The University of Southampton

Southampton web specialist creates art installation with Minecraft

Published: 
7 August 2015
Illustration

The seaside town of Ventnor on the Isle of Wight town has been re-created from life-sized 1m blocks, in Minecraft.

Minecraft Ventnor is a year-long personal interest project by Chris Gutteridge. A Computer Science graduate from Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) at the University of Southampton, Chris grew up in Ventnor and now works in the University’s Web and Data Innovation and Development Team.

The seafront model features distinctive details including Ventnor Haven – the town’s harbour, its ‘Isle of Wight’ outdoor pool, winter gardens and the Spyglass Inn. Constructed throughout from 1m blocks, Ventnor is made not just ‘life’ sized within Minecraft but also faithful to its topography and architecturally.

Minecraft Ventnor has been created entirely within ‘Survival’ mode, meaning that every single block within the beach, the Esplanade and all of its buildings has been ‘mined’ or ‘made’ by Chris Gutteridge. Added complications included the need to remove factors within the Minecraft environment such as trees and mountains to accommodate paces of interest. As Chris says: “It also means there were night-time zombie attacks and occasional repairs required due to Creeper damage. Why did I do it like this? Because I was having fun.”

Chris is the University’s Linked Open Data Architect and is using his expertise in this area in a new project inspired by Minecraft Ventnor. Using data from LIDAR remote sensing technology held at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, Chris has projected Open Street Map outlines into Minecraft Ventnor, covering cliffs and coastline as well as roads and buildings.

Minecraft Ventnor is on display on canvas as part of the Undecided on Dreams exhibition at the Ventnor Fringe Festival from 11 to 16 August 2015. Downloads for Minecraft users will be available from 15th August 2015 at ventnor.totl.net.

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