From Voxel Vistas: Place-Making in Minecraft
The concept of place informs much of human meaning-making in both space and time. This paper seeks to bridge gaps between the literature on place and research on video games and virtual worlds by finding points of intersection between each field. I analyze the immensely successful independently-developed video game Minecraft through my own experience and an analysis of gameplay videos uploaded to YouTube. The game serves as an ideal framework within which to study place-making due to three core qualities that illuminate intersections in place and video game/virtual worlds literature: (a) alteration/change, (b) proximity, and (c) conflict/cooperation. I problematize dichotomies between “actual” and “virtual” versions of reality as well as “physical” and “social” constructions of place. Through this study, I use Minecraft as an example of the consistency of human place-making across environments, whether digital or physical.
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The full website for the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research can be found at: http://jvwresearch.org