Maritime Minecraft: Gamers construct local landmarks in popular video game
HALIFAX -- A young Nova Scotian is venturing into a digital world by building his hometown block-by-block.
Liam MacDonald, 19, is one of several gamers creating Maritime cities and streetscapes in the popular video game Minecraft.
“We’ve built a decent portion of downtown Halifax and different places across Canada in Minecraft at a 1:1 scale, which means one block in Minecraft means one metre in real life,” explains MacDonald.
MacDonald says he’s one of several Maritime gamers who are active on the Canadian server as part of Minecraft’s ‘Build the Earth’ project, which is dedicated to recreating the Earth on a 1:1 scale.
“There are other people who are working on other places in Halifax, in Moncton, across Canada and even the world,” says MacDonald. “Someone else built Citadel Hill, the cathedral in Saint John, Moncton City Hall.”
MacDonald is currently working on building Halifax’s Nova Centre, but has already built several office buildings downtown, including the TD Bank office and Scotiabank office.
He says one of his biggest challenges was the Halifax Central Library, which took him about two days of work to build.
“The library was hard to build because of its weird angles, and I’m still working on the Macdonald bridge, which is hard to build, to find how to make the arch.”
He’s also expanded outside of his hometown, and helped build a part of Antigonish, N.S., and Saint John, N.B.
MacDonald says he has spent hours constructing a familiar virtual world, in what he calls a labour of love.
“I just usually do a few hours at a time, a few times a week. In total it’s been 15 days of work for me personally, but there’s also other people who are doing more work than me.”
Minecraft says the Build the Earth project has attracted hundreds of thousands of users to its Discord server, and has surpassed 6,000 officially registered builders.
“It’s surprising to hear some people who wouldn’t normally be interested in Minecraft to be so fascinated in what we’re building,” says MacDonald.
Anyone can participate by downloading the ‘Build the Earth’ mod pack from Minecraft.