Thursday, April 21, 2011

Minecraft is Changing Our World

Mark my geeky words! Notch's invention is going to change our world dynamically. Many will look at this and either..

  • Not know what Minecraft is so not really understand what I'm saying or...
  • Think I'm a nut job (which may or may not be true) which is irrelevant to my point.
Basically this guy is building a computer inside a virtual space which has big implications if you sit down and think about it for a little bit. I'm no genius, okay, but I can do some competent home computer repair and have been known to swap out hardware. I'm not so skilled that I can build one from scratch and I can't program (well I did some in BASIC woo hoo!) but I understand what programming is and can recognize html even if I don't know what it is saying. There are two impacts Minecraft is going to have I believe, Penny Arcade sums up one nicely...
Pardon the French, all credits to those guys.
If you need more evidence of the impact this potential has reference Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw on the The Escapist. He tears everything a new butthole and even in tearing Minecraft a new butthole he saw the implications I'm... implying?

Anyway....

Beyond the fact that creativity is on like Donkey Kong if you allow yourself the time to explore what can be done in a virtual 3D environment that only partially takes physics into account you have to understand that the ability for more people to expand their creative nature in something that has been mostly limited to those with either money or ability can result in some very exciting results. What I'm saying is; if my 12 year old sons can RIGHT NOW spend hours working with a 3D environment, then the 6 year olds that are doing it right now will find it second nature as they move forward. My parents have trouble using their cell phone's many features and it is not a smart phone. My sons are actively working to build insanely impossible structures which, with sufficient time, will seem possible to them. If the architects of the future are playing Minecraft right now, then you can expect some really amazing structures in thirty years... maybe even skulls with lava flowing from their eyes. 

THE SECOND MORE IMPORTANT IMPACT IS THE ABILITY TO CREATE WORKING TECHNOLOGY WITHIN A VIRTUAL SPACE. We are fundamentally limited in our own world due to resources, physics, and basic ole' reality. Should we be able to create a greater space within a limited space to expand our abilities to accomplish things this can lead to some really wild possibilities. I understand that sentence was wildly vague but that is because we are looking at the beginning of a new stage in civilizational development and you can't tie that s*$t up in a nice tidy bow!

Right now they're building fairly simple machines but with time and others taking control it is only a matter of time before you see a combination of some equipment that exists today. Add a Kinect, some open source software, mix in something like Minecraft if not Minecraft itself, a little holographic technology and you've got a team of people manipulating virtual materials to produce virtual results with real world applications.

I'm not saying we are gonna build a machine to make food come out of nothing...
Like this...
...but really there is some technological wizardry being developed and it is only a matter of time before it really  changes things. 

I could go on and on but I'm going to show some self control and stop there. But, if you haven't played Minecraft yet for the love of mercy do so as soon as you can... and make a huge statue of a warrior holding up the head of medusa with water falling form her eyes over and over.

2 comments:

  1. 'We are fundamentally limited in our own world due to resources, physics, and basic ole' reality. '..
    so are the machines we build and the virtual space inside them. we can not create limited virtual space. and a working machine inside a machine is nothing new and minecraft is simply a graphical interface for that. a virtually created machine can only be as powerful/efficient as the machine its running on. a virtual pc cant push more bits and bytes around as the pc it exists on. think about it.

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    1. I'm not sure why you feel a need to be aggressive Anon, but we can do that. I'm not sure how you cannot see the potential that comes with the expansion of users utilizing such an interface. The inherent limitation of any technology is the user's ability to utilize that technology and the number of users that can effectively utilize that technology. I'm well aware that "a working machine inside a machine" is nothing new. But this particular user interface is enabling more individuals to make use of this tool. I'm also well aware that even virtual space is limited but it isn't so much the limited amount of something (which in regards to virtual space is far less limited than physical limits) but instead (if you go back and read) the ability to manipulate it in a manner that facilitates creativity and scientific exploration AND combining those two towards greater progress. Seriously you're not familiar with the Technological Singularity?

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