I’ve recently dusted off Minecraft and spent a bit of time playing it. It’s pretty much the same as it was last time I looked which, according to the time stamp on my previous saved game, was 2016. Blocky landscapes, lots of wandering round, getting lost and building needlessly pretty things; a chance to play.
It came to mind when I was discussing the biblical book of 1 John with some friends tonight. John writes a lot about light and darkness, as does his contemporary, Paul. It struck me that Minecraft in some ways — and I’m sure without direct intent — runs very much along the same lines as the New Testament authors did.
In Minecraft, light is good. During daylight, you are pretty safe. When darkness falls or you venture underground, exploring a cavern or creating a titular mine, you need a good supply of torches or other illumination otherwise all sorts of nasties can pop up and ambush you. It’s in the game, it’s a primeval human instinct and it’s one of John’s key messages: keep in the light for safety.