Minecraft 'Fear Clinic' does battle with smoking

Trying to quit smoking but feeling the urge? Maybe talking to a psychologist before lighting up will help you resist.

It's easy to do in Minecraft. Swedish nonprofit A Non Smoking Generation, which aims to prevent young people from smoking, has set up what it calls a Fear Clinic inside the popular indie sandbox game.

Young Swedes are invited to swing by the virtual clinic to talk about smoking-related concerns and struggles with a psychologist on standby for three hours daily -- from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Swedish time. … Read more

Minecraft movie in the works at Warner Bros.

Following the massive success of "The Lego Movie," it sounds like block-based blockbusters -- a pun no one could possibly refrain from using -- are a sure-fire recipe for Hollywood success. Up next: the Minecraft movie.

Dropping a bombshell on Twitter in the form of a sneaky 128-character admission, Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson revealed that he and Mojang, the studio the 34-year-old Swedish developer formed to manage the title and its expansion, are working with Warner Bros. Pictures to develop a film around the game.

Someone is trying leak the fact that we're working … Read more

Minecrafter builds 'Spirited Away' in stunning detail

Alan Becker has a bit of an obsession with both Minecraft and famed Japanese animator and director Hayao Miyazaki's 2001 film "Spirited Away." So he decided to do what any reasonable person would do: spend several years building the locations from the movie in Minecraft. The results are gorgeous.

Becker has the kind of attention to detail that really makes the sets and landscape pop. Lights in the ghost town glow at night, flowers bloom in all the right places, and the world is constantly under revision to more accurately represent the movie.… Read more

The cake is the truth: Chef whips up video game recipes

Gaming and snacks have gone hand-in-hand for a long time. You could settle for the old standbys of Jolt Cola and Doritos, but that takes no imagination. Instead, let's step into the world of Daniella Zelli, the woman behind Gourmet Gaming, a blog dedicated to plucking foods from the virtual gaming world and making them real.

Zelli has crafted recipes for everything from Bioshock: Infinite's Finkton's Baked Beans to D'Ni Mushroom Bread from Myst III: Exile. She shares photos of her food along with detailed recipes and instructions for making them yourself.… Read more

Markus 'Notch' Persson: The mind behind Minecraft (Q&A)

Markus Persson, known also by the online handle "Notch," is an indie game success story like no other. Not only did he create Minecraft, one of the most popular independent titles in gaming history with more than 33 million units shipped worldwide, but he also released it to the general public and then walked away. Lead development was handed off to Persson's friend and fellow developer Jens Bergensten and Mojang -- the Sweden-based studio Persson set up in 2009 to take charge of Minecraft development -- shortly after the game's launch in November of 2011. … Read more

Google Quantum AI brings quantum physics to Minecraft

As with Lego, it seems Minecraft's possibilities are limited only by the imagination, and also like Lego, the game has the potential to act as a powerful educational tool. The team at Google's Quantum AI Lab, which explores the possibilities of quantum computing, put their heads together and figured out that the next generation of computer scientists could discover their talents in none other than Mojang's vast, open, voxel-based world.

Together with MinecraftEdu, a group that partners with Mojang to bring Minecraft to schools, and scientists at California Institute of Technology's Institute for Quantum Information and Matter, Quantum AI Lab has built a Minecraft mod called qCraft that simulates quantum behaviors in the game. … Read more

Mapping agency builds all of Great Britain in Minecraft

Minecraft players have created some pretty darn amazing stuff in the game. This latest one might not be as visually spectacular, but the amount of technical awesomeness blows the mind.

Ordnance Survey, Great Britain's governmental-mapping agency, has used its data to re-create the entire (almost) country in Minecraft. The massive 86,000-square-mile map uses 22 billion blocks to represent the continent's terrain, built using Ordnance Survey's own tools: OS Terrain 50 and OS VectorMap District. … Read more

Terraria looks, sounds, and plays just like the original, but the controls are lacking

Terraria for iOS brings the popular 2D sandbox adventure game that was loosely based on Minecraft to the touch screen. As a longtime player of the game on PC, I was excited to get my hands on the iOS version, and after a few hours of playing, I think it stacks up well with the original. But one flaw makes the game much better on the iPad than it is on either the iPhone or iPod Touch.

Never the same experience One of the great things about this 2D adventure game on any platform is that when you start a … Read more

Review: Minecraft for Mac mines out your time and sleep

Minecraft for Mac is a time-sucking, mind-bending, and sleep-depriving experience. It hits the right tune on the subject of creation: it really does provide building blocks for your imagination.

Minecraft has no real direction, anchoring plot, or specific guidelines. Players are dropped into a world with only the ability to carve out resources from the surrounding land.

The game's outdated graphics won't really distract you from the game's core focus on building. Soon you'll find out that as it gets dark, lounging around with a pickaxe probably won't do you any good against the pixelated … Read more

Indie hit Minecraft headed to Sony's PlayStation platforms

Mojang's hit game Minecraft is headed to Sony's next console.

Sony on Tuesday announced that a version of the game is headed to the PlayStation 4, though the company did not say when.

It's happening! Minecraft coming to #PS4 :-)

— PlayStation (@PlayStation) August 20, 2013

Minecraft creator Markus Persson also announced that the game was headed to the PlayStation 3 and Vita, Sony's handheld.

PS4, PS3 and Vita

— Markus Persson (@notch) August 20, 2013

The news marks an end of exclusivity for Microsoft, which so far has been the only console maker to offer a version … Read more