Sunday, October 19, 2014

Minecraft vs Brutalism

"Titan City", a Minecraft map that took someone 2 years to build on an XBox (direct link to video) (Via BBC):



vs Brutalist Architecture, eg:



Block-buildings are block-buildings. Or are they? I'm fascinated by the seemingly-overlapping world of Minecraft and Brutalism, but which seem never to meet over society's agreement on how "awesome" they are. I think the split comes down to a couple of things:

1. Computer interfaces are inherently brutalist, whereas analogue is not. Pixels make sense when you're seeing things through a screen. There is a continuity here which our brains can cope with, less so in real life.

2. Individualism is beauty - in general, the "impressive" Minecraft "art" is more about appealing to our sense of scale. In Minecraft we think "one person (or a few people) built this by themselves." In the real life, everything is automated and easy to a Nth degree. In an online space where scripts rule, effort is rewarded. In real life, the equivalent would maybe be the Minack Theatre.

3. Titan City is empty, devoid of purpose other than to exist purely as "something that somebody has built". It is not infrastructure, it is not dynamic, it is not inhabited. It is a thing in and of itself, nothing but form. Real world buildings rarely have the same luxury.

Pixels. Funny things, really.

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