Minecraft is a meditation on creativity and allows for the ability to turn your vision into a reality. As simple as the Mojang developed phenomenon is, the profound effect it has on the user makes it a very special part of gaming.
While I would normally be tentative to add new features and complex mods to a title that is best experienced as a blank canvas, there are times when providing a metagame can help bring a new type of engagement to your playthrough.
One of the best examples of adding a general narrative to the sandbox game is certainly the CivCraft server. The best way to describe this mod is that you are on the ground floor of your own game of Civilization, attempting world domination through a first person view.
You mine for resources, trade them for currency, and use these funds to invest in town centers and other cultural and defensive structures. Although one of the fun aspects of Minecraft is the building, CivCraft does the bulk of the work for you, so you can focus on leading your nation-state to glory.
Some of the notable features include an ability to upgrade your structures to provide bonuses to the land, along with the Machiavellian option to make use of spies to sneak through enemy towns and destroy their Wonders.
Here is a video on the basics of starting a Civilization:
Next up we have a tutorial on Trade within the game:
And lastly, to show a little bit of the action aspect, you can see how to take down those pesky cannon towers:
What are your thoughts on adding metagames to Minecraft? Let us know!