Minecraft in Virtual Reality Set to Change the Game
Since its release in 2011, Minecraft has continually captivated gamers, whilst pushing the boundaries of what computer gaming is capable of producing. Other than the ability to modify and adjust your virtual world in an open-ended system, Minecraft has also been revolutionary in teaching, with schools harnessing the game’s unique gameplay to get kids involved with history, mathematics, architecture, and more. And that’s not even the half of it. Ironically, via a computer game, the social aspect of Minecraft is undeniable. The ability to connect Minecraft to LAN servers, such as the powerful dedicated servers found here, for example, has opened up the possibility to play co-op with other gamers across the world.
Now it appears that Minecraft is set to revolutionize gaming yet again, by joining forces with virtual reality headsets. Polygon.com recently wrote an article about the experience of playing Minecraft with a VR headset, with John Carmack, chief technology officer at Oculus, stating that the game was “the best VR experience that we had available.” Moving around the blocky Minecraft world in full 360 degrees gave the game an added depth of immersiveness. “I think that the ability to be wireless, to spin around and have that freedom, really makes this a unique experience,” added Carmack. “It is the quintessential open-world game, and being able to explore that world in VR was what I always thought the core of this was all cracked up to be.”
However, it seems that combining virtual reality and Minecraft isn’t without its limitations. Polygon writer Charlie Hall was as impressed as Carmack was with the movability and sense of freedom that the VR headset provided, yet was somewhat underwhelmed with Minecraft’s graphic capabilities to see into the distance. “Once I broke free from the prepared environment and ran off into the world, I immediately noticed how details were only visible out to a stone’s throw away, a distance of perhaps 40 or 50 blocks. Past that, the edge of the rendered space manifested itself as an opaque white wall,” wrote Hall. Some minor speed bumps aside, Minecraft played with a virtual reality headset looks stunning and will no doubt be hugely popular. An official release date of a VR version of the game is tenuous at best, but spring this year has been heavily rumored for some time now.
And finally, for all those who say playing computer games is a waste of time and will get you nowhere… think again. Elysian Estates, a real estate company in the UK is prepared to give an avid Minecraft fan £10,000 pounds (roughly $14,000) to recreate 10 properties managed by the agency into the virtual world of Minecraft. An interesting promotional campaign if there ever was, Elysian Estates said that they “want to showcase our visually striking properties in the most unique ways in order to do them justice.” Any person over the age of 16 is applicable to enter, and the successful candidate also has the chance for further projects after the initial 10 homes are recreated. Find out how to enter here.