Meatcraft: Minecraft In The Real World

By John Walker on April 21st, 2011 at 10:03 am.

Now life size, please.

How can I resist posting about this? An art project by Jeffrey Kam and Cody McCabe, Meatcraft, saw a real world version of Minecraft on display at San Jose State University in March, in which visitors were encouraged to build from the little cardboard Minecraft blocks. And rather brilliantly, this was all within a large Minecraft-themed set, guarded by a life-size Creeper. There’s pics below.

There were two crafting tables, along with all the necessary pixelated tools, and even working torches. However, due to time and budget they weren’t quite able to realise the cows, pigs, sheep and minecarts they’d hoped for. However, the juxtaposition of gaming content in the real world surprised many.

“The true scale of the blocks is meant to put players in the game. It highlights the awkwardness if objects from video games in our world. As you walk in the gallery, the first thing you notice is how huge the blocks are. Even those who were extremely familiar with Minecraft were surprised at how large the room felt in person compared to their computer screen. It was a strange transition.”

The grass block building area may look quite small in the pics, but it contained a remarkable 1500 blocks, which must have taken some folding and gluing. And perhaps puts my desire to see something like this in full scale, perhaps in a warehouse, in perspective. I also absolutely love that the exhibit was designed to encourage visitors to interact with the display. Art you’re allowed to touch – something the world is desperately short of. And those who knew what they were doing knew it was all about finding the diamond block. The artists observed that their project oddly reflected real Minecraft players, despite most of the visitors not being familiar with the game.

“We noticed several types of visitors in the gallery that very closely mirrored the different types of Minecraft players. There are players who like to mine, some who like to build structures, and even some who simply stand around and watch the awesome things people do in game. In the gallery, those who were familiar with Minecraft began digging for ore, specifically the very rare diamond (we only had 4). They exchanged them for the mini tools we had at the crafting which they were able to walk away with. Some visitors simply gathered blocks and built structures to the side (inevitably there were annoying 1-block wide skycrappers), while others simply watched the mayhem and awesomeness happen. It was interesting to see the relation between Minecraft players and our gallery visitors. All the visitors, both those whom had played Minecraft and those whom hadn’t, seemed to reflect a type of Minecraft player.”

Imagine if it started wobbling.

The piece is available to be displayed if galleries are interested, with details on the project’s site.

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31 Comments »

  1. Yosharian says:

    What.

  2. Koojav says:

    I don’t like their texture pack.

  3. Stuart Walton says:

    How long before a griefer comes along and sets fire to it all. Be wary of dwarves bearing flint and tinder.

    • Spliter says:

      I see what you did there.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      How long before someone comes asking for a griefer? Not long apparently. 3 posts. Before any griefer comes along let me make this derisory post in which I’ll make it clear to them they will not be welcomed. Hopefully this will protect my precious game from anyone so damn stupid to joke about it.

      It’s like wearing a condom in your finger even after having realized time after time it doesn’t work.

    • Rhin says:

      Why not? I can’t imagine someone getting pregnant from a finger encased in a condom.

  4. JackShandy says:

    I would be unable to enter that room without grabbing the nearest sharp object and tearing down that diamond-coloured bit of wall.

    Then again, I don’t think I could even bring myself to enter a room guarded by creepers.

  5. DJ Phantoon says:

    Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh.

  6. poop says:

    nerds do nerd thing, are nerds.

  7. mod the world says:

    Art can not be computer games!

  8. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Say what you want about Minecraft (and I’m not one pleased with this game), but this game is any indie wet dream. The obvious level of dedication of its fan base along with the opportunities it opens in other areas like education, turn this game into pure marketing catnip.

    I’m very critical of the game development plan (at this point I even doubt there is one) and of the direction it seems to have took. To the point I actually lost interest in it. But I cannot ever deny Notch the fact he produced something that can only be expressed in one word, even by those who may not like it: Brilliant!

    • phosgene says:

      So profound.

    • Bodminzer says:

      I don’t usually call things I don’t like “brilliant”.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      I do. Not liking something doesn’t invalidate my ability to appreciate its success, the fact the game hits the nail for many gamers aspirations, and its potential. It’s a matter of not allowing my preferences to cloud the obvious.

    • Cvnk says:

      Why do they need a development plan? Do you ever wonder what Lego’s development plan is?

      Just accept the game for what it is: a toy. It doesn’t need to be contorted into the shape of a traditional video game and doing so will only ruin it. Frankly I like that they’re just adding ideas as they come to them.

  9. One Million Monkeys says:

    Meatcraft? More like Metacraft.

  10. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    That actually sounds rather boring..

  11. Andy`` says:

    “And perhaps puts my desire to see something like this in full scale, perhaps in a warehouse, in perspective.”

    Like Legoland?

    Although Legoland obviously doesn’t have the same kind of focus at all.

  12. Premium User Badge

    Martel says:

    With that name I’m a little disappointed that you can’t use the mini tools to mine up some lunch.

  13. Hoaxfish says:

    Meatcraft

    But it’s not about assembling cubes of ham into a tasty meal… Cardcraft obviously

  14. DrGonzo says:

    I… Don’t get it..

  15. Koozer says:

    I am uninspired. Also, I was expecting some kind of beef-based construction.

  16. Urthman says:

    Even those who were extremely familiar with Minecraft were surprised at how large the room felt in person compared to their computer screen.

    Well, duh. If you’re going to let people in who are less or more than 2 meters tall, of course the scale is going to feel wrong. Because it is.

    • jonfitt says:

      If you take any fps construction set and build a to-scale version of a real location you’ll immediately feel cramped in the game.
      Something about the view angle or lack of peripheral senses makes things feel small.

      So vice versa if you look at the size of rooms or office cubes in an fps and work out how big it would be in real life they come out huge!

  17. alexdulcianu says:

    Meatcraft? What’s wrong with Minelegorealcraft?

  18. Sunjammer says:

    OOof :-( So ill conceived.

  19. Fumarole says:

    I fear skycrappers.

  20. amandachen says:

    What the crust is this? Five-year-olds playing with blocks is fine. Grown adults?