If you’ve ever wanted to stroll through the streets of King’s Landing, gaze up at the icy Wall, or thrill to the giant statues of Dragonstone, now’s your chance.
Thousands of dedicated Minecraft players have set their minds to re-creating not just one or two cities from Game of Thrones but rather the entire continent of Westeros, the fictional world created by George R.R. Martin and given visual life by the folks at HBO.
They’ve completed about 60 percent of the continent so far, with no signs of stopping. The map itself is massive, with a relative size of 500 square miles, or roughly the size of Los Angeles.
Check out this overview video, narrated by actor Isaac Hempstead-Wright, who plays young Bran in the HBO show.
Minecraft has all but taken over the world of video games, rising from relative indie anonymity to a behemoth of a game recently acquired by Microsoft. You can play the game on your Mac, PC, PlayStation, Xbox and even iPhone or iPad. It’s a massive cultural phenomenon led by the hordes of 10-year-olds who take to it like a virtual Lego sandbox.
The team used a program called WorldPainter to build and terraform the basic map, along with a mixture of hand placement of blocks and a couple other tools, like WorldEdit and VoxelSniper, to refine the terrain and buildings further.
The massive effort here is impressive. The team has spent two years building the current map, which is accessible even to non-builders via a special Mac or PC launcher you can download from the site. There’s nothing better than a visit to a virtual land that so many have put their hearts, souls and considerable time into.