for me I’ll give you my cards.  

The powerless trying to grasp even a bit of power. 

My own personal situation is deep in debt, failing to pay even a little rent, and for me the game takes on a dark, great significance. I feel bad when I feel bad for losing. There’s emphasis in this game put on losing well - if you are forced into poverty, you shouldn’t take it personally or show emotion. In my current situation I find it extremely difficult to separate the game into a casual pastime. 

My strategy was poor - plenty of luck, but playing a waiting game. Perhaps I should have been more brutal and forced players out in order to win. Would I feel better then? Probably not. 

I am able to cope marginally within this game because I am not able to break the ties of the personal here. If I was destitute and within even more limited means, I would probably think - Fuck Monopoly. Why play the same game twice?

Leading back to my own research, if I made an experience similar to the confrontation within DMT, accessible for the player - how interesting is that? Why would anyone want to be there twice?

Phil James