These days, Minecraft is a huge game. You can kill four different bosses, pillage through multiple worlds, and farm almost every item automatically.

But recently, I watched a video about old Minecraft. A YouTuber named @jasonthesmarty spent 100 days playing Minecraft alpha, upgrading the version every so often. Eventually, he reached beta. This version of the game is what I effectively started with, but I was always pleased to see new features like sprinting and hunger added.

I didn't realize that these features eroded what made Minecraft simple. I asked myself, "What do I usually do when I start playing in a new world?"

I went through a mental list. I get netherite tools, fix up a small shack with 30 double chests, then farm all the useful blocks in the game. That usually takes me just a few days of gameplay, and I get burnt out immediately after taking those steps. Below is an image of that suffering.

a screenshot of some Minecraft Villagers

But it wasn't always like that. Once upon a time, Minecraft had almost nothing to farm and little to automate. The gameplay loop was small. You rearranged your world to look how you wanted it, then made minor upgrades to your armor and tools.

a Discord screenshot. user named 'Loves White Women' says 'not playing modded smh,' and i respond 'also got some diamonds,' with a screenshot attachment of some diamond ore. i then respond 'fuck you.'

Some people get pretty passionate...

Over a decade later, the gameplay has completely changed. Instead of a game for your creativity, modern Minecraft brings out your inner completionist - all on accident. Speed upgrades on tools and farms are always possible but require extreme game knowledge.

In the end, most of the game is locked away for newer players, but skilled players can complete it easily. Everyone gets burnt out due to a lack of simplicity.

That's what the game lost - simplicity.

Increasingly, more players have been playing on older versions of the game. The most common of these is beta 1.7.3, the last release without hunger and a final boss. For some, 1.7.3 is the final version of the "true" Minecraft.

I think I'll be joining them.