MoPop, the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, Washington, is pretty well known for its amazing pop culture exhibitions, and its latest, Minecraft: The Exhibition is no exception. This is an all-new exhibit premiering for the first time at MoPop, co-created by MoPop with Mojang. The exhibit is not only for existing fans and players, but is also intended to educate strangers to Minecraft about the game and its impact on the world.
Before I dig into the details of the exhibit, check out this quick little video I did of some of my favorite parts!
Minecraft: The Exhibition is divided into five main areas. It begins with an introduction to Minecraft, then leads to explaining the core concepts of the game. From their, it goes into how individuals can make Minecraft their own, how Minecraft has expanded beyond the screen, and finally, how Minecraft has had an impact on the world and education.
The exhibit starts with a house and tree right out of the game. A big part of my daily job is to make real life objects and costumes out of things that only exist in cartoons and video games, so seeing something on this scale, was really cool and mind-blowing. This is EXACTLY what Minecraft would look like in the real world. And while some of the other parts of the exhibit aren’t as carbon copy as this, the feeling of Minecraft brought to life pervades the entire exhibit.
A timeline showing the history and expansion of Minecraft adorns the wall beside the first giant screen as you enter. The screen plays a video giving a high level overview that has enough info to make it interesting for existing fans, while catching all the new folks up to speed quickly.
The entire exhibit is full of almost life-sized recreations of many mobs from the game. I’m only sharing a few of my favorites here so you can explore and find the rest on your own. There were also several mobs even I didn’t get to see as they were en route for installation while I was at the preview–one more reason for me to go back for another visit (is if I hadn’t already been planning one for the kids).
As you continue on through the exhibit, visitors will start to learn more about specific mechanics of the game, like how crafting works. In addition to this large Crafting poster, smaller crafting plaques adorn the exhibit, especially beside displays, showing you what resources are used to make that thing in-game. This little display box had 3D versions of some of the resources and items that can be made with them. Thank goodness for the rotten potato!
And for people who want to try their hand at crafting, there is a cool little interactive display with tiles representing resources in the game. The screen gives them a quick little tutorial on crafting and then leaves them on their own to figure out what is possible with the given resources (not unlike how you learn in-game). I had to make a diamond sword to show my son since he keeps asking me to make him one (I told him I would but AFTER Halloween).
In the gaming area there is a huge backdrop of a Minecraft world. The lighting on the backdrop follows the actual ten minute daily cycle of the game and shifts as you hang out in the exhibit.
Also in the gaming area there are several stations. The first and largest allows for up to four players to play a regular multiplayer game. The other stations feature individual gaming to give examples of mods as well as huge elaborate worlds others have built that are playable.
The next area of the exhibit shows how Minecraft has invaded the world outside of the game itself. This bedroom display is setup to show the wealth and breadth of Minecraft merchandise available. Next to it is a video station that shows how Minecraft has also taken a top spot in social media – Twitch, YouTube, fan art, and more.
And the final area of the exhibit focuses on education and global initiatives that have come from Minecraft. Minecraft: Education Edition is used in schools all over the world (and visitors can get hands-on with it here). But even more amazing are the communities and groups that have come together through a love and even use of Minecraft to make real world changes all over the world — from the Panda/bamboo challenge that players met that led to a $100,000 donation to the World Wildlife Fund to Block By Block where community collaboration projects are helping communities everywhere.
Minecraft: The Exhibition opened this past weekend and will run until September 2020 so you’ll have plenty of time to go and visit; however, parts of the exhibit will change over time, so you may want to visit sooner rather than later–or even visit multiple times. Get your tickets now!