“Tate Worlds are exciting Minecraft ‘maps’ that present virtual environments inspired by artworks from Tate’s collection. The maps allow players of Minecraft to explore a range of paintings and sculpture, undertaking various activities and challenges that relate to the themes of the artworks, or exploring how they were made. Tate has teamed up with some of Minecraft’s best known mapmakers to create these virtual artworks, offering a unique combination of art, history and adventure. — Tate.org

The first two maps were released by the museum on November 24th and were based on two famous paintings of urban settings: Andre Derain’s 1906 painting of London, The Pool of London, and Christopher Nevinson’s 1920 painting of New York, Soul of the Soulless City.

André Derain, the influential Fauvist painter, depicted the bustling port of the Thames at the turn of the century. In the new Minecraft version of the painting, the bright colors employed by the painter are reproduced on an immersive scale. Gamers can wander the imaginary city and explore such historic sites as the Tower of London.

Christopher Nevin's futurist-influenced painting Soul of the Soulless City depicts New York in the 1920s, as it began to emerge both economically and architecturally as a modern metropolis. Fittingly, the experience of the corresponding Minecraft maps begins on a train that hurtles you into the city, just as Nevin's painting utilizes train tracks to convey its convoluted sense of perspectival motion.

In 2015, Tate Worlds will release maps based of John Singer Sargent's Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose from 1885-6, Peter Blake's The Toy Shop from 1962, John Martin's The Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum from 1822, and Cornelia Parker's Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View from 1991.