Minecraft 4D

The idea of Minecraft 4D was to extend the virtual experience of a computer game with a physical one. A friend and I converted an old hairdressing chair into an interactive gaming chair equipped with fans, heat lamps, a water sprayer, a sand blower and an odour dispenser. The game is then played with self-printed joysticks and a sewing machine pedal on the chair in a walk-in Minecraft cube. By making a few modifications to the game, various data is captured and sent to the chair, which then controls the units. For example, if you are in the desert in Minecraft, the heat lamps and the sand blower switch on, if it rains in the game, water comes out of a nozzle above the chair, the higher you walk the windier it gets, it stinks in the swamp, etc. I built this project with Paul Reichard and we won first place in the German multimedia prize "MB21" and in the "crossmedia competition".

To read out the game data, we controlled countless command blocks in Minecraft and used the Raspberry Jam Mod. This transmits the data via a serial interface to an Arduino Mega, from where all the components are then controlled individually. We built or converted all the output devices ourselves. For example, infrared lamps for terrariums became our desert simulation. A TicTac tin filled with sand, a servo underneath and a fan simulate the sandstorms. Odours come from a 3D printed revolver-like chamber system that automatically turns the compartment with the desired odour towards the fan. Etc... 

The walk-in Minecraft cube consists of a collapsible wooden frame that we have covered with fireproof molleton fabric and sprayed. The Minecraft world is projected onto a wide screen relatively close to the chair, so you feel like you're right in the middle of the in-game world. Of course, sound is also a must, which is why we installed a subwoofer under the chair that makes the whole chair shake when there are explosions. In addition, normal speakers are mounted to the left and right of the player's head so that every zombie can be heard. The construction phase of the project took over a year.

We have set up this installation at the following events:

  • ARS Elektronika in Linz (2016)
  • MB21 in Dresden (2017)
  • See Conference in Wiesbaden (2017)
  • Tincon in Berlin (2018)

further links:

Paul Reichard and I made the Minecraft 4D project together and we won the German Multimedia Award MB21 and the Bavarian Crossmedia Award.

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