A Valley High School student has recreated downtown Des Moines in stunningly exact detail within the realm of a popular video game.
Sean Eddy, 16, is a resident of Beaverdale. Over the past two and a half years, mostly during summer breaks from school, he has worked on meticulously recreating the downtown Des Moines area within the open-ended, world-building video game Minecraft.
The 801 Grand building in downtown Des Moines recreated in Minecraft by Sean Eddy. (Photo: ProjectDSM/ Special to the Register)
After recreating Stillwell Junior High School when he was in seventh grade for a school project, Eddy decided he would get more ambitious with his Minecraft projects. He started what would become the downtown project by recreating the 801 Grand building.
After opening up a server that would allow people to publicly see his downtown Des Moines recreation project in 2017, Eddy has spent the majority of the time since working on the project, spending the past summer, in particular, going back over previously built buildings and adding more specific details.
In order to faithfully recreate intricate details and the interiors of buildings, Eddy has looked to Des Moines Register photos of areas like the Tea Room at Wilkins, Cowles Commons redesign and even those of the Younkers fire in order to capture downtown as precisely as possible.
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In a video posted to the ProjectDSM YouTube channel, Eddy has shown exactly how meticulously he’s recreated the downtown landscape.
Though Eddy does all of the exterior detailing himself, his friends Henry Shires and Luke Okland have contributed with designing interiors and managing the technicalities of running a server for the public.
Though he’s about to embark on a particularly challenging year of high school, Eddy is looking ahead to eventually expanding east and west in his downtown project to work on the Court Avenue District and Pappajohn Sculpture Park areas.
The sever the downtown area is stored on is entirely public and accessible to anyone with a Minecraft client for PC compatible with the server. The ProjectDSM website has more information for those interested in exploring the recreation.
Screenshot from the ProjectDSM Minecraft recreation of downtown Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo: Project DSM/ Special to the Register)