Ludiphilia

Everyone plays. Kids and adults. Men and women. Uptight or relaxed. Tall or short, from any place on the Earth and with any skin colour. We play with our hair and our food. We play when we tease our friends and family about their weird habits. We play videogames and boardgames. We roleplay as practice for a big interview or new job, or just for fun. Play is a natural part of being human, and even if we don't realise it we all spend at least some of the time every day playing. Ludiphilia is a highly-polished, thoroughly-edited collection of stories about how and why we play.

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Bonus/micro ep: The play of professional Minecraft building


I'm back! Well, partly. New episodes are on the way, and in the meantime I thought you might enjoy this excerpt from an interview I conducted a couple of years ago about professional Minecraft building (i.e., people getting paid to build elaborate maps and buildings). Most of what I discuss here with BlockWorks boss James Delaney (who at the time was an architecture student) didn't make the article, so I'm pleased to finally bring it out to the world. You can learn more about BlockWorks and what they do at blockworks.uk, and read the old article that I conducted this interview for at Rolling Stone. I also have a great book James put together called Beautiful Minecraft [Amazon, Official], which I highly recommend — it has lots of incredible Minecraft-made art and virtual architecture, plus several interesting essays.Links:

  • Meet ‘Minecraft’ Builders Who Craft Impossibly Detailed Virtual Worlds — It’s enthralled an entire generation and sold more than 100 million copies, so perhaps it should come as no surprise that for some hyper-skilled players, the open-ended, Lego-like building game Minecraft has become an actual, money-earning occupation. Just as the most-talented Lego architects earn a living showing off their blocky creations, there’s good money to be made by anyone with the skills to craft Minecraft‘s cube-shaped digital blocks into beautiful sculptures and stunning worlds.
  • [Amazon] Beautiful Minecraft - Hardcover by James Delaney — With a bit of imagination and a heavy dose of artistic talent, Minecraft blocks can be used to build almost anything. But as you’ll see, some artists are taking Minecraft building to a whole new level. Beautiful Minecraft is a compendium of stunning artwork built in Minecraft. Using millions of blocks and spending hundreds of hours, these artists have created floating steampunk cities, alien worlds, detailed classical sculptures, fantastical landscapes, architectural marvels, and more.
  • [No Starch Press] Beautiful Minecraft by James Delaney — “A feast for the eyes, this book contains stunning images that will be an inspiration to players and admirers young and old.” —Forbes “Are video games art? Yes—this is proof.” —IGN's “Up at Noon”


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 02 February 2019  10m