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Submission + - Blockscape, Minecraft, and the Uncanny Valley (tekgoblin.com)

tekgoblin writes: "Whether you have been playing Minecraft for over a year or are just now getting into it on the Xbox 360 I'm interested in hearing what you think of this.

A man by the name of Jens Blomquist is working on a game called Blockscape that appears to be centered around the idea of being a much more detailed version of Minecraft. I'm generally bothered by games that seem to blatantly rip off something that's popular without doing something new, but Blockscape is far too early in development to tell how things will turn out. Only time will tell whether it'll be a Terraria or just another FortressCraft.

What I'm curious about instead are the visuals and somewhat altered world mechanics. Lighting, water, shaders, and many other elements of Blockscape appear more technically advanced than those in Minecraft, and there seems to be an emphasis on having a wider variety of sizes and shapes to build with. Despite this increased complexity, I immediately and frequently find myself strangely revolted by what I see.

It makes me wonder if there's some element of the uncanny valley at play here. For the initiated, the uncanny valley originally referred to an issue where the more lifelike a humanoid machine became the more disturbing it looked. In video games it is frequently used to discuss how realistic graphics can often be less appealing than stylized visuals. Extra Credits also recently applied the concept to analyze why people can use a controller to play a game but are so alienated by even the smallest problems in ultimately more realistic motion controls. The idea is that the more realistic something becomes the more individual flaws bother us."

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Blockscape, Minecraft, and the Uncanny Valley

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