Wednesday, September 12, 2012

X-box Minecraft World Size

So, I noticed that there are several posts on the Web about how mathematically the size of a PC-version Minecraft world is approximately the size of 1.2 earth surfaces, though nowhere near the same volume as the Minecraft world is only 128 meters deep. The reason for this is because in Minecraft a single block represents a one meter by one meter by one meter area, which makes sense when you think about it because the average person is two meters tall and the "you" in Minecraft is two blocks high.

So, if the PC version of Minecraft is larger than the surface of the earth (approximately 90,000,000 square meters), then how does an X-box Minecraft world measure up?

First we have to clear up some misinformation that's going around the Internet about the dimensions of the X-box playing field. Firstly, the furthest you can go in any direction is 430 blocks. In other words, you can go no further than 430.x.430 to the southeast and no further than -430.x.-430 to the northwest.

However, there are two lines of blocks that exist at X=0 and Z=0. In other words, you can go to a location at 0.64.128 or 128.64.0. Because of these midpoint-zero lines, the X- and Z-dimensions of an X-box Minecraft board cannot be even numbers.

Therefore, the size of a X-box Minecraft board is 861x861. (430 on one side + 430 on the other + 1 for the zero line that divides them)

With that settled, we turn to the question: so, how big would that be in real life?

If each block in Minecraft represents one meter in real life, then the map on the X-box represents 861 meters by 861 meters (or 741,321 square meters). If we convert that to kilometers (more appropriate for our purposes), that's .741 km2. How much is that in real life?

The Earth is 508 million km2. Not even close.

The State of New York is 149,299 km2. We're getting warmer here.

New York City measures in at 1,213 km2. Almost there...

Central Park consumes 3.41 km2 of Manhattan. Now, we're in the ballpark, but we're still a little over.

So what we're looking for is a parcel that's approximately one-fifth the size of Central Park.

Well, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MOMA) is in Central Park. It takes up about one fifth the amount of space (.190 km2) as our Minecraft board. The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir -- also in Central Park -- is .428 km2 (a little more than half our Minecraft map). If we throw in the Great Lawn (.222 km2), that finishes the job, revealing a Minecraft board on the X-box to be a sizable chunk of Central Park in New York City.

Since the Minecraft board is a perfect square, if you wanted to get technical, you could say that an X-box version of a Minecraft map would cover a hunk of Manhattan stretching from Columbus Ave to Park Ave and from 96th to 81st Sts.

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