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This week, you are in for a treat – a special guest columnist! That’s right, you don’t have to read my normal tripe. Instead, my son Anton has told me he has an idea to write about, and I love the idea of him wanting to write! Maybe a nine-year old will make more sense than I do! His topic is Minecraft, a game he’s only somewhat obsessed with on the computer, and how to survive your first day. Take it away, Anton!

First, start up a new Minecraft world. When it has loaded, move your mouse around and look around you. (Note: This is on the computer version of Minecraft.) When you see a tree, hold the W key until you are face to face with the tree. You should see a + sign in the middle of your screen. Move your mouse until the + sign is on the tree. Once you’ve done that, hold down left click until a piece of wood drops. Then move your mouse until the + sign is on another part of the trunk. Next, hold down left click until that drops a piece of wood. Keep doing this with the rest of the tree.

You should see a hot bar at the bottom of the screen. In one of the spaces in the hot bar, you should see the wood you harvested. Press the E key on your keyboard and your inventory should pop up. Click on the wood you harvested and drag it to your mini-crafting area.  (It is right next to a picture of your character.)

Click on a space in your mini-crafting table. You should see next to it a block with stripes through it. Click on it until you have it all. Congratulations! You made wooden planks. Next, drag your wooden planks to your mini-crafting area. Click on every space in the crafting area once, then drag the rest of your wooden planks down to the hot bar and click a space there. After that, go to where you got your wooden planks and you should see a new block called a crafting table. Drag that block down to your hot bar and click a space in there. (Note: it can’t be where you put your wooden planks.)

After you’ve done that, press your E key to close out of your inventory. Then scroll down until you get to your crafting table. Place it by right clicking the ground with it in your hand. Press the w key until you are next to the now-placed crafting table. Next, right click on the crafting table. Then bring your wooden planks up to a new 3X3 crafting area and put one on top of the other. Now bring your newly crafted sticks down to your hot bar. Take the wooden planks you have and put them in each space in the TOP row once. Then take your sticks and place one in the middle of the middle row and one in the middle of the bottom row.

You should see next to the crafting space a new tool: a wooden pickaxe!  Drag it down into your hot bar. Then press the E key and hold down left click on your crafting table to pick it up. Now wander around until you find coal in a cliff face. (Note: W is to go forward, SPACE is to jump.) Once you found it, mine it all. It should make a hole you can go into.  Spread it out with your pickaxe by holding left click until a lot of it is spread out. Then cover up the space you used to get in with the blocks you mined by spreading your base.

Make sure there is a one block hole so you can see if it’s day or night. It should be night by now. Quickly place your crafting table down in a place in your base. Then put a stick in one row with coal on top of it. You should get torches! Quickly place torches all around your base so monsters won’t spawn. Congratulations! You survived your first day in Minecraft. Spend the night expanding your base more. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to survive your first night in Minecraft!

Thanks, Anton, for giving your old man a break from writing for a week! Next week, I’ll be back, refreshed and ready to roll again!

Word of the Week: This week’s word, according to Anton, is spelunking, which means exploring caves, as in, “The Minecraft character enjoyed spelunking, until he ran into a Creeper!” Impress your friends and confuse your enemies!

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