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Christmas Gift Guide

Villa La Rotonda

'Ferelden Frostback'

'Aeternum'

'Gotham City'

The White House

Cover shot

'A Futuristic Past'

'Phain - Game Board of the Ancients'

'Lindblum Gate'

'Babel'

'Deep Sea'

'Cthulhu'

'Battersea'

'Aeternum'

'London'

'Iaven - Magic of Colors'

Minecraft, the megahit video game, comes with a creative mode that lets players construct whatever they want from the game's characteristic blocky elements. Many kids will experiment with building houses and castles, but serious creators invest many hours building elaborate constructions.

This rendition of the Villa La Rotonda, originally by architect Andrea Palladio but made in Minecraft by a two-person team from a company called BlockWorks, took a week to make. It's one of dozens of constructions in a new book called "Beautiful Minecraft."

Caption by / Photo by No Starch Press

There's plenty of fantasy in "Beautiful Minecraft," including Nickolas Morton's "Ferelden Frostback," a mammoth dragon made over 41 days out of 375,000 blocks.

Caption by / Photo by No Starch Press

This interior stage is from a BlockWorks Team project called "Aeternum" that took seven days and 100 million blocks.

Caption by / Photo by No Starch Press

Twelve people from the BlockWorks Team built "Gotham City" over five days out of 25 million blocks. Minecraft constructions can be laborious to make, but serious creators like BlookWorks often have custom tools that aid with things like copying and pasting sections or painting blocks into spaces the way you might paint pixels into a Photoshop graphic.

Caption by / Photo by No Starch Press

Many of the book's scenes are fantastic, but some are based on real buildings -- in this case, The White House. This took Nickolas Morton 34 days to build out of 200,000 Minecraft blocks.

Caption by / Photo by No Starch Press

The "Beautiful Minecraft" book from No Starch Press costs $20 and arrived in December. An e-book version costs $16.

Caption by / Photo by No Starch Press

Will Loader's "A Futuristic Past" took 28 days to make, using 9 million blocks.

Caption by / Photo by No Starch Press

The sprawling realm by Andrzej Czerniewski called "Phain - Game Board of the Ancients" has 10 million blocks and took a year to build.

Caption by / Photo by No Starch Press

Vegard Elseth's "Lindblum Gate" took 60 days to make out of 300,000 blocks.

Caption by / Photo by No Starch Press

Mats Heiberg's "Babel," made over 31 days out of 8 million blocks, is reminiscent of Gaudi's Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain.

Caption by / Photo by No Starch Press

The BlockWorks Team "Deep Sea" took 9 builders six days to make out of 32 million blocks.

Caption by / Photo by No Starch Press

Paul Fuchs's "Cthulhu" has 100,000 blocks and took two weeks to make.

Caption by / Photo by No Starch Press

Look familiar? "Battersea" by the BlockWorks Team is a 3 million block rendition of London's Battersea Power Station that was featured on a Pink Floyd album cover and will become Apple's UK headquarters.

Caption by / Photo by No Starch Press

Here's the outside of BlockWorks Team's "Aeternum" with 100 million blocks.

Caption by / Photo by No Starch Press

Visit "London" by the BlockWorks Team online. It's made of 30 million blocks and took 13 days to make.

Caption by / Photo by No Starch Press

Andrzej Czerniewski's "Iaven - Magic of Colors" took 22 days to make out of an astounding 7 billion blocks.

Caption by / Photo by No Starch Press
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