The Book That Predicted Minecraft’s Existence… 18 Years Ago.

The Book That Predicted Minecraft’s Existence… 18 Years Ago.

Douglas Coupland is probably still best recognised as the writer of Generation X, which was released in 1991 and was an attempt, in Coupland’s words, to “show society what people born after 1960 think about things”. But most people have overlooked what is perhaps his most insane achievement: in 1995 he totally predicted the existence of Minecraft.

In Coupland’s third novel Microserfs, he describes a “virtual construction box” using “3D Lego-type bricks” that can be used to create anything the user desires. He calls this program ‘Oop!’.

Oop! is a virtual construction box — a bottomless box of 3D Lego-type bricks that runs on IBM or Mac platforms with CD-ROM drives. If a typical Lego-type brick has eight “bumps”; an Oop! brick can have from eight to 8,000 bumps, depending on the precision demanded by the user.

Oop! users can virtually fly in and out of their creations, or they can print them out on a laser printer. Oop! users can build their ideas on a “pad” or they can build their ideas in 3D space, a revolving space station; running ostriches … whatever. Oop! allows users to clone structures, and add these clones onto each other, permitting easy megaconstructions that use little memory. Customized Oop! blocks can be created and saved. The rations and proportions of Oop! bricks can also be customized by the user in much the same way typefaces are scaled.

Pretty creepy.

Douglas Coupland Predicted Minecraft [The American Conservative]


  • Not as exact as is suggested here.

    – Each Minecraft block must be exactly aligned with those above/below/to its sides. Therefore each block is equivalent to having only one “bump”.
    – Moving objects such as “revolving space stations” and “running ostriches” are very difficult to do (I hesitate to say impossible, but in the manner described it’s pretty nearly so).
    – You can’t clone structures or add them together.
    – You can’t really customise Minecraft blocks except by writing a mod.
    – Ratios and proportions of bricks are always identical (1x1x1m).

    The only real point of commonality is using blocks to build stuff. Garry’s Mod is a fair bit closer to having the flexibility described, but is not block-based.

    Really, if this counts as prediction, I can see why some people take astrology seriously. “Take care with your money, You will meet a female today.” AMAZING INSIGHT!

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