"But why", some people ask, "are you making Minecraft programmable?". The reason is, adventure mode!
The three main game modes when the game is finished will be:
* Creative mode. You can build anything for free, and there’s no health bar, and no inventory.
* Survival mode. There’s a health bar, an inventory, and you need to gather resources to be able to build.
* Adventure mode. There’s a health bar and an inventory, but you can’t destroy or place blocks, you can only use items.
(You can combine at least the two latter game modes for different players in multiplayer)
I foresee a future where people can design “challenge maps” in creative or survival mode, then share them with people so that they can try to beat them in Adventure mode. Being able to create interesting puzzles or trigger events requires some more advanced programming than the sand and water based stuff we’ve seen so far, yet still I don’t want to introduce real programming into the world.
I think the Redstone Dust (which is, and always has been[*] the official name for the red stuff) fits fairly well with the pseudo fantasy theme of Minecraft, and it will certainly have more uses in the future, mainly for alchemy and possibly other forms of magic.
Also, I’m a huge cellular automata nerd.
[*] I made it up last night.