Minecraft, that strange 3D game in our browsers

I saw this fascinating video about Minecraft (via Kotaku). Wikipedia explains:

Minecraft is a sandbox game which allows players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D world. It is currently in development by Markus “Notch” Persson on the Java platform. The gameplay is inspired by Dwarf Fortress, RollerCoaster Tycoon, Dungeon Keeper, and especially Infiniminer. Minecraft was developed for about a week before its public release on May 16, 2009 on the TIGSource forums, where it gained a considerable level of popularity. It has been continually updated since then.

There is now a multiplayer version. I just ran the game in a browser on an office computer – no download was necessary. The game is pretty addictive, the fact that it’s clunky and in some early development phase seems to add to its charm.

It’s another example of how much more is possible in browsers, apart from the usual text/2D animations/video – and also how an individual can create something beautiful and inspiring, going viral.

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I'm a digital newsroom manager at Mediafin, the publisher of Belgium's leading business newspapers De Tijd and L'Echo. I have a special interest in the intersection of immersive media, business and philosophy.

5 thoughts on “Minecraft, that strange 3D game in our browsers”

  1. Blanket statements such “Second Life is not useful for Marketing” make no sense and reflect a lack of understanding of the virtual worlds environment and perhaps of marketing as well.

    Taran’s posts are excellent and reflect why more critical metrics help define success.

    But some of this is simpler and I think some lessons can be learned from (surprise) real life.

    For example, go to any minor beach volleyball competition and you will likely see that Red Bull is a sponsor. Like Second Life, you will only a see few hundred people at any one time. There are tens of thousands of real world situations just like that, where a brand decides that part of their strategy will involve brand reinforcement and communication across a large number of smaller venues, online spaces, and other vehicles which match their brand image. They do not expect an audience of 100 to bring the recognition of millions, but rather expect that of 10,000 audiences of 100 and they scale their expenditures and planning to make that possible.

    Why such evolved marketing thinking has gone braindead when you substitute Second Life for Manhattan Beach is a study in perversity.

    Chris Carella of Electric Sheep made this abundantly clear last year when he posted a gentle diatribe (at http://blogs.electricsheepcompany.com/chris/?p=235) about “Destination Strategies” where brands attempt to create “controlled destinations” in Second Life rather than have a more pervasive and cost-effective gridwide strategy.

    Imagine Coca-Cola decided to eliminate all advertising and sponsorship within New York State and instead decided to have all New Yorkers experience Coke at a large, costly “experience center” located at the Albany Airport.

    It’s just that stupid.

  2. i agree with wiz nordberg Taran’s posts reflect why more critical metrics help define success. many people are now trying online marketing because as we all know web 2.0 is used worldwide so many people from around the world can connect with each other in just a click

  3. Just for your info, Notch, minecraft’s programmer, is planning on instantiating portals between different multiplayer servers, so users can easily check out each other’s builds.

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