Boing Boing 

Father builds glowing life-sized Minecraft block for son's birthday

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Nathan Pryor (HaHaBird) made this fantastic life-sized illuminated Minecraft block for his son's birthday. It's lit with RGB LEDs so the color can be changed via remote control.

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Kids in the Hall Minecraft tees


Tavie sez, "There's a tee shirt from the Kids in the Hall's recent tour that shows 5 KITH characters as Minecraft avatars. The Chicken Lady one kills me."

Read Chris Ware's perfect description of Minecraft's appeal

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At the New Yorker, the artist Chris Ware has a graceful reflection on his daughter's relationship with Minecraft, and how he has occasionally been enjoined to visit her world inside:

Clara has spent hours, days, weeks of the past two years building and making navigable block worlds fuelled from the spun-off fizz of her accreting consciousness: giant ice-cream-layered auditoriums linked to narrow fifty-foot-high hallways over glass-covered lava streams, stairs that descend to underground classrooms, frozen floating wingless airplanes, and my favorite, the tasteful redwood-and-glass “writer’s retreat.” (It has a small pool.) She made a meadow of beds for my wife—a high-school teacher who craves unconsciousness—and a roller coaster to take her there. Though Clara mostly “plays” Minecraft by herself, the game allows her friends to drop into these worlds, too, and I’ve even spent some strange virtual afternoons as a floating block-self, guided by my angelic block-hammer-wielding block-daughter, zipping around a dreamscape that feels, really, less like life and maybe more like death, but in a sweet sort of way. If architecture somehow mirrors the spaces we carve in our memories and make in our minds, then something pretty interesting is going on here.

Ware's daughter Clara also mods the game, and her thoughts on what is possible (and not) in Minecraft create a touching lens on life for an athletic girl who, at ten, is starting to think about how to make her characters hold hands (when asked about how she "knows" she has a crush on a fellow "hand hockey" player, she replies "Because sometimes I imagine him getting shot and me jumping in front of the bullets to save him").

It's a lovely piece and you should read it, and of course his illustration is also excellent: The bright geometric portals to the Minecraft world on children's screens, vivid and inviting among the natural order of childhood, home and nature.

The only things you really need to know about Microsoft's E3 press event

Annual video game press conferences are often an assault on the senses, and on taste. We found the cool stuff for you. Read the rest

Chris Ware's "Minecraft Playdate" cover on New Yorker

minecraftDid Chris Ware sneak into our house to draw this? That's my daughter on the beanbag.

Why Minecraft Rewrites the Playbook for Learning

One of the world's leading experts in online education sings the praises of Minecraft as a tool for helping kids find and realize a passion for learningRead the rest

Just released: Lego's own version of Minecraft

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If the endless galaxy of Minecraft just isn't big enough, we've now got another virtual world to make our own (with bricks, of course): Lego Worlds.  Today Lego announced its "early access" release of its video game on Steam, currently available as a beta program for $14.99.

Just like Minecraft, the game features procedurally generated worlds where players can modify their surroundings to create whatever they like. Only this time, those worlds are made of Lego bricks. "Lego Worlds enables you to populate your worlds with many weird and wonderful characters, creatures, models, and driveable vehicles, and then play out your own unique adventures," the game's Steam page explains.

 Unfortunately for Mac users, the game is only available on Windows... for now.

How big is the Minecraft universe?

Very big. Huge. MASSIVE.

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Minecraft: The Complete Handbook Collection just $14

I reviewed this beautifully designed Minecraft boxed set of four hardcover handbooks in December. The price has since dropped to $14, which is a great deal.

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Burning Man temple to heal Ireland's Troubles, IRL and in Minecraft


David Best, who builds the enormous, gorgeous temples at Burning Man each year, created "Temple" in London/derry, where survivors of the Troubles have left memorials to their dead in advance of the temple being burned on Mar 21.

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Minecraft creator buys $70 million house in Beverly Hills

In September Markus "Notch" Persson, the 35-year-old creator of Minecraft, sold his game company to Microsoft for $2.5 billion. This month, he spent 3% of it on a $70 million house in Beverly Hills.

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Minecraft: The Complete Handbook Collection

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The beautiful packaging for Minecraft: The Complete Handbook Collection isn't the only wonderful thing about this box set.

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Plush Minecraft blocks


The 20cm^3 plush Minecraft TNT block is covered in suede-effect polyester and stuffed with soft foam; for something less explosive, try the Chest or the Log (or get the 10cm set with Grass, TNT, Diamond and Creeper blocks).

(via Geeky Merch)

Interview with Minecraft composer C418


Ziad sez, "I interviewed C418; we talk about Minecraft's early days, the purchase by Microsoft, how the gaming community has helped him become a self-sustaining, independent musician, and creativity in the gaming industry."

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Microsoft to acquire Minecraft for $2.5bn

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Tech giant Microsoft is to buy Mojang, creators of Minecraft, for $2.5bn, reports the Associated Press.

Launched in 2009, Minecraft is a sprawling, endlessly-replayable "sandbox" game that dumps the player in a randomly-generated abstract world. By exploring, gathering materials, crafting items and equipping their avatars, players can set about surviving hostile fauna, launching expeditions deep into ore-filled caverns, and constructing anything from huts to palaces, and even vast machines.

The phenomenal appeal and success of Minecraft -- just check our archives over the last few years! -- is hard to define, but it's been downloaded more than 100 million times since its inception. Created by Markus "Notch" Persson, Minecraft remains the most popular game on Xbox, and the most popular paid game on iOS and Android, according to the AP.

Yet that word hardly scratches the surface of the blocky world-simulator's Lego-like possibilities, though: a fact hit on by Satya Nadella, Microsoft's new CEO, who said that it was "more than a game."

"It is an open world platform, driven by a vibrant community we care deeply about, and rich with new opportunities for that community and for Microsoft," Nadella was quoted as saying in the press release. Microsoft expects to close the sale by the end of 2014, and break even by the end of 2015.

Microsoft also committed to keeping Minecraft available on all the platforms on which it is available today, including Sony Playstation and cellphones running Apple and Google-based operating systems

"Yes, the deal is real," wrote Mojang's Owen Hill at the company's official blog. " ... Please remember that the future of Minecraft and you – the community – are extremely important to everyone involved. If you take one thing away from this post, let it be that."

Notch, he wrote, didn't want the responsibility of owning a company that had become globally successul, and had found that the pressure of owning Minecraft made it impossible to work on other projects.

Here's Microsoft's press release, in full:

Microsoft Corp. today announced it has reached an agreement to acquire Mojang, the celebrated Stockholm-based game developer, and the company’s iconic “Minecraft” franchise.

The Mojang team will join Microsoft Studios, which includes the studios behind global blockbuster franchises “Halo,” “Forza,” “Fable” and more. Microsoft’s investments in cloud and mobile technologies will enable “Minecraft” players to benefit from richer and faster worlds, more powerful development tools, and more opportunities to connect across the “Minecraft” community.

Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will acquire Mojang for $2.5 billion. Microsoft expects the acquisition to be break-even in FY15 on a GAAP basis. Subject to customary closing conditions and any regulatory review, the acquisition is expected to close in late 2014.

Available across multiple platforms, “Minecraft” is one of the most popular video games in history, with more than 100 million downloads, on PC alone, by players since its launch in 2009. “Minecraft” is one of the top PC games of all time, the most popular online game on Xbox, and the top paid app for iOS and Android in the US. The “Minecraft” community is among the most active and passionate in the industry, with more than 2 billion hours played on Xbox 360 alone in the past two years. Minecraft fans are loyal, with nearly 90 percent of paid customers on the PC having signed in within the past 12 months.

“Gaming is a top activity spanning devices, from PCs and consoles to tablets and mobile, with billions of hours spent each year,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “Minecraft is more than a great game franchise – it is an open world platform, driven by a vibrant community we care deeply about, and rich with new opportunities for that community and for Microsoft.”

“The ‘Minecraft’ players have taken the game and turned it into something that surpassed all of our expectations. The acquisition by Microsoft brings a new chapter to the incredible story of ‘Minecraft,’” said Carl Manneh, CEO, Mojang. “As the founders move on to start new projects, we believe the high level of creativity from the community will continue the game’s success far into the future.”

Microsoft plans to continue to make “Minecraft” available across all the platforms on which it is available today: PC, iOS, Android, Xbox and PlayStation.

“‘Minecraft’ is one of the most popular franchises of all time,” said Phil Spencer, head of Xbox. “We are going to maintain ‘Minecraft’ and its community in all the ways people love today, with a commitment to nurture and grow it long into the future.”

More details will be available upon the acquisition closing.

Lego wishes it invented Minecraft

"Minecraft is digital Lego," says Lego marketing director David Gram. "We only wish we had invented it." This is mentioned in about the same breath as the phrase "core brand beliefs," a concise reminder why they didn't.

Danish Geodata Agency commissions 1:1 Minecraft replica of Denmark

For the kids! (Thanks, Shi-n0-bi)