One of the biggest YouTube successes of recent years has built a working mobile (or cell) phone in Minecraft that can actually call other players in-game. Jordan Maron, otherwise known by his YouTube handle CaptainSparklez, can use his phone to browse the internet (kind of, in a blocky, Minecraft style) and make audio or video calls.
23-year-old CaptainSparklez quit college to become a full-time YouTuber and Twitch streamer and, with his 8.75 million YouTube subscribers and 1.6 billion video views, is so successful that he recently purchased a $4.5 million mansion, and recently made the move into producing games through his company Xreal.
The idea for the Minecraft phone was not CaptainSparklez’s alone, though. He was approached by phone carrier Verizon to effectively produce an ad for them, which led to the video below. While the sponsorship angle may tarnish the concept for some, its execution is still mightily impressive.
“In the world of Minecraft, almost everything is made of blocks,” CaptainSparklez said. “We’ve created a web application, Boxel, that translates real web pages and streaming video into blocks so they can be built on a Minecraft server in real time. Our server plugin uses Boxel-client to handle the communication between Minecraft and the real world as translated by the web application.”