We’re having a little celebration on our Minecraft servers
this Sunday (May 17th
) to commemorate the 11th
birthday of the worldwide phenomenon video game. As part of that celebration, we’ve created a quick teaser
to give you an idea of the themed world we’ve built, put together a list of 11 facts
about the game you may not know, and now, on this very blog, spent some time with our friends at the Museum of Pop Culture.
As you may be aware, MoPOP
has a certain affinity for Minecraft also. The Seattle institution recently opened an entire exhibit
dedicated to the massively popular game that’s full of immersive activities, photo opportunities and arcade play.
We spoke with MoPOP’s Senior Curator Brooks Peck about the exhibit and his love for Minecraft in our latest Q&A.
Living Computers: Brooks, in your opinion, why is Minecraft so popular?
Brooks Peck: A big part of it is because there's no one way to play Minecraft, so many player types and personalities find take to the game. People who want to build quietly can build quietly, while people who want to armor up and fight dragons can do that.
Also, Minecraft's blocky nature is really the secret ingredient, I think. The low fidelity of the game makes it inviting and easy to get into. It's not intimidating, and when you build you have to accept that what you are building will be impressionistic, not pixel perfect. That's very freeing!
LC: What was the best part about creating the Minecraft exhibit at MoPOP?
BP: Playing a lot of Minecraft at work! Also, I really enjoyed all the challenges of translating the Minecraft look and feel to the real world. Some elements were easy: things like doors and fences and even a bed. But other parts, like trees and clouds—quite difficult. We found you can't simply put blocks into the museum space and call it good. Weirdly, it's doesn't always look right. So, for example, our clouds have forced perspective to make them look high up. Working out stuff like that was quite interesting.
LC: What is something you learned about Minecraft during the creation of the exhibit?
BP: That many, many features in the game were suggested to the developers by players. Torches, sponges, turtles, even pillagers all started as player suggestions. Mojang listens to Minecraft players and helps them form communities, which I appreciate.
LC: Is there anything about the game you’d like to see changed or updated?
BP: I wish you could see farther underwater in Bedrock. That drives me crazy. I know it's realistic, but it discourages me from playing in what is otherwise a very beautiful and challenging environment. Also I wish the sheep would stop staring at me.
LC: Any random Minecraft tidbit or fact that continues to surprise you?
BP: Did you know that tamed cats will sometimes bring you presents when you're sleeping? You might wake up with a feather or rabbit's foot.
LC: What’s the most impressive thing you’ve seen built in Minecraft?
BP: This (turn on your sound)
LC: And a Living Computers’ favorite: what was the first computer you remember using?
BP: A Radio Shack TRS-80. 4K RAM and a built-in BASIC interpreter. That was the first computer I ever owned and I loved that little monster. I spent hours typing in BASIC programs that I copied out of magazines, good grief.