Minecraft is quickly becoming the virtual replacement for the dystopian reality all those cyberpunk authors warned us about.
Verizon has created a “cellular network” inside the blocky building world of Minecraft, one that lets you reach the outside world by way of a giant pixelated cell phone that can browse the internet and even make video calls. Yup, you can build a cell phone made of such in-game materials as iron and glass and call your friends from within the virtual world of Minecraft. Receiving mysterious phone calls from a virtual world—pretty sure that’s actually the premise of a horror movie or five.
Anyway, Verizon says they created a special bit of programming called Boxel that converts web pages to the super low-res screen of the Minecraft cell phone, which is what makes things like browsing or video calls possible on the screen. It’s certainly fascinating, highlighting the insane stuff that can be done inside Minecraft if you’re just willing to dedicate probably hundreds of hours and possibly the resources of a major corporation. You can read more about Verizon’s phone here—and if you’re looking to mess around with Boxel to create more Minecraft stuff, you can access all Verizon’s open-source libraries from that same place.