As any ten-year-old will tell you, you can do a whole bunch of practical things in Minecraft, inculding ride horses, light fires and construct underwater fortresses. But until now, you haven't been able to do that everyday activity: use a smartphone. Verizon and Wieden & Kennedy decided to remedy this by building the first working smartphone in Minecraft.
The phone can essentially connect to the real world without leaving the game. The system includes custom functionality that lets players browse the Internet, make video calls and create a selfie stick to send an MMS selfie to a friend. Verizon invited Minecraft experts SethBling and CaptainSparklez to beta test and show how they would use these features in demo videos. It also hosted a live stream this week with YouTube educator MatPat, who ordered a pizza and set out to achieve the "world's largest selfie from Minecraft."
The aim of this is not just to be clever but actually to help diehard Minecraft players; the open-source libraries can be used by players themselves if they know how to write code. The project is part of Verizon's Better Matters campaign, which launched earlier this year aiming to make a difference in people's lives by improving the connections that matter to them.