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Minecraft-Based Digital Denmark Destroyed

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May 22, 2014
CTOvision
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By ShannonPerry

Controversy over data collecting and uproars over Net Neutrality, smart wearables and smarter marketing, angry letters and vulnerable software – technology news does not always put a smile on your face. So every now and then, it is nice to have tech news provide a good laugh.

Minecraft is a popular video game currently available for smartphones, gaming consoles, and computers. Within the game, players engage in a virtual world – mining for valuables, building homes and communities, and interacting with one another. Do not let Minecraft’s simplicity mislead you; at the Game Developers Conference in 2011, the game won five awards, including the Best Downloadable Game Award and the Best Debut Game Award.

At the end of April, the Danish government put a full-scale replica of Denmark online and invited Minecraft players to come and explore. The motivations behind the virtual country were constructive and educational – enabling new forms of teaching and encouraging creative minds to engage with new designs and ideas.

The Minecraft community had other plans.

Despite banning the use of dynamite within the virtual Denmark, hooligans found a way to make explosive changes to the peaceful European country. The Register reports that gamers found a way around the ban (it was still possible to use dynamite within mining carts). So mayhem ruled the day, with users summarily destroying portions of Denmark and promptly planting American flags.

The value to be derived from this crafty attack is mostly comedic – “this is why we can’t have nice things,” commented Gamespot.com. Who among us can keep a straight face confronted with naughty Minecraft nationalists? Nonetheless, this imaginative creation of the Danish government does suggest that virtual worlds can have practical applications. Virtual worlds are nothing new, but with over 200,000 downloads in less than a month, Denmark clearly has come up with something pretty neat.