Right now, there’s a lot of focus in the gaming world on some of the bigger and better games that are just around the corner. Specifically, with the next-gen Xbox and PlayStation consoles about to be released, there are brand new games to get excited about. These include the latest Assassin’s Creed installment, new racing adventures, various shooter and adventure games, and a few highly anticipated franchise continuations, such as Hitman 3 and Halo:
Infinite. We live in a big, bold world of gaming, and these titles are only going to expand and enrich it further.
Whenever this happens, though — whenever a new game or new console puts the focus on just how spectacular video games have become — I think about how incredible it is that something as simple as Minecraft has been (arguably) the defining video game of the past decade. The beloved, pixel-forward world-builder is the best-selling game of all time, and its popularity doesn’t seem to be ebbing at all. This is partly because there are always little
tweaks and improvements being made to the game. But it’s also largely thanks to the fact that Minecraft’s only limit is user creativity — which happens to be quite literally boundless.
One need only look at some of the amazing creations in this game to recognize the truth of that statement. From castles to ballparks, and from fantasy realms to city replicas, users come up with all sorts of sensational things in this extraordinary little game. And that brings me to something kind of incredible I recently discovered: People are building functioning electrical circuits within Minecraft.
These are projects that mimic real-world electronics surprisingly closely, and are in fact based on the ways in which real printed circuit boards operate. With the world of PCBs now essentially a digital one, people are actually able to study these matters more closely to begin with. A PCB viewer free download can provide access and insight into circuit designs, showing how different connections can be made to establish different functions. And once you gain an understanding of how all of this works (which isn’t too difficult when you’re browsing real PCBs), it turns out it’s pretty easy to build something similar within the world of Minecraft.
This is done via the application of redstone — a resource in Minecraft that is basically made to conduct power, and which makes many of the most exciting creations in the game possible. Basically, redstone acts like a circuit connection, conveying a sort of in-game electrical charge from one component to another. What this means is that creative players can set up “life-sized” (at least in the context of the game) circuit boards that actually operate to perform functions.
This makeshift, resource-driven circuitry has resulted in some of the most mind-blowing things we’ve ever seen out of Minecraft. People have built calculators, constructed automated engineering features (like elevators or drawbridges), and even built entire CPUs!
This concept changed how I look at Minecraft, and at this point, honestly, I should stop being surprised by the game. As understandable as it is that bigger and more modern games steal the show now and then, it’s pretty clear that in some ways, Minecraft is still just about the most impressive game available today.