• This Minecraft player is building all of Manhattan brick for brick
03.05.14

This Minecraft player is building all of Manhattan brick for brick

We kind of joke when we talk about Minecraft and say that one day the entire structure of the Earth with be plotted in coarse cubic pointillism; but maybe we’re not joking. At least Manhattan will be accounted for, as the ambition of Minecraft creator Christopher Mitchell is to model the 13-mile strip of concrete jungle with 1:1 precision. That means Yankee Stadium, the Chrysler Building, the New York Public Library, Times Square, et cetera; all rendered in the pallor of New York’s iconic grayscale.

How might one man with nothing better to do with his free time pull off such a feat? Well, according to Ars Technica, by using “orthoimagery, bathyspheric, and elevation data from the USGS EROS service, and 3D buildings from Google’s 3D Warehouse.” Let me translate: He’s relying on information readily available on the net, like Google Maps.

This raises numerous questions. One, is the most important PC game of our time ultimately just a real-world modeling kit, the digital equivalent to those craft store kits that are the domain of classic car enthusiasts and war vets? And the other, more pressing issue: is Kill Screen on the map? It doesn’t sound like it. The modeling stops just shy of crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, which means we just miss it. Drat.