Or rather, his 10-year-old daughter Clara does. In commentary on his cover for this week’s New Yorker the Building Stories master—and the graphic novelist whose name is most often connected to the word “genius— discusses the game the way any parent over a child in the 4-14 range does.
Clara has spent hours, days, weeks of the past two years building and making navigable block worlds fuelled from the spun-off fizz of her accreting consciousness: giant ice-cream-layered auditoriums linked to narrow fifty-foot-high hallways over glass-covered lava streams, stairs that descend to underground classrooms, frozen floating wingless airplanes, and my favorite, the tasteful redwood-and-glass “writer’s retreat.” (It has a small pool.) She made a meadow of beds for my wife—a high-school teacher who craves unconsciousness—and a roller coaster to take her there. Though Clara mostly “plays” Minecraft by herself, the game allows her friends to drop into these worlds, too, and I’ve even spent some strange virtual afternoons as a floating block-self, guided by my angelic block-hammer-wielding block-daughter, zipping around a dreamscape that feels, really, less like life and maybe more like death, but in a sweet sort of way. If architecture somehow mirrors the spaces we carve in our memories and make in our minds, then something pretty interesting is going on here.
Given Ware’s affinity for architecture, invented worlds, and environment as psychology, I’d guess Minecraft is more in his wheelhouse than, say Resident Evil. Anyway if you read the whole piece you also get to see a lovely drawing of Clara playing Minecraft in a style much different than Ware’s usual one.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.