I’ve jokingly called Minecraft the brag game, based on the fact I feel so proud of my creations within this game world that I really want to show it off. Contrary to especially GTA III, where I preferred watching someone else play at a safe distance, the role of the spectator was less appealing in this game – here I wanted an audience.
Forums and video sharing sites, such as Youtube are both a Mecca for spreading the creativity and ingenious installations and constructions of the Minecraft players. They range from massive architectural buildings to sculptures and cunning engineering installments, for me, cementing the fact that art can thrive in virtual worlds, contrived by people who perhaps wouldn’t even identify themselves as artists.
The creations of the players are also tales of labour, planning and often longevity that people not playing Minecraft probably wouldn’t derive from the videos and screenshots. However, some people use an editor and bypass being an embodied constructor when building some of the conceptions below, so the stories of labour embedded in the creations, are not always of the same endeavour.
I would roughly put the creations into six categories:
- Pixel Art
- Transportation and Movement
- Events and Performance Acts
Often arcitectural buildings, but also sculptures.
The number 1 winner of the Minecraft fan art contest on Worth 1000 featuring the Hungarian Parliament. It’s so big you can’t even see the individual blocks when fitting the whole building into the frame.
Perspective really becomes tangible with this sculpture called “The Hopper”.
“The ancient Golem” – winner of Abstract Art on Worth 1000.
I think this Escher piece is also worthy of notice.
The blocks can be used to create flat images using the principle of pixelation.
If the piece is big enough, the pixelation effect is barely detectable, as is the case with the image underneath. This image shows the winner of Worth 1000’s Minecraft Pixel Art Characters contest (They included 3D, which I would categorize under constructions as sculptures though).
It’s made from a total of 218,505 blocks … remember what I said about planning, longevity and labour?
It’s a tricky one ’cause the game conjures beautiful landscapes on it’s own prior to the player even crafting a pick axe. However working with the landscape itself to mold it to ones wishes, is so integral to anything built in Minecraft, so I felt like it deserved its own category.
I found this picture after I had begun working on my own project “The Mother Tree”. Slightly disheartnening as my tree is much smaller, but this is nonetheless also a great example of landscaping.
Underground landscaping here done by using explosives.
Minecraft has an in-built electrical circuit system, which basically enables you to build a computer within the game out of a number of compounds.
For example you can build a music box, although you need to Dj it too.
Or hand out free cake of karma to random passerby’s.
Transportation and Movement
This includes waterslides, rollercoasters and intercontinental railways:
And the video underneath… a skydive, which I didn’t even knew existed until just now, is just crazy. I think you need a sort of map generator to do this, as the default map size is only 128 blocks in vertical height, which is not long enough to sustain a fall of this scale (approx. 512).
Events and Performance Acts
I’d put, for example, explosions in general under this category. Blowing up a creeper symbolically is probably something every Minecraft player can get a vindictive satisfaction from watching.
I joined the crowds when I recorded and uploaded my own tree house to Youtube. I did this with pride, even though my work is just an ant when posing next to the giants above. This game gave me a real sense of accomplishment and I needed to share this with the world. This was one of the reasons I toyed with the notion of wanting visitors in the single player mode, when in the multiplayer mode, my fellow crafters were audience enough.
Ps: If you’ve found something that completely falls outside of the six categories, I’d love to hear about it!