I never ceases to amaze me how much loss I can feel and saddened I become after loosing everything after having acquired a fair bit.
The classic case for this to happen quickly is falling in lava or having it fall on you.
Is that emotionally easier to come to terms with? Just over very quickly. You know your stuff is melted and gone.
Today was a bad day. I had navigated to a place where an end portal fortress is located. This is a long way from the bed which is my respawn point in the village I have built up as home.
I had iron armour to get the iron man achievement. The ender fortress is under a desert village. I thought it would be good to use that village as my new base of operations as I excavate the fortress.
I have been doing so for some time. Enough to have done a lot of fighting and got quite high level. I had some Notch apples from a dungeon chest and lots of Iron Ore.
I told myself it was getting precarious and that I needed to create a bed in the village so I had a local spawn point just in case. I didn't have enough wool to make the bed so I set out to find some. Unfortunately the new village is in the desert so I have to wander away to the nearest grassland area to look for sheep. Eventually I found one an got enough wool but finding it lead me to another village. It was now dark and I was looking around this village for a crafting table to make the bed. I didn't currently have enough wood to build a crafting table and a bed. I wasn't too concerned or perhaps now complacent as my armour had been doing a good job of keeping me protected.
Then suddenly I am being set upon by a zombie villager child. It moves so fast and I am on my phone that it is difficult to fight and avoid it.
Before I know it.....I'm dead....Nooooo!
I respawn in the original village in the last bed I slept in probably over a thousand metres from where I died.
So begins the long drawn out panic run to get back to the village where I died. I remember the rough coordinates. I go around and around. I find a village but it doesn't look right for the village I died in and certainly there is no sign of my stuff. I keep looking. Panicking as I know that my stuff is going to deshawn but to no avail. I never find the village again and I am left with nothing, feeling profoundly sad as the game sets the scene as the sun rises on me in the pouring rain.
I know that the items don't exist. I know the are just data in a simulation. How does the game get to me to feel so much genuine loss when I loose everything? I wonder if the game is worse for some personalities. Creepers being especially infuriating as in the midst of trying to build something and make it perfect they always sooner or later manage to sneak up on me by surprise and blow it up. Then the the anger and resentment of having to fix the mess.
Is there a lesson here for life? Do we learn a coping strategy for facing life's creepers. Is there an analogy of us trying to carve away a bit of world for ourselves while out of the blue things come along to blow it apart?
Will I ever manage to stop letting the game upset me so much?..There is no spoon...er....ore.
Even though video games are just code and pixels and such, if the player finds the game immersive, then they can relate to the character/avatar as an extension of their own person and feel a sense of accomplishment both at what happens within the world of the game, and externally at being sucessul in playing that game.
The world is virtual, but the emotions a player feels are real to them.
So, yeah, it's normal to feel that accomplishment, and also that disappointment when items or 'lives' are lost.
But after that, acknowledging that disappointments can happen, it's probably healthy to take a breath and remember it is a game, and that as in life, one set-back isn't the end. I mean, in Minecraft, even "The End" isn't necessarily the end. Right?
And, yeah, we can learn from what happens. Learn for ourselves in the real world how to keep a healthy amount of objectivity about our games. And, within the game, learn how to do game tasks more effectively.
Next time, I imagine, you'll be likely to keep a crafting table in inventory and to carry a spare bed with you when leaving on a journey.
And if it's really overwhelming again, in the future, there's always the possibility to go take a break. Get coffee. Talk a walk outside. Whatever there is. There's also the posibility to have multiple game saves/worlds and have some of them set to creative or peaceful to have a break from the creepers of the world.
The despawn counter for an item does not count down unless a 5x5 chunk area around the chunk it is in is loaded (or ticked; the Bedrock edition uses a ticking range of only 4 chunks, equivalent to 6 chunk render distance in Java), so you can even take years of real-time to find them again and they will still be there:
Entities are only active if all chunks in an area of 5×5 chunks around them are loaded...
Items despawn after 6000 game ticks (5 minutes) of being in a loaded chunk, unless another item of the same kind was dropped next to them and added to its stack. If 2-64 items are dropped by a player in creative mode, they despawn only after 1 minute. Merging dropped item stacks will reset the despawn timer to 5 minutes. On the console edition the item entity limit is 200 in loaded chunks. If more items are dropped the game will begin despawning them starting with the item with the lowest countdown timer value even if the value has not yet reached zero.
Also, if this is not cheating to you you could use a mapping utility, such as Minutor, to find the village where you died; MCEdit could also be used and can show entities for easy confirmation (otherwise, you could use Minutor's night view mode and look for a village with additional lighting, assuming you placed more torches, and/or player-built structures if you built anything in it).
Ironically after this post I did eventually find the village again after having given up hope of getting my stuff before it de-spawned and the items were there. Unfortunately while I was trying to rearrange my inventory I was killed by a skeleton. I got back....again....and managed to get the most important stuff back.
This past weekend I was doing a lot of mining for gold to build powered rails and mining at low level lava infested areas I died a few times. Even using a water bucket to turn all the lava I can into obsidian isn't always perfect.