Aspiring computer scientist finds a passion in Minecraft


Jiung Jung, Copy Editor

ianpopeIan Pope ’16 has always had a passion in computer science. Pope has taken multiple computer science classes at West High, and is now continuing his path through an independent study with Steve Ehren, a computer science teacher at West.

Ehren appreciates Pope’s enthusiasm for computer science.

“Since computer science is my passion, it is very gratifying to get the opportunity to work with a student that enjoys solving problems with a computer as much as I do,” Ehren said.

However, recently, Pope has found a new passion, Minecraft.

“I was in a robotics team and when I first heard about Minecraft it was from another team member. At first I thought the game was really stupid, because it looked really small, but I went above the cave I later realized I was in and found an expansive landscape,” Pope said.

Pope was skeptical towards the game at first, but his mind changed when he realized the vast opportunities that came within the extremely large dimensions of Minecraft, which is approximately 6,000,000 meters by 6,000,000 meters.

“I really enjoy the fact that I can build whatever I want on it,” Pope said.

actual picture
The trees shown in this picture have been developed by Pope, and do not spawn in the original game of Minecraft.

Pope has accomplished impressive feats during his years of gaming.

“I’ve made my own spells,” Pope said. “I’ve changed the way you fundamentally play [Minecraft].”

Using what Pope calls “Command blocks,” he can command the world to his liking. He has created worlds and mechanics that you can not get in the original game.

“I’ve made the game so it holds different types of challenges,” Pope said.

Pope has even integrated his passion for computer science into his Minecraft experience.

“Basically, minecraft is a coding language,” Pope said. “I’ve basically made a computer inside my computer.”

Pope has brought his passion of Minecraft to West High and created a Minecraft club. He enjoys the collaboration that comes with playing with others.

“I like how I can play in other people’s worlds and other people can play in my world,” Pope said.

Pope has high expectations for what he wants to achieve with the Minecraft club.

“The high and mighty goal is to make a Minecraft world, upload it, send it to Adfly and hopefully make some ad revenue,” Pope said. “It could be donated to multiple charities.”

Ultimately, Pope just wants to have fun playing Minecraft.
“The more practical goal is to just have fun playing Minecraft, which is different for each person,” Pope said.

Minecraft Club meets in Room 131 on Tuesdays after school.

To see more details of Pope’s work, visit this link.

One of Pope’s creations.