Lego Minecraft

Today, I finally received my very own set of Minecraft Legos, as well as a couple of stickers. I think this is the first Lego product I've bought (or received) in the last 20 years. Some might think the idea of Lego Minecraft is ironic. Others might say this serves absolutely no purpose. Some might say this was only a matter of time. And others might say it's art imitating art.

Minecraft is a computer game developed by swedish person Markus Persson, where you can destroy any piece of the environment, pick that piece up, and place it where ever you want. Many people describe this game as Legos in of itself, as you move around pieces, and build whatever you want. That's the mining part of Minecraft.

The other part of Minecraft is the crafting. You can take these pieces that you've mined and created new objects, and build more elaborate structures beyond what the environment has given you to begin with. And you can do whatever you want.

Many people describe Minecraft is "playing with Legos." In fact, you could argue that Minecraft is the truest most best Lego video game ever created. Lego has put its stamp on countless other games and all that them fail at the basic concept of what Lego is 'built' on...

So it IS deeply ironic that this concept has come full circle into the physical realm.

Development

This set of Legos has been in development since November last year. As you might have noticed above, the brand Lego Cuusoo is thrown around a little bit. Cuusoo is an online development program where Lego creators bring their ideas to a vote.

Here's the original Cuusoo entry for Minecraft : http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/4038

All Cuusoo ideas are submitted and put to a vote. If the idea gets 10,000 supporters, it goes into a development phase where the creators must prove their idea. Once they've come up with a physical build of the Lego product, it's put in front of a panel of judges, and they vote on whether or not the product actually comes to market.

Legos are WAAYYYY more serious these days then they were when I was a kid. I mean, at heart, they are still a kid's toy, and they plenty of sets for children. But they have advanced sets for the people who grew up with the toy, and enjoy the simple aesthetic. And even beyond that, this Cuusoo system is there for the people who enjoy building something out of nothing: The architect. These days the toy goes beyond an age range, and delves into the intellectual range.

It's awesome that there's this creative outlet for all Lego architects out there, but I've almost always been more interested in the building aspect of Legos. I liked deviating from the instructions when I was a kid, but I never had the resources to build something from nothing. These days you can visit any of the Legoland locations and buy any specific Lego piece you need.

Building

Building this thing was pretty fun. I followed the instructions, and built everything 'correctly'. Minecraft has always been about digging under the surface and finding all the hidden treasures. Through building a scene of your own, you are doing the exact opposite. You are placing all the hidden ore, and items in the environment and covering them up. It's almost like you're acting like the scenery generator in the game itself.

There are gold blocks and diamond blocks that are very obviously placed, but there are other elements placed within the scene that are completely obscured when viewing the finished product. In the end, the builder is the only one that knows they're there. It's a secret.

There's also a Lego Steve, and a Lego Creeper available in the set.

Overall, I guess it's kind of dumb. Despite Legos' timeless and ageless construction, I feel like I've grown out of them. I loved them as a kid, but the aesthetic just doesn't do anything for me anymore. I get that the limited construction of the tool has pushed the creativity of its users well beyond what it was originally intended for, and built its own community, Cuusoo, based on that, but... I just feel like I'm passed them. I don't enjoy the aesthetic anymore. It's too distinctive.

Once the Lego structure is built... then what? It just sits on display.

But... I do appreciate this Lego set. I find it as art imitating art. There are clear choices made in its construction that imitate the game exactly. A 1x1x2 block of Lego is equivalent to a block in Minecraft, and that is consistent throughout the entire model. You can't really mine any of the pieces, but its construction and existence mirrors the game.

It's very well done, and representative of the game. Much like the feeling of building a home, or any structure in Minecraft channels the fun you had with Legos as a kid.

Anyway... I like it. I feel like the abstract nature of Lego is a perfect physical representation of Minecraft.

Update : June 18th

As you may have noticed from one of the photos above, I had enough Legos to make an extra head for Steve. I did not have enough pieces left over to make a body, though, so I saw this as a sign to complete one of those quirky life goals on my bucket list: Go to Legoland to purchase a single Lego piece.

I was in Chicago this weekend, and the suburbs of Chicago have two Lego stores right next to each other. There's the Lego Store in Woodfield Mall, and the Lego Discovery Center just outside. Each store has a thing called 'Pick a Brick' where they have bins of multiple colors and sizes of Legos bricks, and you can fill up a bucket with all the pieces you want. It's generally $10 for 10lbs (if I recall), and the selection is limited for each store.

The Lego Discovery Center has the exact sized block I needed, but only in Bright Orange. I went inside the Woodfield Mall, and they didn't have any bricks of that size at all. BUT! The trip was still a success. I was able to purchase my 1x1 brick and create a friend for Steve to play with.




Recent Posts
Recent Featured Posts