Three years ago, 32-year-old Markus "Notch" Persson of Stockholm was an unknown and bored computer programmer. Today, he is a multi-millionaire international icon. Minecraft, the "virtual Lego" game Markus crafted in his free time, has become one of the most talked about activities since Tetris. Talked about by tens of millions of people, in fact.It is the story of unlikely success, fast money, and the power of digital technology to rattle an empire. And it is about creation, exclusion, and the feeling of not fitting in.
Here Markus opens up for the first time about his life. About his old Lego-filled desk at school. About the first computer his father brought home one day. But also about growing up in a family marked by drug abuse and conflict.
But above all it is the story of the fine line between seeming misfit and creative madman, and the birth of a tech visionary. Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus "Notch" Persson and the Game that Changed Everything is a Cinderella story for the Internet age.
©2011 Daniel Goldberg and Linus Larsson. English translation ©2013 by Jennifer Hawkins. (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
Full disclosure - I've played Minecraft off and on for years and have dabbled in amateur game programming. That's probably part of why I find the story of Notch and Minecraft so fascinating.
This book is the telling of Notch's story from his childhood, first jobs, creating Minecraft, and the aftermath. I was already familiar with many aspects of the story, but the book filled in a lot of the details. In particular, the parts about Notch's family and early jobs were completely new to me. The parts about forming Mojang, its financial success, and Notch's evolving role within the company were filled with tons of details I had never heard before. The book seemed sourced from a variety of interviews of the players involved, which added a lot of color.
The book also unfortunately contained quite a bit of filler. The exhaustive descriptions of other Stockholm based game studios really added nothing. In fact, the book even concluded that chapter with a line about how this story is not about the little guys versus the big corporate giants. Also, all of the needless info from psychologists about online communities and human perception of realistic computer graphics just seemed like filler.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. The story itself is excellent. The book's telling of it is ok. Together this makes for a decent book. I'd recommend it to anyone who plays MInecraft or wishes to learn more about Notch's story. However, if you aren't already at least somewhat into Minecraft, this book will probably be quite boring.
I'm Audible's first Editor-at-Large, the host of In Bed with Susie Bright -- and a longtime author, editor, journo, and bookworm. I listen to audio when I'm cooking, playing cards, knitting, going to bed, waking up, driving, and putting other people's kids to bed! My favorite audiobooks, ever, are: "True Grit" and "The Dog of the South."
From saying, as an adult, “Mom I’m going to live with you forever,” to one of the biggest names in gaming, Markus “Notch” Persson is an example of the old cliché that following one’s dreams will pay off.
The game “Minecraft" looks deceptively simple, but once you dive in, it expands into an entire block-y universe. People build fortresses, castles and scale models of real life objects. I’ve even heard of one player’s quest to find the edge of the “Minecraft" world.
Where did this phenomenon come from?
Persson went from using the computer as a sanctuary alone with his thoughts away from family tensions, to building a community online and in real life.
This book does an excellent job of subtly pointing out the roots of “Minecraft” in Persson’s life; Legos, “Boulder Dash,” “Magic the Gathering.”
But it also tells the story of someone relatable, someone with an un-extraordinary background, but who always knew what he wanted to do, and through perseverance, challenged the status quo of gaming (macho guys killing each other), and created something playful and creative that he is proud of, and is beloved by gamers all over.
Yes. To catch things I might have missed the first time. And to listen to it with my Minecraft-addicted son to help explain some of the 'adult' perspectives of the book. Also - to help gloss over the few profanities used (two specifically I recall; one 'F' word in reference to a title; one 'S' word used as an idiom reference "S... meet fan"). Just nice to know since it may sneak up on listeners who think this might be aiming at the younger Minecraft audience.
The background story behind "Notch" (Markus) and how Minecraft (and Mojang, etc.) came to be.
This isn't really applicable with this more biographical account.
The end / wrap-up of what Markus did after his huge success with Minecraft (what he is doing now). I won't spoil it for those who haven't read it.
Readers need to understand that this is not some sort of Minecraft users guide, or anything to do about playing the game itself. It is a biographical account about Minecraft's creator. And, it is written more with a 13+ year-old audience in mind (just my opinion).
It really is! I know those terms are quite overused but they remain true nonetheless.
This book was an insightful and entertaining listen. Regardless of whether or not you are a gamer the story of this mans success and all around good qualities make him very likable.
I don't normally write reviews and in fact this is my first, I apologize if it isn't very well spoken or descriptive.
Absolutely worth the purchase!
I was hoping for more information about the process, marketing, and development of Minecraft. Plus more biographical information about Notch. Some of the information in the story seemed to be in there for nothing more than filler material.
The narrator did a good job though!
Although I'm not into the game always wanted to know the history behind the game and the person that started it. It's very well told, moves along quickly and it's very interesting.
I had to listen to this. I agree with Markus, it's important that we as human beings do something that matters with our lives. You helped my children find happiness in themselves. Through your creation they can see the creativity inside themselves. This matters sir! Thank you for Minecraft. Thank you very much.
I would definitely recommend this audiobook to a friend because it is inspiring and depicts that when you choose your goal, follow your heart, and persist at working toward your goal, you will ultimately get to where you want to be.
Markus was my favorite character in the book because I can relate to him. At least in my younger years, I was just like him.
I really enjoyed listening to the part in the book where Markus is watching the payments for Minecraft accumulate in his PayPal account.
Yes! I started listening to it at work and when it came time to do I didn't really want to leave my desk.
The book was so great to listen to. The narrator did an outstanding job at bringing Markus' story to life and easily held my attention throughout the story. Very inspiring listen and I highly recommend it to everyone!
Better enjoyed by a "gaming" enthusiast. Still, it opens up a whole new world to you if you didn't know of it's existence before.
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