For many years computer games have been viewed as mindless entertainment and have not received the recognition they have deserved, then games companies hit the mainstream with success stories which catapulted the genre and allowed increased revenue onto new heights. Now the games industry is being used as a tool for learning within surprising new quarters, with the news that hugely popular game Minecraft has been adapted by government backed-British Geological Survey.
By using the Ordnance topographic maps and the British Geological Surveys own data about what lies beneath the surface, this has allowed West Thurrock, York and Ingleborough to be re-created using this technique. To achieve even greater authenticity, the Geological Survey team used blocks which best resembled the ‘real’ geology. The factors which influenced this decision were based on colour, texture and hardness, for the three-dimensional models, they decided to use glass blocks which implemented the texture of their traditional geology map colours.
It’s fascinating and yes I do have a life, to view what for example, the city of York, images below looks like with Geology before the topography is overlaid onto the map. The team have also developed models which include the key map features above ground, such as roads and buildings, the player or explorer has the ability to roam the landscape.
The website also supplies full instructions of how to download and explore all three locations, yes it may not be GTA, but it will certainly attract new audiences to the work of these projects with the aim to garner interest in Geology for today’s tech world. This will not be headline grabbing and you probably won’t see many traditional news outlets covering this story, as the media would rather paint gamers as level 5 shooters in public places.
Thank You British Geological Survey for providing us with this fascinating information