Described as, “Europe’s biggest and best-loved videogames culture festival”, the 6th GameCity festival has just taken place in Nottingham. The culmination of the four-day event was the GameCity Prize 2011, with the entries including Minecraft, Portal 2, Ilomilo, Pokemon Black and others. And the winner was… Minecraft!
Compared to the competition, Minecraft upon initial scrutiny appears to be the weakest of them all, offering very simplistic graphics and not even boasting a full release as yet (it is still in the beta stage). However the judges saw past this and awarded Minecraft first prize based on its mood and the creativity it offers to players. As one of the judges Ed Hall put it, “It’s the broadest definition of art that you can have”.
Minecraft was first released in May 2009 as a project of Marcus Persson (known by his online pseudonym Notch). Since then, Persson has formed the company Mojang to handle the continuing development of this game after its initial success. Since then over 4 million people have purchased the game and it still hasn’t officially been released.
Minecraft just goes to show that in a world of movie-level budgets for games and huge teams of developers, great successes can still be gained from talent, creativity and a good idea.