Part 2: Jeepers Creepers
As Minecraft continued to pull me deeper into its rich and beautiful world of exploration, real life started getting in the way. In my time away from the game, I heard its constant beckoning, calling to me to experience more of its blocky wonder.
So, my return was a greatly anticipated one – one I was a bit more prepared for, since I had done some online research before delving back into the game. (Don't ever feel bad about looking up Minecraft information online, by the way. I have no idea how people are supposed to figure out any of this stuff on their own.)
After living through a couple nights, I was growing a bit more confident in my survival skills. I felt ready to engage in the real meat of the game: mining and building.
I thought it best to take a twofold approach: mine downward and built upward simultaneously. Whatever materials I was able to collect while digging, I could use to expand my own home base. (I was already beginning to feel cramped inside my tiny beginner home.)
I found a plot of land that would support a nice-sized base, and luckily there was a coal deposit right next to it. This coal would mark the beginning of an epic mining project: my own personal Moria. I had plenty of stone to build a base much more castle-like than my previous shelter, one in which I could stretch my legs a little. I was feeling pretty happy about how fast my projects were advancing.
However, there was one thing I hadn't planned for – the creeper.
Creepers are little green guys composed of decaying leaves and other random detritus. They generally have cute, helpless expressions on their tiny faces, and once they spot you, they will follow as relentlessly as little lost puppies. But when they get too close to you, they suddenly explode. A creeper can easily undo an hour's worth of gathering and building. I've seen creeper explosions leave craters up to ten meters deep. No, I'm not exaggerating. These guys are devastating.
My nights were quickly becoming epic standoffs against armies of creepers. My mining project had unearthed a small stash of iron, so I was able to make my first sword. (Of course, I found out later that I could have also made swords from wood and stone.) I had figured out how to build a bow, but at this point in my Minecraft adventure, arrows were pretty scarce. I had to use a fairly conservative approach or else I would find myself completely out of ammo very quickly.