Creepers, Zombies, and Skeletons: Minecraft and open-source



A trek through the history of Minecraft and what we can learn from its interaction with open-source communities


Mojang’s game Minecraft has become an instant favorite game among computer scientists, including open-source enthusiasts and hackers. During this talk, we’ll explore the history of open source communities around Minecraft, and see what we can learn about running communities and writing software in a way that benefits everybody.

Executive summary:

  • A history of Minecraft
  • Overview of the Mojang-authorized Minecraft community
  • Overview of the open-source Minecraft community
  • Light technical discussion of Minecraft internals
  • Lessons learned from community-Mojang interactions

We’ll also play some Minecraft, of course.

This talk could be very technical, if people are interested in technical aspects of Minecraft, but it doesn’t have to be that way. A deep technical discussion is possible but would probably exceed the short form time slot. (Hint, hint to organizers.)

Speaking experience


  • Corbin Simpson

    Open Source University Open Source Lab


    Corbin Simpson is a programmer at the Oregon State University Open Source Lab. Over the past few years, he has worked on a plethora of Python projects, including Pydra, PyPy, and Twisted. He is also the author of Bravo, an open-source Minecraft server.