This article situates the video game Minecraft along with Robinson Crusoe in a genealogy of island fictions to show how Minecraft reinterprets narratives of creative subjects and invention. By reading Minecraft through histories of construction toys, modern conceptions of creativity, and digital practices of modding, I argue that Minecraft allows players to experiment with various social and environmental conditions historically central to debates over shaping creative subjects, rooted in island narratives as the generic site for negotiating conflicts between individual autonomy and social dependence. I show how Minecraft players become inventive subjects through simulating Crusoe’s island and performing code work with the game as software embedded in networks of players, programmers, and digital technologies.


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pp. 471-500
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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