Tate dives into the world of Minecraft with collection-inspired Tate Worlds project

By Richard Moss | 20 November 2014

Tate has teamed up with leading Minecraft mapmakers to create 3-D Tate Worlds inspired by artworks

a Minecraft city view with elevated railway and skyscrapers
View of Tate Worlds: Soul of the Soulless City map in Minecraft© Tate
Minecraft, the open-ended 3-D video game that has captivated millions of children and young people across the world, is a phenomenon that most museums would give their hind teeth to tap into.

Now Tate has grabbed the metal by launching a new series of Minecraft inspired virtual environments known as Tate Worlds - based on paintings and sculptures in the Tate Collection.

Focusing on the theme of ‘Cities’, the first virtual maps, inspired by André Derain's 1906 painting of London, The Pool of London, and Christopher Nevinson's 1920 painting of New York, Soul of the Soulless City, will be available to download for free online from Monday November 24 2014.

Promising gamers a "unique" experience combining art, history and adventure, the Nevinson-inspired game allows Minecraft players to board a train taking them past New York landmarks of the time before rollercoasting into the future as the skyscrapers go up and up.

The sights and sounds of the ‘roaring twenties’ accompany the journey as players build a skyscraper, join construction workers for a dangerous sky-high lunch and race to catch a movie.

For the Derain-inspired adventure, gamers are treated to a Fauvist view of the Thames and a journey into the forgotten river Nickinger beneath the city in search of the pigments Monsieur Derain used in his paintings.

Describing Minecraft as a "wonderful" game which "embraces imagination and creativity”, Jane Burton, the Creative Director of Tate Media said the "playful re-imagining" of art aimed to introduce a new generation to inspirational works from Tate's collection.

Six more Tate Worlds maps will be released during the coming year on the themes of Play, Destruction and Fantasy, inspired by well-known artworks including John Singer Sargent’s Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose, 1885-6; Peter Blake’s The Toy Shop, of 1962; John Martin’s The Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum, from 1822 and Cornelia Parker’s Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View, made in 1991.

Developed in association with leading Minecraft makers, the Tate Worlds maps are available free to players of Minecraft on PC or Mac only. Created in Minecraft version 1.8, you will need the latest version of Minecraft to play them.

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