Sort Of Like A Matryoshka Doll


Posted on : 10/12/2011 07:00:00 PM | By : Dann | In : , , , ,

So we invented the PN junction.  In turn we invented transistors.  We figured out that transistors made great electronic switches.  They can be included in circuits so they are either on...or "1"...or off...or "0".  A basic, stable, two-state electronic circuit.  We miniaturized transistors until we had very complex circuits all present on a very small computer chip.

And thus the computer was born.  A computer is nothing more than a sequential command reader that looks at a row of data (1110010110001010) and seeing some positions on and others off, then changes holding locations known as registers.  Those registers can then do other interesting things.

Say for example, one register can identify a single pixel on your screen.  It can also determine the color of that tiny pixel.  In the beginning, pixels didn't have color.  They were either on, or they were off.  And they were HUGE!! By changing pixels, you could create the world's first video game. Pong!

After a couple decades, pixels had gotten a lot smaller and they had gained the ability to be any one of 64 colors.  And we developed cool games like Duke Nukem.

Then we took Duke into 3D land so you became Duke instead of walking him around on the screen.  That led to a bunch of other "first person shooters" like Quake, Halo, and on and on and on.  Surfaces became more detailed, and more granulated.  Colors shot up from 64 to millions of colors. 16 to 32nd power or some such thing.  A lot of colors!  And the pixels were getting pretty tiny, too!

But all that variation, all the attempts to mimic reality, are just too much for some folks.  Which is why the good folks at Mojang Studios came up with Minecraft.

In Minecraft, every element is a perfect square that is 64 x 64 x 64.  You can look up close and see Pong sized pixels.  Or you can back away and each dot on the face of a block becomes as small as a pixel on your screen.

Like Halo and other first person shooters, you can play Minecraft as the guy, or you can look over his shoulder as you make him run around and do his/your thing.

Now Minecraft has this stuff called Redstone.  Redstone is a magical sort of substance as it responds to input to cause other things to move, or light up, or darken, or close, or open, get the point.

It wasn't long before someone had figured out how to create a circuit to pass either a "1" or a "0".  Now it is possible to transmit one bit of information with your stable two-state circuit.  And if you have enough stable two-state circuits, you have the beginnings of the modern video game.

Redstone Television!
Now that isn't really a video game.  But I'm sure that someone, somewhere is working on assembling enough Redstone circuits so that two people can play a Redstone video game while playing inside the Minecraft video game.

Now THAT is entertainment!

Share this :

  • Stumble upon
  • twitter

Comments (0)