Minecraft has one really big advantage over any other game for explorers: no one can spoil it for you. No one can pressure you to spoil it for yourself either. Everything is yours to find.
But what is there to find?
Obviously there are minerals and a few neat places. And the edge of the world where everything goes crazy.
Beside that, what is there to find?
I think the fun of exploration comes from three areas. First is uniqueness: what we find is different from what we have seen, and as an added bonus we may feel that we are one of only a few to have seen it. Second is beauty: the place we find, perhaps a view, is beautiful. Third is humanity: A pile of rocks and ancient ruins are different because of the human element, even if both are essentially just piles of rocks.
Minecraft locations lack a significant sense of uniqueness. While they are all different, most places of the same biosphere look essentially the same. Only rarely will anything really strange appear. Maybe that's actually a strength. Beyond this, the "no one else has seen this" element is missing, because while no one else has seen it, much of it isn't worth seeing, and that condition applies equally to everything from the first tree you see to the very furthest edge of the world.
Minecraft doesn't do beauty. This isn't a knock on the graphics; it just isn't a game that generates beautiful places.
There are no people in Minecraft. There are none before you and none after you. What you find is the result of chaos and is meaningless.
P.S. You might have noticed that this is the second post today and the first one has mysteriously vanished along with Kring's comment. The first post had some excessively large inaccuracies, so it may come back later after I fix it.
The Humanity Hypothesis, my new game project
6 hours ago