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The world is vast, laid out as a landscape filled with the hard, straight edges of digital grass, stones, sand and trees. I continue my climb to the nearest mountain peak. This will be a good place for it. The land spreads out far below — the ocean in the distance, the hills to the left and the white fog that shows the limits of my visibility. This will be a good place to build my castle.

I start with a single, narrow path that heads straight out from the mountain — a bridge to the sky. Next, I build out a wider platform on top of which I will create the foundation of stone and wood. Arched doorways, long halls, wide sitting rooms, flickering torches, hidden passageways, deep tunnels — a spectacular monument is formed.

It’s called Minecraft, and if you haven’t heard about it yet, you’re about to.