ELi5: How people can make fully functioning computers within games like Minecraft

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ELi5: How people can make fully functioning computers within games like Minecraft

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Anonymous 0 Comments

In theory, you can make a computer out of a lot of things. You could make one out of rocks, although that would present practical difficulties. As long as your device uses the rules of binary logic, then you can use it to make a binary digital computer.

Analog computers have been made out of gears and other simple mechanisms.

Anonymous 0 Comments

A computer is just a whole bunch of electrical circuits laid out in a very specific way to handle inputs and outputs which combine to do all kinds of useful things. In Minecraft you can make a simple circuit using redstone. Make that circuit large enough and complicated enough in Minecraft and you’ve got yourself a computer.

Anonymous 0 Comments

How can people make fully functional games on computers in the first place?

The answer is logic gates. The ability to have 2 certain inputs affect a certain output in a few ways is all that is needed.

As long as logic gates can be chained together (usually in the count of thousands or millions is useful) a computer can be made. And once the computer is made, a game can be added to it.

In real life, the logic gates are made out of transistors. In Minecraft, the way its redstone interacts can be combined to create logic gates.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Simply put, building a computer in Minecraft is basically building an emulator. Except, instead of codes, you’re emulating logic gates.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Conceptually, computers are very simple – a machine that can automatically do math equations when you ask it to. Every other thing a computer can do is just an extremely complex series of math equations that represent something you can see, read, watch, play, etc. You don’t even need electricity to make a machine that can do that, just moving parts – electricity just makes it *much* faster and more space-efficient.

Because of this simplicity, you can make some kind of simple computer in most “sandbox”-style game, as long as you’re given moving parts and some way to represent the results. Here is a video where somebody makes a calculator using Rollercoaster Tycoon tracks.

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FThjphBujR0](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FThjphBujR0)

The key thing with Minecraft is that it’s functionally limitless – if you have the time and the know-how, you can make a machine with as many pieces and moving parts as you want, there’s no sprite/space limit like there are in Rollercoaster Tycoon and most other games. Because of this, you can take that simple calculator and, like in real life, make a staggeringly more complex version of it, taking you from “1 + 1 = 2” to “Press left = Rotate character left, update monitor display to represent what the player can now see, etc.” Inside a Minecraft computer are thousands of circuits that work like those rollercoaster carts and make up one small part of the many, many math problems you need to make a working (extremely slow) computer.