So a guy recently teamed up with Verizon to make a working cell phone in Minecraft, thereby making it one of the most impressive things ever built within the blocky world of the game. This thing can make video calls, folks.
If you head on over to the Youtube page for CaptainSparklez, you’ll notice that he has posted a video simply titled “Minecraft: Working Cell Phone w/ Web Browser and Video Calling.”
In case that all sounds like a bunch of witchcraft or nonsensical jibba-jabba, here’s a look at the dang thing in motion. It actually works!
In case the name CatainSparklez isn’t ringing any bells, you might know him better as Jordan Maron, the dude who bought a ridiculously expensive home earlier this year courtesy of money earned through his streaming business. As mentioned above, he built this Minecraft cell phone as a project working in tangent with Verizon, so that’s likely going to pay a few bills in the months ahead. I say good on Sparklez. If you can make money doing what you love and still keep it relevant, you’ve cracked one of life’s greatest mysteries.
As you can see in the video above, Maron’s cell phone allows him to make video chat calls from within the game, as well as browse the internet. Neither of these features is ideal, obviously, but it’s still a nifty experiment. And in case you’re wondering how it all works, Verizon has provided a rundown of the engines behind the magic.
In the world of Minecraft, almost everything is made of blocks. We’ve created a web application, Boxel, that translates real web pages and streaming video into blocks so they can be built on a Minecraft server in real time. Our server plugin uses Boxel-client to handle the communication between Minecraft and the real world as translated by the web application.
So that’s pretty neat, yeah? I’m not sure what other applications this Boxel business might have, but it certainly opens up a lot of interesting doors within Minecraft. Maybe you’ll eventually be able to stream content (blocky as it may be) directly into the game for a Minecraft watch party. Could it be coupled with some in-game program plugins to create security cameras? What about one of those popular Hunger Games competitions folks are so fond of playing in Minecraft, but with the action streamed to arenas set up in other maps where people can watch the competition unfold?
Considering the fact that my greatest accomplishment in Minecraft is a library on a floating island, you’ll have to excuse me if this working cell phone has me a bit mystified.