Level 7
Apprentice Warrior
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      I started getting into Minecraft between late 2009-early 2010 in 3rd grade. My friend in school told me about Minecraft Classic on the Minecraft website at the time, so I began playing that, and even got my older brother to play too. At one point, my brother discovered Minecraft For Free, and we switched over to that. When that website was shut down, I went looking for solutions. I had no money to buy games myself at the time, so whatever I did, I needed to get Minecraft for free somehow.
      I found that you could download Minecraft on the website without paying for an account, you just couldn't play multiplayer, which was my case. That was good enough for me. So I downloaded it and started building stuff after school again. This was around the time when Minecraft 1.0 was released on November 11, 2011. I never played Minecraft Alpha or Beta. In one of my first Minecraft worlds, I was scared that it was getting dark and all the monsters that would come out (who didn't get scared of that), so I dug underground and made myself a little dirt cave. It was one block underneath the surface. It started raining, and I was waiting for the longest time until day. I decided to peek outside, so I went to destroy a dirt block in the ceiling (I wasn't standing directly under it, no rules were broken!). A creeper suddenly jumped into the hole and it blew me up. I vaguely remember sitting at my computer for a second in shock, and quit playing the world after my first Minecraft death.
      There was no way I could learn Minecraft myself as a kid. Sometime in 2011, I looked up a video on YouTube about how to eat in Minecraft. The second video I decided to watch was Paulsoaresjr's "How to Survive Your First Night in Minecraft," and my life changed forever. I learned to build my own "hidey-hole." Once I found out that Paul had an entire series of Minecraft tutorials, he became my first YouTube subscription, my go-to Minecraft tour guide, and later my source of entertainment. Paul's first tutorial was released in June 2009, and he was playing in Minecraft Alpha, while I was on Minecraft 1.0, the official release. As a kid, I had no idea about Minecraft updates, but most of the basic survival features were the same, so I didn't have many problems at all following what Paul taught me. Also, I wanted to play Minecraft with his family so badly!
      I got my first Minecraft account sometime after Minecraft 1.0, which was after November 2011 or in early 2012. My other older brother (not the one mentioned in the first paragraph) was very kind and he gave me his old Minecraft account. It's the same account that I've been using up until today and will be using far into the future. I was a happy kid. I immediately jumped onto the computer and typed in "minecraft server" into Google and joined the first one that came up. As time progressed, I got really into creative and capture the flag (CTF) servers. I tried a few CTF servers, I remember there were little to no regulations in place, and my favorite thing to do to take advantage of this was to destroy and place blocks. I have vague memories of it, but I remember I would block off exits and build random stuff to keep people from getting to our team's flag. It was wild, no CTF server is like this anymore. Throughout my search for more CTF servers, only one came up in multiple sources. I mean, it was everywhere. I joined it in 2012, and today, MCCTF is still playable, still relevant, and still has users constantly playing it. I met my first Minecraft friend, ndewaart, on that CTF server. We chatted a lot for one game but never saw each other again.
      That's the story of how I got into Minecraft. I can't just summarize my experience into one sentence. I didn't just get the game and have fun playing it. I think part of what makes Minecraft so great is because the experience that players have is unique and that everyone has something to say about how they started playing.
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