The Washington, D.C. Metro area is going virtual, thanks to one Minecraft architect, called Andres Alvarez, otherwise known in the game as Thor_IAD. The D.C.-born and raised player revealed his or her efforts to recreate the region in the popular sandbox video game on the Washington, D.C. section of Reddit. While created on a video game, the replicas are so lifelike that structures like the J. Edgar Hoover building, according to one Reddit commenter, look “even more brutal.”
In a comment, the creator of the Minecraft replica wrote, “As a Washingtonian myself, my intentions are to rebuild this lovely city I call home. If any of you guys are interested in Architecture around D.C., then we have it here! From Pennsylvania Avenue to Capitol Hill.” The creator also hopes to include parts of Bethesda, Maryland and Arlington, Virginia.
Already, the Minecraft replica features several landmarks, including the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, White House, and U.S. Capitol. There are also a few museums completed, including the Natural History Museum, Air and Space Museum, and American History Museum. The Arlington Cemetery has also been completed.
Not only is the exterior of each building accurate, but the interiors are as well. In order to create a perfectly replicated city, Alvarez looked up the floor plans of each building. So, when players enter the White House, they will be able to enter each and every room, including the Oval Office. Streets and neighborhoods also get special treatment like Pennsylvania Avenue and Chinatown.
For certain buildings that are more secure and don’t have floor plans readily available online, Alvarez said, “We do what we think is best.”
Currently, the project is only 25 percent complete with further plans to create the U.S. Capitol subway system, Pentagon, airport, and suburban areas of Virginia. On Reddit, Alvarez said that the project is still a work-in-progress, and that he is open to recommendations and movie and TV show references. There are already plans to construct Frank’s house from the Netflix TV show, House of Cards.
There is no indication as to how many people have helped with the replica, but the creator has indicated in a Reddit comment that “we've got a few people who study and build based off images.” Alvarez later told Curbed that many people from different parts of the country and even the world help and contribute.
In order to see the construction up close, Alvarez recommends joining the Astaria server. The server was formed in 2011 by a player known as ThePersian. Alvarez joined in late 2012, and at this point, the anonymous player had already begun building the D.C. replica. Not too long after, ThePersian dropped the project only for Alvarez to pick it up.
There is no set deadline as to when the project is expected to finish. “It’s sort of at our own leisure,” said Alvarez.
Those who have supported the project include Ian Simmons and Minecraft players known as ThePersian, Dogarogacog, blibbob, Waterhou5e, Evidn, NikolaiRossiya, Prodigyzmined, UnknownIdentity, Cityfans, and the Astarian Staff Team.
UPDATE 12/14: This article has been updated with quotes and further information from the creator of the Minecraft Astaria server, Andres Alvarez.
• Thor_IAD’s Washington, D.C. [Planet Minecraft]
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