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The Minecraft 1.2.5 title screen displaying one of over 300 possible autistic blurbs.
|Release date||November 18, 2011|
|Platform(s)||PC, Xbox 360|
|Rating||E for "Everyone has Autism"|
Minecraft is an independent video game simulation created by Swedish Autism rights advocate Markus Persson and distributed by his advocacy organization Mojang AB. The game was developed as a way for Neurotypical persons to be immersed within the everyday experience of people with Classical Autism. As an advocacy tool, Minecraft is highly successful, and profitable, as over 2.5 million people have downloaded the simulator game. The game has been praised by those who are able to speak intelligibly and clearly within the Autism movement as being a; "revolutionary way to communicate our way of communicating to those who can't communicate in the ways we communicate."
Swedish programer Markus Person, aka Notch, was marginally notable in the online world of hackers and programers prior to 2009 for works such as; Wurm Online, Scrolls, and The Great XSS Computer Worm 2308-B of 1987. During his stint working with King.com as a game developer, Notch's friend Jeb was diagnosed with a crippling case of Aspergers. Wanting to help raise awareness of Autism and Aspergers, Notch decided to help create a simulator that would allow normal people to experience the hours of obsession, inability to communicate effectively, isolation, and general societal rebuke associated with autists.
The initial spark of creativity that Notch had came during a 3AM visit to the Stockholm Wal Mart. Trying to get in touch with his inner autist, Notch had wandered up and down the Home and Garden aisle for nearly six hours when it occurred to him that, like Wal Mart, his simulator had to trap people inside their own little world.
Building off of this idea, Notch started to create an open-world, sandbox, block-based building game in the Java platform. Anyone familiar with programing will note why building a video game in Java is the best idea ever. Many will point out that programing in Java will often make you feel like an autistic retard. Some say this casual association between the autistic programmers' language and the world's first autism simulator is not a coincidence, others just contend that Notch is not a very elegant programer.
The early Alpha version of the game was almost indistinguishable from Infiniminer and closely resembled a 3-D Dwarf Fortress. Experts typically agree that this is because Minecraft is essentially a plagiarized and poorly optimized smashup of both games within Java. The Beta version of Minecraft was characterized by a cessation of frequent updates coinciding with an increase in price for the game.
The game was released during the first semi-annual Autism convention, dubbed Minecon 2011, on November 18, 2011.