Research Questions, Methods and Breeding Horses….

To understand the game of Minecraft, (a virtual world game, which I have chosen for my latest research project ), I decided to give in to resistance and to immerse myself in this game, (I have resisted for a while……when I like a game I become addicted)!!  I have I have currently been experimenting with constructing buildings in Minecraft, however I have become a little sidetracked as my son showed me all the other wonderfully distracting features of Minecraft!  This week I have mostly been distracted by breeding horses, housing them etc and also making sure they don’t escape, instead of figuring out how to make La Sagrada Familia, (my chosen iconic building)!!  However in making some problem solving planning decisions about where my horses live, I realise I am doing a little Urban Planning of very rudimentary sorts as well as some construction, (note the handy torch devices on the fence to stop the horses escaping)!!  However I seem to have had a horse population explosion over night, (or the foals just grew…….)! Oh noooooooooo, I must make some bigger paddocks………please click on image below:

What I dhoulsd be doing

Last week we covered: Research Questions – Hypotheses – Interdisciplinary Research. Which brings me to ask what exactly is my Research Question about Minecraft? In the lecture we were told we should be able to formulate our research question so that we can describe our research question in about 5 minutes or so to a stranger in a pub. So in the next part of the paragraph I am aiming to do that. However to start talking to a stranger in a pub I would realistically had several pints or more of cider before I spoke to a stranger, so this would probably more likely lead to a very hazy rambling conversation at best!  I am not currently not in a pub so will try my best without fizzy fermented apple influences so here it is:

I am increasingly fascinated by the amazing creative architectural structures that people have built in Minecraft, which in turn has made me start to research and think about the future of the architecture and the urban planning industries through games and other virtual environments such as Minecraft.  I want to investigate the future possibilities of virtual world based games such as Minecraft and similar technologies being the start of a revolutionary building/gaming tool and would like to find out what the consequences are for these industries as Minecraft is so inexpensively available and also easy/fun to master and create with. Over the years I have used 3DS Max, (and more recently Maya), to recreate Interior and Exterior structures which requires a lot of study to achieve construction, environment, lighting, textures etc.  Minecraft is like a virtual Lego box with all the building structures ready prepared and waiting, all you need to do is have some imagination, (I hear if you love Lego this helps too).  So anybody can have a go at building without prior study, unleashing creative talent from those who may not have gone down the 3D program route, (on Friday I discovered my 7 year old son had made a hotel complete with a floor for housing sheep).  I have found a very interesting article called Game Over For Architects.  I have to ask myself after reading this, is this new technology good or bad for architectural and urban planning industries? Or should they be embracing them as some architectural practices are, (eg Architecture firm holds competition in Minecraft).

As I have to get down to the business of actually building something in Minecraft, I have discovered there are channels on YouTube which actually help you become a Minecraft Architect.  I shall be watching these to get some good tips, I have also decided for my first building I will be trying something a little less complicated than La Sagrada Familia!

Maybe I should try building my dream house………

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