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Minecraft Haywain

I wanted to do something with "games as medium," which is an area which I intend to explore further.

The relationship between human and nature portrayed in Minecraft is interesting because it is one of creativity, but arguably through an implicit control and dominance. The game world exists for the player, and the player has something like an absolute control over the world, while the work and challenge of the game is in earning this control. Since 2015, this attitude towards the in-game world has spread to many contemporary releases as a result of Minecraft's success, and as the media we consume betrays something of how we understand ourselves, this change merits discussion.

This notion of our relationship with our environment might be described as particularly western and the iconography and aesthetics of the experience make it feel terribly wholesome in a manifest-destiny, wilderness homesteading sort of way. However, a perhaps stronger parallel exists between these Minecraftian ideals and those of the Romantic movement; ideas resistant to advances in technology which were popular in the Victorian era. These gave rise to things like folly building, landscaping and this imagery was captured idyllically in the paintings of John Constable, among others. The harder one looks the more parallels one draws. As with indoor plumbing and white bread, these preserves of the aristocracy have been made available to the common folk, in a manner of speaking. Anyone can be the master of their own digital estate, stretching as far as their time will allow. I suppose this is intended as a comical capturing of this.