The Physics of Minecraft

My son has been addicted to Minecraft for some time, and I have played with him once in a while. Once I got my head around how unrealistic some of the parts were, it is a pretty fun game.

The parts that I thought were most unrealistic (and yet, necessary for the game to exist), were the carrying physics of the character. Steve is the main character, and is representative of a normal person. Steve is roughly 2 game blocks high, and each game block represents one cubic metre, giving Steve a height of ~6 feet. Steve has 27 inventory slots, and 9 active slots, giving him a total of 36 ‘carrying’ slots, in addition to 4 places where he can fit armor (head, chest, legs, boots). Some material is stackable, up to 64 specific items in a single slot. The most glaring examples of this are cobblestone – where you can hold 64 1-cubic metre blocks in a single inventory slot.

Let’s assume that cobblestone is roughly the same density as granite. According to Wikipedia, the density of granite is about 2.7g/cm^3. Thus a 1 cubic metre block of cobblestone would weigh approximately 2700kg, or 5952.5 pounds.

If we extrapolate this out, and say that Stevie can hold 36 slots of 64 blocks each, that would work out to a total of 2304 blocks, each weighing 2700kg, for a total of 6,220,800 kilograms, or around 6000 tons.

An average person can carry roughly 1/3 of their body weight before becoming overburdened. Even if we assume that Steve weighs a hefty and muscular 200 pounds (90kg), he’s carrying too much. Alternately, if we assume that he’s not (which is logical, since he can carry all that and still run at full speed), we would have to assume that Steve weighs somewhere around 18662400kg. If that were the case, with each step he would compress the ground below him and sink down to bedrock, assuming comparable weights and densities to earth.

Regardless, he must work out.

Goings On

Well, lots of stuff has been going on, but very little of it blogworthy. For both my readers, however, I’ll give a little summary of things that have been going on.. My wife has taken to writing a list of things to do on our bathroom mirror, where I can’t help but see it several times a day. This is really good, since I have a very short memory :).
First, there was a vent in the laundry room, and I finally got around to looking at it, and it looks like it once had a fan in it, but no longer. So I went to OSH and got a new fan and housing and had intended to put it in, but they had nailed it to the beam in the attic, from above. So I shelved that project for a while.
There was also an unpleasant smell from the washer, and we thought that perhaps the drain was clogged. As it turned out, the fabric softener had started to clog the inside of the agitator, so I ended up having to take the cup and the agitator off and clean it all out. I’ve seen some foul things in my life, but the greyish goo that I had to clean out from that washer was some of the foulest.
Then soaked them, replaced them, and ran vinegar and baking soda through the washer to get the rest of the scum out.
Then last night I climbed up in the attic to fix that fan. 45 minutes in 110 degrees covered in blown in fiberglass was not fun.
But tonight, I get to test the new Tomb Raider game, so that is SWEET.

Final Exams

One of my co-workers (Chris) and I get along really well. We like to talk about all manner of things and throw little posits and the like back and forth. We were talking about a game that I’m playing (Shadow Hearts: Covenant) and there is a section where it turns out that one of the characters is taken over by a demon. So that leads us to discussions of Exorcisms and the like, and Chris remarks that that kind of knowledge isn’t really available anymore, in that you can’t just take a class in Demonology. I make the point that it’s likely that Seminarians would take something similar and study exorcisim rituals, or at least that’s a feasible possibility. Chris did however bring up the point that there would be a horrible time at the final exam. And you thought that your essay questions were tough.


Red Orb

I went to our sales conference this morning to see the demo of our product and it went pretty well. The sales people didn’t boo or anything. Since I’m waiting for our source tree to get merged and more things to happen, I’m basically sitting at my desk all day today, doing nothing.

I might start playing Something or not.