Part of the Street Program
A hacked version of the famous game Minecraft will encourage the audience to think about questions surrounding the creation and destruction of cities, civilizations, and societies.
In its original form, Minecraft is a digital game that allows players to freely create, destroy, and explore in an open virtual world. At first, players build modest structures to protect themselves against the monsters that roam the wilds at night, but as the player’s mastery over the game grows, so does her ability to create something grand and lasting. The infinitely large game world contains infinite resources, and as such, players are free to dream up and construct impossible structures, convoluted machinery, labyrinthine gardens, or grandiloquent metropolises; the only limits are those of the imagination.
In this unbounded world, visitors are free to ignore the problems they have created with impunity; if an area has become deforested, barren, or polluted, players may simply move on to a fresh new area, rendering invisible their missteps and excesses as they fade beyond the horizon. By encouraging players to recklessly develop and exploit the game’s “natural” world, Minecraft harnesses and perpetuates perspectives that view the real world as an inexhaustible source of materials at the disposal of our consumptive desires. But what if Minecraft, rather than portraying a world of vast possibility and scant consequence, could be altered to focus on the opposite? How would the game change if the infinite world was made pressingly and inescapably finite?
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