Welcome to the open world of Minecraft!
Minecraft is an open world game that has no specific goals for the player to accomplish, allowing players a large amount of freedom in choosing how to play the game. However, there is an achievement system. Gameplay by default is first person, but players have the option to play in third person mode.
The core gameplay revolves around breaking and placing blocks to create anything you wish. The game world is essentially composed of rough 3D objects, mainly cubes that are arranged in a fixed grid pattern and represent different materials, such as dirt, stone, various ores, water, and tree trunks.
While players can move freely across the world, objects and items can only be placed at fixed locations relative to the grid. Players can gather these material blocks and place them elsewhere, thus allowing for various constructions.
At the start of the game, the player is placed on the surface of a procedurally generated and virtually infinite game world. Players can walk across the terrain consisting of plains, mountains, forests, caves, and various water bodies. The world is divided into biomes ranging from deserts to jungles to snowfields. The in-game time system follows a day and night cycle, with one full cycle lasting 20 real-time minutes. Throughout the course of the game, players encounter various non-player characters known as mobs, including animals, villagers and hostile creatures. Non-hostile animals such as cows, pigs, and chickens spawn during the daytime.
The player may hunt them for food and crafting materials. By contrast, hostile mobs such as large spiders, skeletons, and zombies spawn during nighttime and in dark places, such as caves. Some Minecraft-unique creatures have been noted by reviewers, such as the Creeper, an exploding creature that sneaks up on the player; and the Enderman, a creature with the ability to teleport and pick up blocks.
Non gamers or those hiding under rocks will have been first introduced to Minecraft when Microsoft announced it was paying $2.5bn (£1.5bn) for the company behind the best-selling video game.
But for several years now a dedicated community has been beavering away in the Minecraft universe, painstakingly creating intricate cyberspace marvels.
Here are seven of the best!
Game of Thrones
Mapmakers WesterosCraft are on a mission to recreate the universe imagined by George RR Martin in the Game of Thrones books and TV series. The aim is to provide a stage for role-playing within the fantasy world.
A working 16-bit computer
A Minecraft gamer who goes by the username ohmganesha built a functioning 16-bit computer in just two weeks. The virtual machine includes 32 bytes of RAM (random-access memory) and 256 bytes of ROM (read-only memory).
This Splendid Cathedral
Patrix, the edifice's architect, said it took him just a couple of nights to build. He added that he had never been to a cathedral in real life.
A working hard drive
Cody Littley's hard drive can store a single kilobyte of data, which may seem unimpressive when compared with everyday discs, until you consider that Mr Littley - a computer science PhD student in Texas - built it piece-by-piece.
An entire city
The artists behind the Aurora City Project admit it may never be completed, and the detail of their cityscapes give some indication as to why.
All of Denmark
The Danish government's quest to get the entire country mapped on Minecraft was undertaken to help educate children. However, the project was subsequently vandalised, with portions of the landscape blown up using virtual "dynamite".
A playable guitar
Minecraft creator Disco's cyber guitar can play 10 basic open chords.
Have you created something spectacular on Minecraft? We want to see your world..