Minecraft Pi Edition Announced At Minecon 1012
November 26, 2012

Thousands Gather In Disneyworld Paris To Play Minecraft

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online

Thousands of excited and fervent gamers took to Disneyland Paris this weekend to celebrate their favorite video game in typical gamer fashion: With a convention. More commonly referred to as a “Con,” Minecon 2012 was the meeting ground for worldwide fans of Minecraft, the blocky gaming sensation. Mojang AB, the Swedish development company responsible for Minecraft, has been hosting these cons since 2010, first in Washington State, then in Las Vegas.

While at Minecon, these 4,500 uber fans have an opportunity to dress as characters from the game, meet some of the developers of the game and, of course, play Minecraft together. This year´s Minecon also revealed a few new potential upgrades to the game, allowing Minecraft lovers to play the game in new places and in new ways.

Mojang AB kicked off day one of Minecon with a few announcements about the future of the game. One notable advancement: Minecraft will soon ship a version specially coded for the Raspberry Pi.

The Raspberry Pi mini computer is a single chip computer which is no larger than a credit card. This tiny device also carries several ports and can be attached to a computer monitor or even a television. The Raspberry Pi creators made this computer to get the younger generation excited about the computer sciences while open the door for some creativity as well. While it may have been possible to run Minecraft on a Raspberry Pi before, Mojang has dedicated 2 of their developers into making a special version just for the Raspberry Pi computer. Called Minecraft: Pi edition, this new version will allow users to play the game as well as learn to write code.

“The possibilities are massive,” writes Owen on the Mojang Blog.

“You could organize the cheapest LAN party of all time, or use the Pi to learn the fundamentals of programming on a miniscule budget. It´s like hacking your way into Minecraft and modifying the game world with code, a bit like being Notch, Jeb, or Nathan, but arguably more fun and less stressful.”

(Notch, Jeb and Nathan are popular Minecraft coders.)

It´s this kind of openness and configurability that has made Minecraft so popular. Players can build and create their own worlds inside the game using blocks and different material. However, if a gamer wants to be able to do something else in the game, they can tap into the code and write their own modification, or mod, to allow themselves this opportunity. These mods can be shared with other gamers and have even made their way into the actual game code from time to time.

One company, Tobii Technology, has used the openness of Minecraft to show off some of their new eye-tracking technology. Teaming up with 4tiitoo, Tobii demoed a special version of Minecraft in which users could control the game using nothing more than their eyes. While just a demo for now, this partnership exemplifies the kind of creativity and experimentation that can take place when people are allowed to tinker with what they have.

Tore Meyer, the CEO of 4tiitoo explained the eye-driven demo this way: “Through the implementation of natural user interaction, particularly gaze, we are able to push the physical game controls to the background, allowing players to experience an immersive, fun and unparalleled gaming environment. We are excited about the opportunity to show gamers the new possibilities of our NUIA SDK, and we are looking forward to applying our technology to numerous applications in the near future.”

Lydia Winters acts as a sort of liaison between Mojang and the community of Minecraft gamers. Even she has said she is surprised with what developers and gamers have come up with inside the game.

"The community, the things that they come up with, are actually far beyond anything we could expect or understand," she said, speaking to the BBC.