While the comparatively primitive graphics of Minecraft might be an acquired taste, I firmly believe that if you've never seen something you consider beautiful created in this phenomenally popular sandbox you just haven't looked hard enough. Case in point: A stunning recreation of the spirit town from Studio Ghibli's Spirited Away, made by a team of builders over the span of several years. Though they're far from finished, they've shared loads of images and even video tours of their work so far. See for yourself after the jump!
The folks behind this map recently shared a gallery of images comparing what they've built to scenes directly from the Hayao Miyazaki classic, and while there's no mistaking their medium of choice, the results are no less impressive.
I've never quite seen the appeal of installing a fully crafted map like this in my own game beyond walking around and exploring... But then again, shouldn't that be enough? There's certainly something to be said for drifting through a world like this and experiencing it in the first-person, peeking around corners and peeling back the edges for yourself.
Be sure to visit the project's website for more images, videos, and work-in-progress downloads so you can install and explore their build in your own game. There are even some pretty entertaining progress notes, like: "Made Chihiro’s dorm area look SICK by using haybales as the tatami mats, doors for the walls, carpet as sleeping bags, and a working light switch." You know, just in case you want a slightly comical look at how something of this scale actually comes together.Tweet
Iris Ophelia (@bleatingheart, Janine Hawkins IRL) has been featured in the New York Times, and has spoken about SL-based design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan and with pop culture/fashion maven Johanna Blakley.