Some people build houses in Minecraft. Others, on the other hand, like to build insane contraptions that leave us all staring in wonder. For instance, one guy recently built an Atari 2600 emulator because, heck, why not?
When I play Minecraft, I'm happy if I can put together a spiffy castle full of big rooms and hidden passages. When YouTuber SethBling plays Minecraft, he likes to build working video game consoles. I'm pretty proud of my castles, so there's no telling what this guy must be feeling now that his Atari 2600 is up and running.
The above video is SethBling's "Technical Version," which means he goes into the specifics of his creation in a way that other programers will likely appreciate. As a result, much of the comments section is similar banter, with folks asking questions and giving answers that frequently left me scratching my head. That's a good thing, as it shows there are a lot of smart people playing Minecraft out there who may one day push that game, or their own creations, into some interesting new territory.
As SethBling states, this is the vanilla version of Minecraft he's running in order to get his Atari 2600 running, meaning there's no mods or resource packs bolted on.
SethBling goes on to explain that the "screen" that's outputting his game is running on "about 2,000" command blocks. The Atari 2600 was a pretty simple machine and, as we've seen in the past, Minecraft is great at giving players the necessary tools to build clocks, calculators, and the like. Still, with that many command blocks, the Atari is likely the most complex "simple" machine built in within the game so far.
At the start of the video, we see the emulator is running the Atari version of Donkey Kong. What's interesting is that SethBling points out how simplistic the Atari 2600 was, while at the same time being "ridiculously hard" to program for. Clocking in at just over 16 minutes, it's a pretty interesting read and full of cool facts about the hardware and programming in general.
The major difference between SethBling's emulator and an actual Atari is the rate at which it works. He explains that the 2600 could draw about 60 frames per second while his emulator draws 60 frames about every four hours. So, yeah, it's slow as hell. But what do you want out of a working Atari emulator running in Minecraft?
Before wrapping up, SethBling shows off his emulator's version of Pac-Man. Just like on on the 2600, the game is not quite what people recall from the arcade version. The pellets, for instance, are dashes instead of blocks, and there was only one ghost on the screen. SethBling's emulator spawns the ghost in the wrong spot but, again, he built the thing in Minecraft, so there are bound to be some issues.
As one person says in the comments, now we're just waiting for someone to recreate a working version of Minecraft within Minecraft so we can finally call the game "complete."