I am lucky enough to not have any classes this week so I have been back in Pennsylvania visiting family and my girlfriend. This also means that I have much more free time than normal. To fill this free time, I have picked up playing Minecraft. For those of you that have never heard of it, I can’t really do it justice. Basically, you are dropped in a world that is made up of cubes made of different materials such as rock/sand/dirt/etc. and you can pick up these blocks, destroy them, move them around so that you can shape the world around you. Also, there are monsters that are trying to kill you, so you can craft different combinations of these blocks into weapons/armor/tools that you can use to defend yourself and/or help you modify the landscape more effectively. More info and a link to buy the game can be found at minecraft.net.
One of the things that I have enjoyed so much about Minecraft is that I have been able to bring my full nerdiness to bear on it. For instance, there is a certain mineral that you can use to create electrical wires that you can use to open doors or activate certain devices. So, I built a door to my house and wanted to make the door open automatically with the flip of a switch on the outside and close again when I hit a pressure plate inside the house. In order to do this, I actually created two SR Latches and an XOR logic gate in the game. This may seem like overkill, and I know my girlfriend thinks so, but I love the fact that such a simple game allows for such complicated behavior. So, the game is worth a look whether you like to build things in a sandbox environment, fight off monsters, or geek out with logic gates.