I can’t help but feel that Steve Jobs would have seen this design and immediately said, “Yuck. This is shit. Get these bozos out of here.” Whether or not he believed it, he always pressed for something better.
Psychologists distinguish between remembering something—which is to recall a piece of information along with contextual details, such as where, when and how one learned it—and knowing something, which is feeling that something is true without remembering how one learned the information. Generally, remembering is a weaker form of memory that is likely to fade unless it is converted into more stable, long-term memory that is “known” from then on. When taking the quiz, volunteers who had read study material on a monitor relied much more on remembering than on knowing, whereas students who read on paper depended equally on remembering and knowing. Garland and her colleagues think that students who read on paper learned the study material more thoroughly more quickly; they did not have to spend a lot of time searching their minds for information from the text, trying to trigger the right memory—they often just knew the answers.
The sense of not belonging is, of course, the essence of teen-age existence, and perhaps it is this enduring quality that Persson’s youth following responds to, as well as the example he presents of the nerd made good, of success in the face of a certain emotional vagrancy. It’s this innocence that has informed his games. Minecraft is at its most beguiling when experienced with a child’s ambition: to explore, to create, and to share those experiences with others.