Something is going to happen Tuesday, December 17, 2013. Do not be alarmed. Do not panic. About half of your gaming friends are going to disappear.
Just forget about them. They're gone. You won't see them in real life or online. If you send a text message or email, they won't respond. Phone calls will be ignored. Calling law enforcement to arrange a welfare check may be tempting, but is probably unnecessary. It's just a terrible side effect of both Minecraft and Terraria being released on the same day.
Yes, someone out there at Sony decided it would be "smart" to have Minecraft: PS3 Edition and the Vita version of Terraria both launch at once on December 17, 2013. It's a double pronged attack on the social lives of anyone with a penchant for Sony platforms, and the result will be catastrophic.
You're probably wondering what you, the ones who have been behind, can expect. I'm glad you asked.
First, it means you will have no one to play any online or local multiplayer games with, unless those games are Minecraft or Terraria. The world-building obsession is all consuming, and once the victims acquire the games, they'll be trapped in the virtual worlds until their masterpieces are complete. If you attempt to take them away from their new environments, you will get a scene like that from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Except instead of building mountains out of mashed potatos, they'll be building little forts and castles.
Second, you're going to get blown off. People aren't going to be showing up on Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, or whatever instant messaging program the cool kids are using these days. Text messages may get a response, but only hours after they were sent. The newly initiated Minecraft and Terraria fans don't have time for it. They're too busy punching or chopping down trees.
Third, it means a deluge of Minecraft and Terraria conversations are headed your way, after the new players have spent a few days getting settled. The only thing Minecraft and Terraria players love more than shaping their virtual worlds is talking about said masterpieces. You will learn more than you ever wanted to know about terrain types, enemy mobs, and crafting recipes. You will be tempted to ask questions, but it's best if you don't unless you are genuinely interested in either game. Otherwise, you're setting yourself up for at least a 15 minute dissertation on either animal taming or mining.
Of course, there is a silver lining to the simultaneous appearance of both Minecraft and Terraria on Sony platforms. Given the proximity to Christmas, it means there is the potential for less social interaction with select family members who are also gamers and you may consider undesirable. Both games have a tendency to slowly sap away a person's soul, which means they'll be a lot more tolerable at the most wonderful time of the year. If they're captivated by Minecraft: PS3 Edition, then they'll show up for dinner, drop off their gifts, and leave to finish working on their moat. Should the Vita version of Terraria be their game of choice, they'll peacefully sit in a corner all day, burrowing into the center of the (virtual) earth.
The important thing to remember is not to criticize or confront your newly obsessed friends and family members about their addiction. While both Minecraft and Terraria can inspire feverish levels of devotion, the initial obsession period only lasts one to two weeks. After that point, the players have crafted some exceptional items, explored most of the map, and only have to put the finishing touches on their complex compounds. Be patient, let them enjoy themselves, and once they've gotten their worlds just the way they like it, they'll happily emerge from their self-induced seclusion.