A few days ago someone posted a picture on the Minecraft Reditt page. True story. It consisted of two circles that interjected. One circle was water and the other was lava. In the middle there was obsidian. They called it a vein diagram.

A few hours later a fixed version was posted. This one was two squares instead of two circles. But it was not over yet. Many people asked where the cobblestone was in the picture. And so another fixed version was released. This one represented cobblestone in the upper and lower corners of the square. It still was not over yet. There were arguments all over the board about what the accurate vein diagram would look like. And then somebody created a vein diagram machine in Minecraft to scientifically test the thesis and put all claims to rest.

It turns out that no one was right. A diehard devils advocate commented “You made it too big. Try making it so only one block connects the two materials”, but the creator backed his findings by saying “It does exactly the same thing. It converts the corner two pieces. The middle piece becomes water. And one lava remains”.

Part of the magic of Minecraft is that it lends itself so well to experimentation. We are given a virtual environment to socialize in – we create these perceptions of the world and it’s physics, just like in real life – but the playful nature of the game inspires us to test things out.