Minecraft was born in the mind of Notch, he was influenced by similar games (Infiniminer, to mention one) and had alot of spare time after quitting his job as a game developer. The game itself looks incredibly simple, the graphics are so, for lack of a better word, bad that even Hideo Kojima probably has nightmares about it.
|Picture grabbed from Google Images.|
This game isn't just about building, there's also the survival part. At day, the sun is shining (yellow giant mega pixel), but after the sun sets and it gets dark, the monsters come out. Yeah, these bad fellas are going to hunt you and your family until you die. To kill monsters, you need to make weapons. Weapons are made of wood, preferably combined with something stronger like rock, iron or diamond. Diamond is of course the strongest material you can use for your weapons, but it's also much harder to find.
Every world is different
When you first step into the world of minecraft, a huge world is auto-generated for you (unless you join a multiplayer server, then it is generated on the server duh!) and it wont look close to anyone else's. Another very awesome feature is that it is infinite horizontally, yes that means what you think it means, you can't run off the edge of the world, it is generated as you go. There are neat features such as water (that can flood places like caves, and you can carry it in home-made buckets if you want to make your own pool) and lava (which burns!) and much more. The game is still in heavy development, but alot of features work very well. A heads up though; as I write this damage isn't yet implemented in the multiplayer software, so I suggest testing singleplayer first.
But hey, don't take my word for it, try it yourself at www.minecraft.net or check out this youtube search.
Here's a personal favourite of mine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnjSWPxJxNs