Calling it a "fantasy land in which safety is entirely personal", representatives of the Miner's Union of New England have criticized the rapidly growing indie game. While the reclusive developer known only as Notch has defended his game, saying that lava and monsters represent serious dangers, MUNE pointed out the ability of players to respawn, stating "when a creeper blasts you, you run back and pick up the pieces, but when a poorly ventilated mine blows, someone else picks up the pieces."
Debate has raged on the many aspects of safety in the two mining worlds. While supernatural forces are a danger, MUNE argues that in Minecraft most danger is entirely controllable by individuals. Armor and food are both cheap and easily available and provide significant protection and recovery from accidents. In contrast, safety equipment in mining can be too expensive for individual miners to afford on their own or require mine-wide mechanisms such as ventilation, requiring a "safety culture", beyond the ability of individual initiative.
Environmental groups have joined the side of MUNE, focusing on how mining waste is handled. People Who Like Rivers (RWLP) have compared toxic sludge dumped into rivers with the small floating blocks of cobblestone which are the primary source of Minecraft waste and which are easily stored in small chests or can even naturally despawn with no negative environmental effects.
A lawyer representing Notch has stated: "Wow, you're all fucking crazy."
I spoke with the head of the Australian Mining Oversight Panel, who as best as my interpreter could tell, claimed that "mining is [unintelligible]".
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