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‘MInecraft: The Island’ Makes It Hard to Separate Fiction From Gaming

The popular “build anything you want” video game Minecraft has been made into a fantasy novel, which apparently has some readers unable to tell the difference between the fictional novel and the game itself.

Max Brooks, who seems to have written the main character as being a very ambiguous character, having no gender, nor normal human appendages, nor even a name, wrote the book. The character is of course, composed of squares and his appendages are flesh-toned cubes, and even the world where the story unfolds is entirely made up of squares, a feature true to the Minecraft video game. The book is titled “Minecraft: The Island” which was published this month by the science fiction publisher Del Ray, and is the first book to be commissioned by Mojang, the Swedish game studio behind Minecraft, a tactic done by the company to increase the popularity of the game.

Scott Cawthon, the creator of the famous horror game series Five Nights At Freddy’s also released his own written novels about his video games in order to increase their popularity, and like Scott Cawthon, this isn’t the first book Mojang has seen written about their game series, as Scholastic has published 10 Minecraft titles and Amazon has thousands of unofficial titles written by fans and have been self-published. For those who are unfamiliar with Minecraft, unlike most video and computer games there are no specific levels or objectives for the player to complete, instead Minecraft is a freelance game where players are able to build anything they wish such as, houses, castles, weapons, sculptures, and traps. The freedom the game gives it’s users is part of why the game is so widely popular, selling more than 122 million copies, having 55 million active monthly users, and even leading Microsoft to buy the company for $2.5 billion.

Lydia Winters, Mojang’s brand director states, “We had been thinking about fiction for a long time but wanted to make sure that it didn’t take away from people’s experience of the game, because everyone plays in a different way,” this is when the company approached Mr. Books, a best-selling author who has a love for survival strategies, zombies, apocalyptic scenarios, and plagues. Brooks is the son of actor Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft and became a fictional writer after being fired from being a scriptwriter for “Saturday Night Live.”

Brooks’ two previous novels “World War Z” and “The Zombie Survival Guide” have sold more than 3.5 million copies worldwide and “World War Z” was adapted into a movie of the same name. Brooks loves Minecraft and jumped at the chance to write a book about it, he wrote the novel in first person where the main character is stranded on an island and has to build shelter and fight for survival while fending off zombies and giant spiders. Brooks wanted the reader to fell as though they were actually playing Minecraft when they are playing it, though he does hope that players don’t actually try out the tactics in the book as they may not work.

Creating novels based on video games has been a popular tactic used to try to get the younger children to read more, the novel was first announced at Minecon (a convention for Minecraft players) in Anaheim, California last year, as well being advertised on YouTube. Minecraft: The Island” by Max Brooks is now available for the retail price of $11.99 and has been hugely popular with fans of the franchise, so for those of you wanting to read it or maybe learn some new tactics from the book itself, be sure to buy. Happy reading!

Featured Image via Pixabay

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