That Minecraft is so much fun is a bit... inexplicable, or at least, it's not immediately obvious. Why, in an era of photorealistic action adventure games, does everyone love to play a game comprised of blocky models with low-res textures? How do Minecraft servers stay packed when crafting and building can be found in so many other games, games where it doesn't take hours to gather the materials, craft the parts, and build a simple one-room house? Why do people keep playing an adventure game where the combat basically consists of mashing the attack button? Minecraft is one of those games where you can go anywhere and do anything, but how can it compete with a game like Grand Theft Auto V, where you can go anywhere and do anything, but in a high-end sports car with a machine gun? It's an adventure game, but they didn't add a story mode until just recently, and the visuals can't even compete with The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time. The appeal of Minecraft is not obvious at a glance. If the game didn't already have millions of players, Microsoft would never have bought it on a pitch alone. It doesn't look good in screenshots, it's hard to describe it in an appealing way on the back of the box, but sit down and play it for an hour, and you're hooked for life. The game is much more than the sum of its parts. Here's the secret ingredient that makes Minecraft so addictive: It's the downtime. They say that attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, but at 23,187,915 players and counting, it would seem that more people than ever are eager to sit down, tune out the real-life distractions, and enjoy the relaxed pace, the gentle atmosphere, and the hard work and delayed satisfaction that makes Minecraft so much more rewarding than a standard action-adventure game. Log into a Call of Duty server and you're in the game immediately. People are shooting, things are blowing up, it's exciting, right off the bat. Log into a Minecraft survival server and you're more likely to be spending a half hour chopping trees down, building a base of operations, and digging for long, contemplative stretches of time before you discover a massive abandoned mine or battling a swarm of spiders and skeletons. Minecraft rewards creativity, but it also rewards patience and hard work. While so many game developers are trying to ensure that every single moment is packed with action, Minecraft survival servers give you a chance to relax your brain for a little while. There are exciting moments, but they're not packed end to end. On a Minecraft server, you have to put in a lot of work if you want to build something awesome, and once you build it, you can't help but climb to the top and watch the sunset through your amazing seaside view.