Watch this AI figure out how to place blocks in Minecraft

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Artificial intelligence doesn’t compare favorably to humans when it comes to problem solving. Ask any eight year old child to place a few blocks on a grid in Minecraft and they’ll almost certainly be bored by the task. A computer, on the other hand, doesn’t grasp such difficult concepts so easily. Stephan Alaniz, a researcher with the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Technische Universitat Berlin, yesterday published a white paper titled “Deep Reinforcement Learning with Model Learning and Monte Carlo Tree Search in Minecraft.” In his paper the scientist explains his efforts to create a superior method for…

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Check out these 5 games that are a lot like Minecraft for mobile

Minecraft screenshot

So you’re in love with Minecraft, but you’re looking for something else to play as well? You’ve come to the right place then, because this list is all about games that are a bit like Minecraft. Some of them, more than others.

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Gamevice Just Launched a $89.95 ‘Minecraft’ Bundle

Late last year we posted about a somewhat surprising bundle that popped up on the Apple Store which featured a SteelSeries Nimbus MFi Controller and Minecraft: Apple TV Edition. Well, if that piqued your interest but you’re more into playing on mobile than you are Apple TV, you’ll be happy to learn that Gamevice now has a very similar bundle featuring their expandable controller and Minecraft for $ 89.95.

If you’re new to the Gamevice, we reviewed it when it was the hip new thing all the way back in 2015. (We also reviewed an even earlier unit for the iPad mini.) Basically, it’s an expandable controller that clips your iOS device in the middle, ending up with an arrangement that’s sort of like the Switch. (Amusingly enough, they’re also suing Nintendo.)

If you’re curious what other games (besides Minecraft) you can play with MFi controllers, the Gamevice Live [Free] app does a great job at aggregating all of them. Chances are you already own more than a few games that could benefit from Gamevice or any other MFi controller.


Gamevice Launches Special Minecraft Gaming Controller Bundle

Gamevice today announced the launch of a new Minecraft-themed controller bundle, which comes with a standard Gamevice controller, a Gamevice carrying case, and a code to download Minecraft on iOS.

For those unfamiliar with Gamevice, the company makes gaming controllers designed for the iPhone and the iPad. Gamevice controllers wrap around an iOS device, offering access to a d-pad, two joystick, and buttons to allow gamers to play iOS games with physical controls.

The Minecraft version of the Gamevice works with iPhone 6, 6s, 7, 7s, 8, and X models, along with Plus versions of those devices. At $89.95, the Minecraft bundle is $10 more expensive than the standard Gamevice controller, but the Minecraft iOS code is worth $6.99 and the carrying case is an added bonus.

“Minecraft is one of the greatest games of all time and playing Minecraft with Gamevice puts mobile players on equal ground with PC and console players. said Phillip Hyun, CEO, Gamevice. “Gamevice offers low latency and precision control, delivering a console quality experience to more than one thousand different games including Mojang’s masterpiece.”

The Gamevice controllers, Minecraft controller included, work with more than 1,000 iOS games, including several games that have been optimized for iPhone X.

The Gamevice Minecraft Bundle can be purchased starting today from Amazon.

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Best ‘Minecraft’ Skins On the Marketplace—’Star Wars’, ‘Stranger Things’, and More

In the beginning, there was only one. I’m talking about skins in Minecraft [$ 6.99] back in the day, where you could only be Steve and Steve alone (despite the rumors of the Herobrine skin that, of course, never materialized). No matter if you were old, young, male, female, you had but one look while traversing the immense expanse that is Minecraft. However, that started to change when modders took the lead in offering new skins to players, providing a fresh look to the game that became essential once huge servers became more popular. Mojang gradually joined the party as well and started offering “official skins,” and it’s been doing so ever since.

Once the Minecraft Marketplace became a thing, skins started coming at a much faster pace, and now we find ourselves with dozens and dozens of skins. Choosing the best ones is challenging. So, we’ve decided to put together a short list of the best skins currently on the Marketplace so you can shop wisely. Don’t expect to like all of our suggestions, because we’ll try and address different tastes. Still, this list will be helpful if you don’t have many coins but still want to dress your Steve in nice clothes.

If you’re a Disney fan, you can pick up the latest pack that consists of characters from the movie Moana. There’s a total of 25 skins that range from Moana and Maui to the cute piggy Pua and even the anthropomorphized Ocean. You could even do the half-shark Maui. This is a pretty cool pack because it’s a departure from most other character designs on the Marketplace. If your tastes veer towards the creepy instead of the cheerful, you can grab the Stranger Things Skin Pack, which comes with 52 skins that include all the kids and grownups, the Demogorgon, the kids in their Ghostbusters costumes, Barb in the Upside Down (Justice for Barb), and plenty more. Pretty cool pack that gives you a ton of options when it comes to turning your Realm into the 80s.

Continuing on the movie theme, the Star Wars Classic Pack is another great choice, and it comes with 55 skins from Episodes IV to VI. It includes a variety of Luke skins—from peasant to Jedi Knight and beyond—as well as Princess Leia, Darth Vader, C-3PO, R2-D2, and even Yoda. A pretty cool pack overall with, again, a ton of choices. If you’re more of a newer Star Wars fan, you can grab the Star Wars Prequel Skin Pack or even the Star Wars Rebels Skin Pack.

If you’re more into horror, you can grab the Campfire Tales Skin Pack, which comes with the kinds of skins you would expect to hear about around a campfire. There are only 16 skins in this one, so the selection is on the limited side compared to the ones I’ve mentioned earlier (although it’s also slightly cheaper). The Sci-Fi Horror pack is also fun—if a little bland—for those who like their horror in space rather than around the campfire. Expect Husks and infected individuals in this one. Finally, there’s the Spookfest, which comes with skins like Invisiboy and Eyesore the Experiment.

The Marketplace includes some other silly ones as well, like the Emoji Skin Pack—which turns all of you into emoji and even includes a skin called Pile of Poo—the Dapper Folk Skin Pack—for those who want to class it up—and the Meow! And Woof! ones, which—you guessed it—turn you all into either cats or dogs. I hope this list helps you on your next shopping trip to the Marketplace. Most of these packs are 460 coins or under. I know that on the Java version you can get many of these for free, but not everyone has access to that version and many (including the young ones) don’t know how to download skins. Let me know if you like any skins that I haven’t mentioned, and happy Minecrafting!


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You can visit the Pentagon’s secret nuclear bunker inside Minecraft

Even if the populations of the US or Russia are annihilated in a nuclear apocalypse, the governments responsible for the devastation plan to fight on from vast, underground bunkers. Now, the public can peer inside the secretive complexes thanks to the efforts of arms control analysts who reconstructed these bunkers inside Minecraft.

The mistaken missile alert that sent people scurrying for cover in Hawaii last week revealed just how poorly prepared the US government is to protect the public during a nuclear attack. The government’s plans for protecting itself from a rain of thermonuclear fire are much more detailed. Using satellite images, declassified information, and a good amount of guesswork, analysts at the Middlebury Institute of…

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‘Minecraft’ Getting Adorable Turtles In the Near Future

Minecraft‘s [$ 6.99] empty oceans are about to get much more populated once the upcoming Update Aquatic hits in 2018. The developers decided to give us an early present by teasing us about a new water mob, turtles. Turtles will make their nests on shorelines across various biomes, and their young ones will scamper down to the water, according to the official description. The turtle textures in the screenshot below will likely be temporary and might change before they are added to the game. That’s pretty much all the info we have on the turtles. I wonder if we’ll get any uses for turtle shells (guitars?), although I’d hate to have to kill those cute creatures.

I can’t wait to get the Update Aquatic and finally see the oceans populated with all kinds of sea creatures. The land has always been very busy, but the oceans and the skies have been really empty, a fact that made Minecraft maps less interesting. I’ve always loved the idea of building an underwater house, and now I’ll have plenty of fish and turtles swimming by my windows. What other water mobs do you want to see?


‘Minecraft’ now livestreams building sessions directly to Mixer

A large part of Minecraft's allure is showing off your work. And now, it should be relatively easy to do that in real time. Mojang has released an update that lets you livestream directly to Microsoft Mixer (its parent company's service, naturally) f…
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‘Minecraft’ Aquatic Update Announced at MineCon Earth – Will Add Dolphins, Fish, Coral, Tridents, and Much, Much More

Great news, Minecraft [$ 6.99] players! We’re finally getting oceans worth exploring. During the MineCon Earth stream, which just concluded, the developers announced that the next update (for both the bedrock and Java versions) will be called Update Aquatic, and it will finally bring life to Minecraft‘s pretty empty oceans. This update will add corals, kelp, ocean sub-biomes—with both cold and warm oceans—shipwrecks, a ton of fish, dolphins, and bubble columns, which will change the buoyancy of anything floating above it. You’ll have the ability to use a bucket and grab water with fish, and that fish will be persistent; in other words, get ready to build the craziest aquariums.

We are also getting a new weapon, the Trident. You can throw the Trident at targets, but it won’t come back unless it has the loyalty enchantment. To make the oceans work better in-game, the team will rework water physics to make it more natural, so expect items to float from now on (and sorry, no pocket of air underwater trick anymore). This news got me very excited because oceans are usually the largest biomes in maps, and they’re not really worth exploring. And building underwater can also be a pain. Expect the update to come in the next year. Head over here and go to 2:26 to see the update in action.

The vote for the new mob also took place during MineCon Earth, and the winner was the Monster of the Night Skies (no actual name yet). This manta-ray-like monster spawns at high altitudes and is attracted to insomnia; if you haven’t slept for a few days, it will swoop down along with friends and bite your flesh. This is the first flying monster in the overworld, and I’m super excited about it. Expect it to come in the Update Aquatic. Finally, you can all get free MineCon Marketplace stuff like a Minecon Earth Skinpack, a MineCon Earth map, the purple party parrot palace build, and much more. Check them all out in the Marketplace in-game. So, excited about all these additions? As pretty much a veteran of Minecraft by now, I have waited for ocean content forever. Can’t wait until the Update Aquatic hits next year.