Holy heck, you can actually make phone calls in Minecraft now.
Cell company Verizon actually pioneered the project, which was demoed in a YouTube video by CaptainSparklez on December 1.
The phone itself can be made in the game out of iron and white stained glass. Then, because even in our fantasies nothing is easy, you have to construct a cell phone tower. You can watch CaptainSparklez go through the whole process in his video:
As you can see, any web page can be accessed through Minecraft. Boxel translates the web pages into block format, so that it’s viewable in Minecraft. You can find the code for Boxel on GitHub here. The client library for Boxel is also on GitHub, found here.
Following that, Verizon’s GitHub page has all the info to get you started using Boxel to make Minecraft video calls yourself.
As Verizon points out, this means you could literally order a pizza through your Minecraft phone. That’s awesome.
Using the phone is adorably janky. It’s massive for one, and you have to hit the stained glass screen to navigate through apps and scroll down web pages. The phone obviously can’t display pages with lots of colors with absolutely clarity. CaptainSparklez does a side-by-side comparison of his YouTube homepage with the Minecraft version of it. The program takes the colors and translates them as well as it can into Minecraft blocks.
The video calling works in real time and somehow looks even better than a web page. On the other end, the person you’re video calling sees your Minecraft character. CaptainSparklez demonstrated by calling fellow YouTuber SethBling. As you can tell from comparing the thumbnail of this article to the full-size feature image, it’s kind of like a Cubist-style painting. When you’re far away you can see the image clearly, and close up it gets a little blurry.
It’s hard to describe how seriously cool this is.