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.
Douglas Coupland Predicted Minecraft [The American Conservative]