The internal economics of a popular Minecraft server

Alice Maz Minecraft above cityAlice Maz writes about how she mastered the economics of Minecraft:

I started on my server with only a rudimentary knowledge of the game itself and ipso facto zero understanding of its economy. Within six months or so, I had perhaps as detailed a mental model of it as one could get. I knew the price ranges of most of the items in the game and everything that all of them were used for. I knew how common they were on the market, who the major sellers were, what their supply chains looked like. I knew how fast they sold through, whether the price was stable or tacking a certain way, and I had tons of theories on ways to play all this to get what I needed and turn a profit while doing it, and nearly all of them were sound. Most of it I didn’t even think about. I didn’t need to contemplate why, for instance, lumber was both cheaper and more common than it should be, such that I could buy it all and hold, force the price up, corner the market, and keep it that way. I just kind of… knew, and did it. It’s a wonderful feeling, weaving a system into your mind so tight that it’s hard to find the stitches after awhile. Highly recommended.


Via Boing Boing:

Alice Maz was part of a small group of players who came to have near-total mastery over the internal economy of a popular Minecraft; Maz describes how her early fascination with the mechanics of complex multiplayer games carried over into an interest in economics and games, and that let her become a virtuoso player, and brilliant thinker, about games and economics.

Maz’s long, fascinating essay about her business ventures in Minecraft are a potted lesson in economics, one that shows where financial engineering actually does something useful (providing liquidity, matching supply and demand) and the places where it becomes nothing more than a predatory drag on the “real economy” of people making amazing things in Minecraft.

[The internal economics of a popular Minecraft server are an object lesson in everything great and terrible about markets]

Meatcraft: A Real World Minecraft Art Gallery

Meatcraft was a real world art installation by Jeffrey Kam and Cody McCabe, presented at San Jose State University from March 14-17, 2011.


MeatcraftThe show consisted of a minecraft themed gallery, complete with 2 crafting tables, tools, working LED torches, a creeper costume that greeted you at the door, and a fully interactive grass block world in the center. The wall textures, the crafting tables and the center grass block are all to scale (1 meter cubes), to increase immersion and really make you feel like you’re in Minecraft. Clearly the possibilities for a project like this are endless so it was extremely difficult for us not to pursue other ideas we had (Steve costume, pigs, cows, music, automatic day/night cycle, minecarts etc.). For purposes of time and budget, we had to restrict ourselves from getting too crazy.

Via Rock, Paper, Shotgun.