According to Jane McGonigal, a virtuoso of gaming is defined by a gamer that has completed ten thousand hours of gaming. This number, although daunting at first, is relatively realistic for many people in the current generation. Within the gaming community, there exists a group, myself included, that believe that a game not complete until one, achieves a perfect completion rate and collects all the trophies/achievements. These completionists, are the ones that spend hours collecting flags, feathers, and other side quests in the Assassin’s Creed missions. The completionist culture thrives within single player games, however when they encounter MMO’s the achievable fiero slowly fades away. MMO’s have a large base amount of players and a larger range of difficult goals. Since the completionist cannot achieve these goals themselves, they often collaborate with other like-minded individuals. The collaboration between players can best be seen in Mojang’s Minecraft.
Minecraft, a block based building game is often compared to being similar to Lego building sets. The creative nature of Minecraft, coupled with dedicated completionists, has produced numerous amounts scale models and cities. FyreUK, one of the many hardcore building teams in Minecraft, has produced over 100 timelapse videos of their stunning builds. This build team and the community behind it, has created a small infrastructure, with an intensive application process, as well as a hierarchy to manage their many creations. Through a game, a small community was able to thrive and produce stunning works of art and architecture. The FyreUK group is a proof of concept for Jane Mcgonigal’s “Fix 13” where a disorganized group can restructure itself within a game and achieve like-minded goals.
The Minecraft phenomenon, is not only limited to works of a creative nature. Utilizing Mojang’s Minecraft, UN-Habitat founded Block by Block, an organization that assists in city planning. With FyreUK’s assistance, they are able to create a 1:1 scale of many real world cities into the digital world of Minecraft. The recreations assist young city planners by giving them the tools in which they can manipulate public spaces and plan future growth. Block by Block, also gives young gamers in impoverished nations the ability to play with their homes, creating a space where collaboration can occur.
This Minecraft/Reality crossover is a perfect example of the world McGonigal is trying to achieve. These complex and creative build gives players a collaborative space as well as a directional goal in architectural planning. Through the goals, a sense of perfection can be gleaned and carried out into reality.