Minecraft is a more complicated game than the average joe gives it credit for. Unassuming visuals and a longstanding reputation of appealing to younger humans masks miles-deep mechanics, a never-ending cycle of building and creating, and the deep, (practically) unconditional bonds you can create with all your little Minecraft buddies. My fiancé, Katlynn, and I have spent years playing Minecraft together, and our latest map has seen us lose two of our loyal pets. With little else to do while stuck inside due to self-imposed quarantining, we decided to honor their memories with a memorial and a permanent resting place.
A tale of two kitties
Katlynn and I are no strangers to Minecraft. We've been together for a long time, and much of that has been spent playing Minecraft. I am the Minecraft Expert here for a reason, after all (at least, that's what I tell myself). When she decided to boot up the game again after a few weeks' hiatus, it didn't take me long to feel that familiar urge to join her. Pretty soon, we were on our way to building a magnificent new home (out of terracotta, a resource I've never used before) and had a small army of little pets wandering around.
Most of our pets were cats, picked up from the remains of the village we promised we would protect (we didn't) and serve (we definitely didn't). I also have a few pooches, found during my journeys into the treacherous unknown. Horses, pigs, cows, sheep, and chickens also claimed a place in our home, but they all sleep outside in the rain anyway. And, no, we are not taking proper care of them.
It wasn't long before disaster struck. Playing on Hard mode introduces its share of difficulties (which, I suppose, is the point), and in the process of moving into our beautiful new clay home, a rogue creeper attacked! One victim: my very first cat, lovingly named "*****" to notate that he was, indeed, a 5-star cat. Okay, so we actually named him a naughty word sponsored by the letter "P" because we found it amusing, but Minecraft took that away from us. Dumb child safety features.
Soon after, Katlynn finally found the best friend she was looking for: a wolf. She quickly grabbed her bones out of my inventory that I collected hunting skeletons and took off after that wagging tail. After a single bone, the puppy was hers. She was in love, and finally, my lonely doggos had a new friend to play with. Before the dust had settled, however, a creeper (I'm sensing a trend here) rose from the earth and promptly exploded. Katlynn hadn't even picked out a name yet.
Honoring the fallen
At this point, we had to ensure we never forgot our faithful pixellated pals. We took advantage of a newly opened spot in our yard. We constructed a makeshift cemetery using cobblestone walls, bone meal to grow flowers and grass, and torches to light the area and keep it free from the prying eyes of monsters. Next, we used cobblestone in place of tombstones, and coarse dirt to signify a grave. Signs were hung with personalized messages to honor our friends: "Here lies *****, a fur baby" & "Here lies Snowflake, loyal and good."
Finally, we planted fresh flowers in clay pots above the tombstones, and our little cemetery was complete. We can only hope that we aren't forced to add more plots to our cemetery, but with the quarantine stretching into the end of the month, and our game locked to Hard mode, anything (creepers) can happen (but really, just creepers).
This just goes to show how weirdly intimate we can be inside of video games, even one as "childish" as Minecraft, and how quick we are to form bonds with things that are little more than a few lines of virtual code. Or, alternatively, this is just evidence that extended time locked indoors is driving us all insane. Either way, I now have a pet cemetery in Minecraft. And I'm proud of it.
Have you developed close relationships with animals or mobs in Minecraft? How have you honored them when they're lost, if at all? Let us know in the comments below!
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Minecraft is a veritable, inarguable, and complete success. It has sold copies in the hundreds of millions, has a huge following of dedicated players, and lets you unlock your every creative desire. It's also available on every platform imaginable, including Xbox One, Windows 10, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, Android, and iOS. Play with anyone, and play anywhere.
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Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer primarily focused on covering the latest news, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life, and have been with Windows Central and its sister sites since 2019. While originally brought on to write about all things Minecraft, Zachary has since expanded to write about practically everything that Windows Central covers. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.
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