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What in the Name of All That's Baffling Is 'Minecraft'?

08/02/2015 22:36 GMT | Updated 10/04/2015 10:59 BST

I'm a 40-year-old man and I'm about to play Minecraft for the first time. I'm doing it for you, for me, for all of us that have no rational idea of what it is, what it does or what it means. Is it Adolf Hitler's second, more 'downtime' book? Or some trending subterranean hobby that they're all psyched about on the QVC channel? From the look of the screen in front of me, no.

Molly (nine) and Jack (seven) are just two of the thousands of kids that evangelise about this "immense gaming experience" at any opportunity. Peppering their conversations with the word Minecraft, a secret code that allows them to excitedly communicate with their peers in a language unfamiliar to my untrained ear. A tribe of techie jive talkers babbling like Furbies, Minecraft is their mantra.

The two Minecraft Junkies to my left both stare at me with a unified look of smugness. I am a tourist in their world and I am told to prepare to have my "mind blown". I prepare the best I can, I'm not sure it's enough but it will have to do. Let's play Minecraft.

Cards on the table, I'm no 'Gamer', in fact the last video game I played was Outrun in Majorca when I was eight. With this in mind I am genuinely interested to see how the gaming experience has evolved in my absence. I am disappointed.

Minecraft looks like it was designed by one of those 'infinite monkeys' as a side project on their way to typing out the complete works of Shakespeare. Everything is square, clunky and uninspiring, like it was programmed by the kid in your class that taught you how to write BOOBS on your calculator.

I am informed that my initial task is to find the materials to construct a pick axe so I can start mining for building materials. Underwhelmed by my objective, I complain that I feel like the member of a virtual chain gang and start to wonder if I will get a break for water or if level two will involve me constructing an online replica of the Burmese Railway.

My protests are ignored and I am instructed to carry on mining with my newly assembled pick axe. I feel a slight sense of pride at my pick axe, I mean, I 'crafted' it with my bare hands, well my bare, square, avatar hands. I carry on digging, presumably this is what all the fuss is about.

Just as I resign myself to a lifetime of hard labour a square pig enters my space and, without encouragement from my mentors and just to break the monotony, I decide to hack it to smithereens. The barbaric nature of this activity is diluted by the zen like music that accompanies the game, a sort of William Orbit produced fairground nursery rhyme. It soothes me.

The pig is dead.

I'm not keen on returning to my digging duties but I'm told I need to up my productivity in order to excavate materials to build a bed and shelter. Apparently, night time is coming and I need to protect myself from Witches, Creepers and various other threats that no-one had thought to mention before.

I think I've had enough. This virtual, square world is no place for one as uneducated as me. I go to hand my controller back to one of the Minecraft disciples but they've lost interest in me and are watching YouTube videos of other people playing Minecraft. It might be time for some fresh air... But maybe I'll find another pig to kill first.