Minecraft is quickly becoming a medium within a medium. Its blocky graphics and the ability to pick up and move literally anything with in the game already make it a platform with massive artistic capability. Almost anything someone can imagine can be made into a fully rendered three dimensional model from nothing more than placing cubical blocks of varying colors. Want to make a scale model of the star ship Enterprise? Go for it. Want to create a sprawling metropolis with an active transportation system and some NPC’s to populate it and make it feel truly alive? Yep, you can do that to.
The real treasure of Minecraft, however, lies in its open source, which allows almost anything to be adapted to function in the game. These modifications to Minecraft are quickly establishing it as a unique medium for artistic design. One of the most impressive modifications I have seen to Minecraft thus far has been a mod which created and adaptation of Valve’s Portal series to run in Minecraft. It allows for players to experience Portal (although some of the physics options in Minecraft are far more limited than they are in portal) through Minecraft. The simple act of playing Portal in Minecraft opens up a whole new realm to what can be done with the game, creating possibilities far exceeding what was ever available with the original either version of the game. It allows players to create and share their own experience. Beyond that even, it allows anyone with the proper programming skill to continue add, remove, or modify features that will only enhance what players experience in both worlds.