Get ready for a heartwarming and slightly horrifying tale of making dreams come true, virtual animal torture, and almost definitely at least one health code violation.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation is a non-profit organisation that helps make wishes come true for children with terminal and critical illnesses, whether that's to become a firefighter, meet their sporting hero, or spend a day at Minecraft developer Mojang.
That last one is exactly what happened for one lucky youngster, who was able to visit the company's Seattle offices (where Xbox and Microsoft are based) on a COVID-safe tour of their new studio space, alongside several other Xbox studios, like the makers of Halo, 343 Industries.
"When we asked our young friend what his “dream build” was, he truly couldn’t decide. There were so many wonderful things to build, and yet so little time during our visit!
So here’s where we landed: “Let’s make a crater and fill it with cows.”
SO THAT’S WHAT WE DID."
After packing the crater full of poor, innocent herd animals, the kid added one final detail: a burger restaurant, called McDragons. Don't ask where they get their meat.
Matt Gartzke, a Community Manager at Mojang, was there in person. "I believe he was one of the first people outside of Mojang Studios to see the new space," he said, "including our massive 60+ foot long timeline of the history of Minecraft." Their visitor had begun playing Minecraft in the summer of 2017, which evolved into him making his own games in Unreal Engine.
Some of the team were present in the office for the visit, while others joined in by hopping onto a shared Realm — Minecraft's in-house servers — to build with their visitor.
"The true architect was our young friend," said Kristina Horner in an email. Kristina is a Community Manager at Mojang, and the author of the article on the website detailing the Make-A-Wish visit. "He was directing all of us, from the original crater (which he expertly created using TNT) to the questionable hamburger joint — he was calling the shots!"
Matt Gartzke agreed with Horner: "Our guest had the ideas of what to build and we collaborated with him on building it! We didn’t really have a set goal in mind at the beginning but it quickly evolved over the course of the session."
Although obviously the team couldn't provide photos, and we don't know anything about the kid beyond his love for Minecraft, we can tell that he had a great time. Thanks to Kristina Horner and Matt Gartzke for speaking to us!
What would your dream build be if you got to visit the Mojang studio? Let us know in the comments!