Minecraft versus String Theory

Minecraft versus String Theory

In the absurdly popular game with no direct objective called Minecraft, lack of limitations are the norm and now with a new modification called qCraft it has been equipped with quantum mechanics.  This would pit Minecraft versus string theory in the sense of gathering interest about the subject and introducing many to the theories of quantum mechanics that were previously completely unaware.  This isn’t to say that Minecraft will be able to simulate conditions on par with actual and verifiable experimental physics, but it will be able to illustrate concepts that could potentially be the first step in the door of pursuit in these actual sciences.

The qCraft mod was designed by an individual named Daniel Ratcliffe, but has received support from many reputable sources even including Google’s Quantum AI Lab.  Within the mod, players can create scientific phenomena and implement it into the actual gameplay.  For example, quantum entanglement can be applied to a building causing it to appear completely invisible unless it is viewed from the precise angle allowing it to be visibly perceived.  Quantum computing systems can also be created allowing players to transport matter from one area to another in a manner most commonly understood as teleportation.

Quantum physics, simply stated, is the study of how different particles interact with each other on an extremely miniscule level.  It is so small that some of the interactions may seem magical or even impossible due to the fact that someone is not completely aware of what they are looking at when it is happening.  The same way a magic trick can have a tremendous impact when someone has no idea how the performer was able to perform the trick in the natural world.  Without a reference point in the natural world, an event appears supernatural to the observer.

String theory, and the all-encompassing bundle that lies above called M-Theory, seeks to explain the interaction between all particles, especially those which cannot be observed on the subatomic level.  It supposes that their interaction is guided by something called “superstrings” which are able to bend and vibrate accordingly with both dimensional and spatial factors.

The qCraft modification is by no means a doctoral level course in quantum physics and mechanics, and may not be able to even broach upon an understanding of string theory in and of itself.  But the mere fact that it can introduce myriad countless minds to the subjects surrounding the construction of these theories is a novel and brilliant approach to video game modification.  It should not be overlooked how positive an impact a game such as Minecraft can have on the overall intelligence and creativity of the video game playing populous.  Instead of gathering the most points or becoming superior to the other combatants within the virtual world, the player is encouraged to build, create, and further push the limits of what is possible.  This kind of drive and creativity is what both art and scientific discovery are all about.  Yes, Minecraft may not be directly related to solving the mysteries of string theory, but if it can inspire various people to further pursue the hard sciences that it has accomplished far more than the majority of video games could have ever hoped to do.

Written by Michael Blain

Twitter: @michaelblain

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  5. Stephen   October 24, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Hi – interesting article here. I am interested in quantum mechanics and enjoy playing Minecraft. I looked into qCraft a bit as well. However I think you may be conflating string theory with quantum physics. qCraft introduces concepts of observational dependency and entanglement in an intuitive way. But it doesn’t directly reference the string theory of quantum mechanics.


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