In this weeks bulletin, we discuss a 1:1 earth map for Minecraft, video game history, the WHO urging people to play video games, the release of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, a fundraising sale by Paradox Interactive and History Respawned!

The earth in Minecraft, 1:1 scale

What’s cooler than building on a randomly generated seed? Building on the map of the earth! A lot of earth maps for Minecraft already exist. We use one for our Minecraft Server, but like many, it is downscaled. We use a 1:1000 map, making the earth a bit smaller. Also, mountains and other highs and lows are often removed, mostly down to the build limit (255 blocks) of Minecraft. YouTuber PippenFTS claims he has made the first ever 1:1 scale map of the earth, including the many mountains above the 255 limit, and is asking people to build cities on the map. Watch the video below for more, or read this article on Eurogamer.

Video: PippenFTS

Who gets to write video game history?

Not so long ago, we posted about the Nintendo PlayStation, the doomed collaboration between Sony and Nintendo, being auctioned for over $380,000. Interestingly, a lot of value has been given to this almost mythical piece of hardware. Florence Smith Nicholls from Eurogamer wondered how video game historians thought about the media frenzy. They talked to Frank Cifaldi of the Videogame History Foundation, who describes it as a ‘view into an alternate timeline’. The article by Nicholls goes on, and makes an interesting point on the preservation of hardware and software such as the PlayStation: placing those on a pedestal is easy, but personal video game histories are important as well. Collections of magazines and other media outlets can become very important in the coming years, as hard- and software are susceptible to data rot, incompatibilty and other problems. In the coming years, researching personal histories might become more commonplace. Your own collection of magazines is part of video game history, even if you might think it is irrelevant compared to the Nintendo Play System. Read the whole article over at Eurogamer!

One of the many video game histories. Video: Ahoy

WHO urges people to stay at home and play video games

In light of the current crisis, the World Health Organisation urges people to stay at home and play video games, and connect to others by online play. In the past, the WHO named ‘gaming disorder’ a disease, which angered many players around the world. Now the WHO, in collaboration with many companies from the gaming industry, will launch the initiative #PlayApartTogether, promoting online play and informing the players about health guidelines. How much impact the initiative can have is to be seen however, as many gamers are still angered by the naming of ‘gaming disorder’, and already play video games. For now, staying inside and playing some more seems to be the best thing to do!

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord now in early access!

TaleWorlds Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, which has been in development for over eight (!) years, has now become accessible through Steam in early access. As a big fan of the previous installment, I had to pick it up (with 20% off, as owners of the earlier installment get an extra 10% off)! And I wasn’t the only one. Over 200.000 people are already playing it, and it has overtaken GTA V on Steam as the most played game. Ethan Gach wrote an article over at Kotaku on Bannerlord clearly still being in early access, and is far from complete, but how he can’t stop playing it because it is so much fun! I completely agree with him (however, I had to stop playing to make this bulletin for you!) Even though my pc is below the minumum requirements it still plays pretty well (which baffles me), but there are definitely some bugs in the game. However, during the two days I now own this game, TaleWorlds have already released two patches. I can’t wait to see the development of the game, and look out for a review in the coming weeks (and perhaps a stream!) Read the whole article by Gach over at Kotaku.

Video: TaleWorlds Entertainment

Paradox Interactive sale

In order to raise money for the WHO’s coronavirus Solidarity Response Fund, Paradox are running a sale over at Steam on selected games such as Cities: Skylines and Hearts of Iron IV (might be the time to finally start HoI IV!) All the proceedings go to the fund, so you can grab some cool games and help the world recover! The sale lasts until today (3rd of April), so hurry! Also have a look over at Rock Paper Shotgun, who list some more fundraisers you could visit for some cool games!

History Respawned: Through the Darkest of Times

How do historians view games set in the past? Take a look at the History Respawned series, where historians consider historical video games. Their latest video is on the game Through the Darkest of Times, a resistance strategy game set in Nazi Germany.

Video: History Respawned