So, Minecraft is looking more and more like a great programming platform, for kids of all ages and old geeks like me. You see, I’ve been a software hacker for 38 years. By hacker, I mean I’m not a professional programmer. They pay me to design, build, and manage systems. Currently, I’m working with NASA’s worldwide “mission” network, the one that NASA project teams use to control stuff in the air, space, and on other planets. I help make sure the network works when they need it, but someone else gets paid to program the control and data applications.
But I can hack together code to do something a little different, something a bit special, with the best of them.
We can, for example, modify the Minecraft client using Python and modify the server using Java. Inside a Minecraft world, we can program computers and robots using Lua. There are many other options making this a rich environment, and that is before we start to interconnect multiple worlds to each other, to the Internet, and to the physical world. Want to switch between day and night? Add an Arduino and flip a physical light switch. Want to broadcast a message? Tweet it. Want everyone in a class or tournament to have their own world to explore and modify, with portals for transportation between them? We can build that.
I used to think that developing Internet applications was so awesome because there were no limits. Well, with Minecraft worlds connected to the Internet, infinity just got bigger.