“Are Games Art?” It’s a question that everyone loves to ask, but one that nobody can really answer. There are strong arguments on both sides, but I think everyone can agree that you can have art within a game, even if the whole thing isn’t “art.” This side discussion is all just a way to introduce “Operacraft,” an opera performed within Minecraft by Virginia Tech students, with an assist from several area high school students.
In Operacraft, two children are forced to live underground after an apocalyptic event destroyed the surface world and separated them from their parents. The opera chronicles their search for their parents and Emperor Xavier’s desire to stop them:
Starting with music borrowed from Mozart operas and a specific number of characters, the project inspires K-12 students to create a story and then the libretto; create the virtual set through a custom version of ubiquitous Minecraft video game/ sandbox; create avatars for each character; and control said avatars within the confines of the virtual world, including body gestures, lip-syncing with real singing soloists, as well as multiple real-time camera feeds akin to that of a live video production.
It’s only a matter of time before people create movies and TV shows within Minecraft, isn’t it? Unless they already have…