To Build A Tower

One of my life’s greatest ambitions is to one day live in a tower. Like a wizard. From high atop my perch I could cloister myself away from the world, or just as easily step out and gaze upon the whole thing. A tower is a fortress and a temple, and could very easily be home.


Just watch your step!

But towers don’t just come out of nowhere. They don’t drop out of the sky for would-be wizards to live in. Sure, you might discover one. An old abandoned spire or something. And when you clear out the cobwebs and goblins, modernize the plumbing, and set up the Wi-Fi if might be ok. But that is a lot of work for a refurbishment. Someone else lived there first. Discovered its secrets. Buried their treasures. If you want a tower that is yours and yours alone, you will have to build it yourself.

But where do towers come from?

I am no architect or engineer. I have, however, spent more time playing Minecraft than I care to admit. Minecraft is a video game. The game world is made entirely of cubes, which represent different materials. Stone, Iron, Dirt, etc. The player can destroy the cubes, collect them, and place them elsewhere to build structures. It is a simple game that is, at the same time, extraordinarily complex.

In Minecraft it is easy to build monumental constructions. Towers, cathedrals, and pyramids are all within the realm of possibility. Playing Minecraft, it is easy to develop extremely ambitious plans. All you need to carry them out are the necessary resources.

If you want to build a tower in Minecraft, and not a crappy one made out of dirt, than you are going to need a lot of stone. And if you want to quarry stone quickly, you’re going to need the best tools. In order to make the best tools, you need to find diamonds, which are located in the deepest part of the digital earth. More often than not, you will end up with a deep, ugly pit long before you build your majestic tower.

Strip Mine

But strip mines are pretty majestic, too.

If you want to build a tower that pierces the sky, you are going to have to dig long and deep. It is easy to get so consumed with the digging that you forget about building anything at all.


No, I meant to build that underground city.

Towers don’t always have to be made of wood or stone. They don’t have to be made of digital cubes of wood or stone either. Any dream or ambition is, in a way, a tower of its own. Some people want to understand the cosmos. Others want to rule over it. Either way, both ambitions require something to be built through time and effort. And like towers made of stone, coming across understanding or power is not quite as satisfying as building it on your own. When it comes to towers, questing is not nearly as much fun as construction.


Don’t tell Roland Deschain.

And in order to build anything cool, your will need resources. Towers don’t start with a foundation. They begin with a strip mine. If you want to build a great building, you will have to pull resources from the earth. If you want to be a great person, you will have to tear yourself apart.

Though cubes and obsession, Minecraft demonstrates a valuable truth. If you want to build high, you’re going to have to dig deep. That’s where all the diamonds are!


And don’t waste your gold on weapons.