Verizon Built A Semi-Working Smartphone In Minecraft

PR stunts are getting pretty square these days

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In a world not unlike our own, to make a cellphone call, first one must plant a cell tower tree. Crafted together from steel and red dust, the magical cell tower tree, planted in the firm, blocky soil of Minecraft, takes root. With a little bit of bone-meal fertilizer and magical construction by robotic engineers, the tower rises in seconds, providing actual cellular service to a towering monolith-like phone in a level of Minecraft.

With a flip of a switch, the completed tower is on, and the phone connects to the internet.

The phone, which starts in professional video game streamer Captain Sparklez’ inventory, is a creation of Verizon, the telecommunications company.

We don’t, in the demo below, get to see how it works, but we know it has a working web browser, rendering everything in simplified Minecraft blocks, and it can even make video calls to the outside world.

The entire production is sponsored by Verizon, and as far as marketing stunts go, it’s quite timely, as the deceptively simple building video game remains one of the most popular titles in the real world today.

Verizon released some of the code behind the stunt at its special “Verizoncraft” page on Github, the open-source code repository. This allows anyone with programming experience to try it for themselves.

Need to learn to code first? Fortunately, there’s a way to do that within Minecraft, too.

Watch the full video below: