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One Redditor has decided to data mine the great cavernous expanses of long-abandoned Minecraft servers. What he found is rather curious indeed.
It’s fair to say that the world of Minecraft has been significantly mined. After all, the dot-matrix sandbox juggernaut has been with us since 2009, saturated YouTube with instructional videos, and our lounge rooms via our children. With each virtual world covering a surface area of four billion square kilometres, what we’re left with is millions of communities, all with stories untold, moments unshared, and users forgotten beyond the narrow scope of those who experienced it.
However, one Reddit user (known as ‘Worldseed’) has endeavoured set out to unearth these unheard narratives, data-mining old online servers in search of messages left behind. In game, players can write anything they choose in books and signs, and et cetera. Within these volumes are love letters, diary entries and further morsels of emotion, times and people passed.
“A lot of the material is just cute little slice of life things,” Worldseed told Motherboard in 2018. “But it can be kind of depressing.”
There’s an entire spectrum of creativity recorded in the data, from in-game instructions, to a diary written in the perspective of a chicken, to far darker missives. Worldseed articulated the message he found in a cave, one closed off for five years, an unknown slice of woe by an unknown author, who wrote: “If I kill myself tonight: the stars will still disappear…the sun will still come up, the Earth would still rotate, the seasons would change…”
Another sign tells of a missed connection, the cleaving of a game session left incomplete, forever kept in stasis, something akin to the day-to-day actions immortalised by the ash of Vesuvius.
“I don’t think you guys are ever coming back… ~kat 11/10/15,” the sign reads.
It’s seemingly low-resolution archaeology, reflective of a time, whilst not nearly as priceless, but one departed nonetheless. As Worldseed himself said of his work, “I don’t mean to gawk or anything..but if I hadn’t found this stuff, nobody would’ve ever seen it again.”