Minecraft has become a gaming phenomenon. Not only do fans love to play it incessantly but they download and upload videos, attempt to replicate some of their favourite places, and even buy books and action figures from the blocky game. For those that prefer incredible levels of realism there is help at hand to achieve the desired results as the Ordnance Survey has created a full and realistic looking map of mainland UK.
Intern Joseph Braybrook worked with the OS Innovation Lab team for two weeks to create what is described as being the biggest world ever built on Minecraft that is based on accurate and real time data.
The Minecraft game has been praised not only for its gaming capabilities, where players can create new worlds and even battle a selection of monsters, but also for its geography and other educational purposes. The use of raw materials and how they fit into the real world is viewed as offering genuine benefits in teaching children about the world around them.
Minecraft players can build their own structures on top of real life geographical terrain created by and uploaded by the Ordnance Survey team. Want a giant skyrise atop Snowdon, or a zombine infested dungeon beneath Birmingham? All of these are genuine possibilities.
Such is the popularity of the game that a number of Minecraft for Beginners type books are being released along with a series of action figures. As well as a beginner’s guide book there is also a Minecraft Annual which details how to build some of the more complex stuff while a third book shows how to build and work with redstone. More books are expected if these prove to be a success.
Rumours have already begun to surface of new books, as there are two other titles on Amazon with a release date of February next year. One is a guide to Minecraft combat while the other is geared towards construction. There’s already a Minecraft for Dummies book that is available on Amazon and other websites too.
There are questions being raised over the addictiveness of the game, however, especially as a number of parents have found their children have been using up their limited bandwidth plans watching the extensive collection of Minecraft videos that exist on sites like YouTube.