Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Business
Pursuits

To Teach and Delight, Denmark Recreates Itself in Minecraft

To Teach and Delight, Denmark Recreates Itself in Minecraft
Photograph by Veryan Dale/Alamy

The Danish government has recreated all of Denmark in Minecraft, which even people who have no interest in one of the most popular video games of all time can acknowledge is pretty cool. It’s also curious. Why would the Danes bother? The short answer: to use the appeal of gaming to draw the public’s attention to geographical data.

Minecraft has sold more than 45 million copies on various platforms. That’s quite an achievement for a game that is neither slick nor beautiful and is about creation—players build structures from blocks in a 3D-rendered world—rather than destruction. It is what’s known as a sandbox game, one in which players roam around at will, rather than passing through levels in sequence. That also makes it a perfect platform for showcasing the topographical data that the Danish Geodata Agency has amassed on everything from buildings and roads to statues and lampposts.