Update: We've been taken in by a hoax: this below 'experiment' appears to to be a mostly fabricated account of the human condition manifested in Minecraft desolation. We'll leave the story up as testament to our shame.
Freeze-framed above is neither the dark side of the Death Star nor the latest snap from Mars rover Curiosity. Rather, it’s the grim result of Minecraft player WordWorksExperiment’s self-described test of the “human condition and human interaction with the environment”.
30 players survived in WordWorksExperiment’s Minecraft server for two months - a 350x350 grid, surrounded by bedrock - and weren’t informed as to the experiment’s purpose. What followed was a quick, inevitable decline into a battle for resources:
“Three weeks into the experiment flowers were gone forever, sand was depleted making glass rare and hard to replace, and obsidian was un-minable for most players due to a lack of diamond. The players resorted to war to find diamonds.”
While griefers and Merchant’s Guild bankers eventually came out on top of this ruined world, some small redemption was to be found down amongst the players with the very least, who “banded together to try to survive the harsh environment” simply to make it through the night.
Read the full, terrible tale here on Minecraft forum.