, the indie exploration/building title that took the gaming world by storm this fall, has left its experimental phase and entered beta
. The price goes up to 15 Euros and the developers' focus moves to polish and content — and the development of a modding interface to let others add their own features to the game.
With its low-fi, ultra-hip 3D lego set look, Minecraft can seem a faddish thing. John Brownlee, referencing Shelley's Ozymandias
, explains the egomaniacal hook that lies beneath the surface, making people stick with it
It's a solipsist's god sim, with all of the loneliness and pathos that implies. ...There's more to Minecraft than just a 3D set of building blocks to play with. Minecraft's setting itself is haunting, in that it forces players into a situation where the entire game is to answer this question: ... Are the massive castles or statues I built in any of my inevitably discarded Minecraft worlds really much different? Colossal works of deific arrogance conducted for the benefit of the author's own ego, then swiftly forgotten.
It's true: I constantly think that I'm going to take the places I've built in Minecraft (like my awesome floating island town, above)
and share them with other players as a multiplayer instance. But really, who cares? Once you've seen one pixelated starship, European Cathedral or epic hollow tree, you've seen them all. Without the potential for storytelling, a Minecraft world is a poor man's Myst "book" with no puzzles.
And when played from the outset
with a group of friends, Minecraft is a very different experience.
I Have No Mouth and I Must Build
Commodore’s C64 had a famously decisive, if drab set of 16 colors to choose from, a note of artistic intent amid the unthinking mathematical extremities of other 8-bit color palettes. But did you know there were secret colors? Aaron Bell writes up a discovery that blew his mind many years ago and which, 26 years […]
In celebration of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Allen Pan built a wonderful home automation system where the interface is an ocarina as seen in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. (Thanks, Lux!)
The Offworld Collection, presenting the very best features and essays from Offworld, is finally available to buy directly from Campo Santo for $40. I had the pleasure of designing and illustrating this splendid 250-page hardcover volume, but it’s the excellent writing, edited by Leigh Alexander and Laura Hudson, that makes it an essential buy. You […]
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done outstanding work packing a fully capable desktop computer into a package the size of a deck cards—especially one that only costs $35. But if you already have a working laptop, why should you care? Oh, how much you have to learn. Besides operating well as a compact digital media hub, […]
Custom coffee vessels are the perfect piece of office flair, but it’s just a matter of time before your VOTE FOR PEDRO mug will start to lose its relevant wit. Why not have a new one every day, with whatever silly nonsense you want sticking off the sides? You can save big on your novelty […]