When I first started playing Minecraft a few months ago, I played with a rule: if I die, I have to delete the entire world. This is the tenth entry in the diary I kept of that experiment - the first is here .
Day 11 >
Day 11 >(opens in new tab)
World 4, deaths 3
I am distraught. I've lost the best world I've seen, forever. This one is just a bunch of blocks.
The next day, in a cruel twist, Notch adds a 'Crouch' key that prevents you falling off ledges.
Come nightfall, I still haven't sorted out a safe house or torches, and I take one too many risks with an arrow-firing skeleton. Dead.(opens in new tab)
World 5, deaths 4
I'm still playing with my rule, but the fear is gone: the world I'll lose if I die now is replacable. This one's snowy, which is nice, but nothing special.
I'm killed by an exploding Creeper on my first night.(opens in new tab)
World 6, deaths 5
Mobbed by spiders.(opens in new tab)
World 7, deaths 6
Ignored own advice, dug straight down, plunged into lava.(opens in new tab)
World 8, deaths 7
Fell off one too many mountains.(opens in new tab)
World 9, deaths 8
Skeleton Archers again.(opens in new tab)
World 10, deaths 9
Okay, this is getting silly. I need an objective. The hardcore rule doesn't really work if your only goal is to survive: that's not something you can make progress towards, so no progress is really lost when you die. Unless you spawn in the absolute perfect place in the absolute perfect world, as I did in World 3, the stakes are actually pretty low.
Happily, this realisation hit just after a major Minecraft update. I'd taken a quick break from the experiment to preview it a few days earlier: it's a new, hellish dimension called the Nether. You get to the Nether by building a doorway made out of the hardest usable rock in the world, obsidian, then setting it alight. It creates a portal to a world full of zombie pigmen, ever-burning stone, and giant flying jellyfish that spit fireballs.
The objective I needed was obvious: go to hell, journey as far as my tools will take me, and get back alive.
Now, where the hell do you get obsidian?
On Thursday: Oh, there it is .