Another one of my lil’ minecraft dudes died today – just now, actually. He carelessly fell down a hole and died from fall damage. It was a really deep hole. He was wearing a full set of diamond armor with an enchanted sword that he put 37 levels into. Because he had just dug that hole, his falling down it could have been avoided if he’d only shown the appropriate due care around such a dangerous thing. Because he died and because he was hardcore, his world died with him.
His world was called “Winslave’s Paradise” and it was made with a seed of the same name. It was named after another hardcore guy who died in a different game, Terraria, before ever getting to enjoy his existence. He, Winslave, spawned in a world in Terraria with no idea how to play. It was a dark night and he was beside hungry zombies that ate him alive. Where Winslave died, a tombstone was left. Because he died right beside the spawn, his tombstone was the first thing every subsequent character saw – a reminder of an event none of them knew enough to care about. It was the tombstone that marked the death of someone who never really lived. In Winslave’s memory, a paradise was built for him in minecraft. All of the useless blocks collected in deep dark dangerous caves- gold, extra iron, pumpkins, TNT, lapus lazuli dye, whatever, were built into the walls of a great cave in Winslave’s memory. Despite Winslave dying in another world, he would be remembered here. It started with gold and blue dye but then it was everything: sheeps’ wool and the dyes needed to color them with every color, every different kind of leaf, grass, wood, vines, flowers: everything.
My lil’ guy would build Winslave’s paradise whenever he was too anxious about an abandoned mine to keep digging or too tired of being scared of dying in the dark depths of a cave to go any deeper. He’d collect stupid but rare blocks and put them in the walls of this cave. He made towers of pumpkins tipped with TNT and gold walls covered in vines. These useless blocks represented his efforts underground. These useless things were a collection of his useless efforts to find a stronghold and get to The End. In a weird way, his procrastination project became a welcome relief from the stress of digging deep underground – essentially, his other procrastination project.
Of course, minecraft isn’t really stressful and the anxiety about abandoned mines isn’t worth real anxiety. But still, there existed a welcome little escape within a welcome little escape. At the entrance to this ridiculous cave was a sign that read “Winslave’s Paradise.” First it was named “Andy’s Hideout” but that’s not really the point. The point is that it represented something hidden and unattainable. It represented something ideal for someone who would never experience it. It was a paradise for someone who was incapable of experiencing it. And now, because the creator of it fell down a hole to his death, that little escape doesn’t exist anymore. That world got erased as though it never existed at all. Not that it ever existed anyway. And not like it won’t get built again. Winslave’s Paradise is more than just a couple of blocks. I remember you Winslave. And for you, I will build a Paradise unlike any other.