Lego's point-and-brick browser adventure

 

To mark its 50th birthday in Australia, Lego has teamed up with Google to turn the Chrome browser into one large, virtual brick set. The site, buildwithchrome.com, lets users pick a slice of Australia and then get going on a spot of Lego property development. Once you're done, you then "publish" your creation for all to see.

So far, offerings range from the quasi-religious (a Mayan temple and what looks like a Methodist chapel) to the cutesy (a smiley face. Aww).

As counterintuitive as it seems given that Lego is utterly low-tech, this is the latest in a long line of hi-tech forays, which includes Lego Star Wars, Batman and Indiana Jones video games, and a social networking site called ReBrick, which launched in December.

Unsurprisingly, Build with Chrome has got Twitter all a-quiver. But, the question is, how does it, err, stack up against the real thing? Having spent a fruitful 20 minutes playing with it, I can attest to its addictiveness.

But without the pleasing click of bricks (rather than point and click), and the ability to leave bits of Lego lying around the house, which then become traps for the barefooted, it seems a bit wan. Good for big, office-bound kids like me then, but not so good for the little 'uns.

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