The language you choose to program in doesn't really impact the kind of games you can make.
It's a bit like asking "should I write a book on paper or with a typewriter".
You might choose one or the other depending on your specific needs (if you have a co-author and your handwriting is terrible, for example) but in the end the choice doesn't really affect the book that you'll write.
(That being said: obviously an object-oriented approach will save you alot of headaches).
One of the reasons many game developers code their projects in C++ is because it give you a large amount of control over how memory is managed.
The programmer is responsible for releasing parts of the memory the program is no longer using.
For example: after a bullet hits the wall the c++ instance of the bullet object must be removed from memory. If the programmer forgets to do this the player will effectively cause a bullet object to occupy a piece of RAM memory every time he pulls the trigger. This is what's known as a memory leak.
Because c++ gives you a large amount of control you can optimize the time it takes to render a 3D scene to a large degree, If you know what you're doing.
If you don't know what you're doing it means your game can become an unreasonable "resource hog".
Java, on the other hand, does this sort of stuff through "garbage collection" - the virtual machine will take care of deleting objects for you.
You don't have to worry as much about memory leaks but larger games will be much more difficult to optimize.
Generally speaking Java programs take less time to develop, because more is "done for you" through the use of libraries, automation, etc.
The downside is that you have less control over what's going on under the hood.
I'm guessing you're new to programming so Java wouldn't be a bad place to start since it will be easier for the reasons mentioned above.
Once you learn to think like a programmer you'll be able to learn new languages pretty quickly.
I do have to say, however, that making a game on the scale of minecraft is far too ambitious.
Think of it like learning how to play a guitar: it takes time, effort and lots and lots of practice. There's a good reason most people's first game is text-based.
Edited by molehill mountaineer, 08 September 2013 - 07:46 AM.