Minecraft Basketball: shoot hoops with this excellent community map
One day, the Minecraft community's consistently stupendous creations will no longer be a continuing source of amazement to me. Not today though, because check this out! It's a functional basketball mini-game, complete with scoreboard and blocking mechanism. There's even victory fireworks.
The map, created by mapping collective The Farlanders, uses hoppers, minecarts, redstone and comparators to emulate the slams and jams of a b-ball court. Players attempt to throw the ball into the hoop, but are in danger of a switch that can be triggered to activate a blocking piston. It's all rather ingenious, and a testament to the flexibility of Minecraft and its increasingly creator-focused additions.
To play it you'll need three friends, each sporting the latest Minecraft snapshot (hoppers and comparators haven't been included in an official release yet). If that sounds like a whole lot of hassle, here's an instructional video that gives a tour of the map. It contains the sentence "Don't be alarmed if you begin to suffocate in a wall when you first spawn," which is pretty fantastic advice.
Expect to see much more Minecraft re-purposing following the release of the game's upcoming Redstone update.