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  • 06.26.12

“Build” Brings Lego To the Browser

Google Chrome’s “Build” gives users a chunk of virtual property using the company’s Maps technology, and allows them to build it out with digital Legos.

“Build” Brings Lego To the Browser
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Legos are pretty versatile. When they’re not being used to recreate famous cartoon characters, they’re starring in your elaborate home movies. As of today, though, they’re also being used to give the world a block-based makeover online.

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Build is an experiment by Google that gives users the tools for bringing anything in their mind’s eye to digital life on the Chrome browser. Upon signing in, you’re allotted a small plot of land (or sea) on which to build a foundation with digital Legos. The bricks were made with WebGL for a 3-D effect, and the space they inhabit is located on virtual Google Map coordinates. Since the space is finite, Lego engineers are encouraged to make it count. Medieval castles have already been erected.

Google worked on this project in its Sydney offices, which explains why all the available real estate is in Australia and New Zealand. (Other countries will open up soon.) According to Google Australia’s official blog, the site has 8 trillion bricks, easily making it the largest Lego collection the world has known. It also threatens to be the world’s greatest time-suck.

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. His next book, Away with Words, is available June 13th from Harper Perennial.

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