Minecraft is a popular indie game on the PC where gamers harvest blocks of matter and rearrange them in any manner they see fit. The game doesn't feature many enemies or even levels or bosses.
Instead, the game is an open sandbox island where players are free to create whatever they want, often spending hundreds of hours on their projects. Gamers have recreated landmarks such as the Taj Mahal and the Arc de Triomphe and Star Trek's USS Enterprise in the game among countless other original and derivative creations.
Schaal is probably most well known for her appearances as a correspondent on the mock-news cast The Daily Show. Though Schaal can be quite funny, the contest is no joke. The player who builds the best creation for her will win a trip to New York to meet her. The contest will end Nov. 7.
The Xperia Play was the first phone to be able to run Minecraft, as the alpha was released earlier this summer on the device. The Pocket Edition was just recently released on other Android OS devices with a $7 price tag. A version for the iPhone is due, but no word on when that will be.
The combination of using Schaal and Minecraft to sell phones is a little perplexing. Schaal has been doing a series of commercials for the company, but has never been associated with gaming or Minecraft. Sony Ericsson may be trying to appeal to Daily Show fans with the college-aged crowd being one of the biggest consumers of games.
I've always had a soft spot for gamers, so the chance to do something with Xperia Play gamers, and Minecraft gamers in particular, was something that I was totally into, Schaal said. Plus, I am looking forward to having the world's largest collection of giant, pixelated buildings.
Though the game is still in beta, 3.7 million users have bought the game as well as 14 million people subscribing to the Web site. With that many people paying attention to the game it is no wonder AT&T's phone is capitalizing on the game's popularity. There is even a Minecraft convention, Minecon, scheduled for November in Las Vegas.