lol I didn’t make the connection until you said it – that’s perfect
Conceptually, I still am excited about Minecraft. It levels the field of creativity by standardizing the parts. I ran a server for 2 years and have 96 gigs of creations from thousands of people (that I *really* have to start extracting and sending to the people who made them… that’s going to be a huge project).
Anyway: I had a few players that were younger than 6 years old. They couldn’t type. But they could operate a mouse. They had ideas in their head. They could navigate the virtual environment. And using these standardized building blocks, created structures and art that would rival anything anybody has created in the “real world”, of any age.
No theories required. No fancy science. No words. Just tools, raw materials, trial and error and.. most importantly… using these things to take something that’s in the minds’ eye and being able to say, “Look, here, come inside of my mind for a little while”… and, you really can.
The older players could, of course, recreate their whole houses, with working plumbing… or take a scene from a movie or TV show and make it a livable reality without having to pick up a saw or power tool, or deal with splinters and blood.
Or take ideas from the mind and make them real. All with building blocks. Working redstone computers, musical instruments built from scratch, impossible roller-coaster rides that would take millions to create in reality and yet, there they are, completely usable.
Same could be said for any sandbox game I suppose. But I think it’s the building blocks; the raw ‘stuff’ that allows the creation of ‘things’ from the mind that sets Minecraft apart.
Replace a contraption of pistons and blocks with Nanotech that can act as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaperone_%28protein%29 Chaperone Proteins that can assist in correcting Protein Folding errors….
Conceptually, the pathways of “this is possible” are, I think, formed very young. And I think, being able to see the world, not as a static “this thing” and “that thing” but rather as “things made up of stuff”; and being able to manipulate that stuff to create new things… is part of the great power in things like Legos but especially now with Minecraft, due to the machinery that can easily be built within.
It fits with an Atomic view of reality and incorporates aspects of Engineering into it.
Reading too much into it? Perhaps. But there’s power in play; building, roleplaying, etc that shapes how and who people become through their personal development.
Ok… I think that’s all I had to say about that for now – talk about verbal vomit I’m like a tube of toothpaste hit with a sledgehammer when I get inspired… I make a huge mess all over the place with words.