A little off the beaten path...: Denmark has built a 1m:1block Minecraft World using real GIS data. Here's the home page, in Danish: http://gst.dk/emner/frie-data/minecraft/, and an ArsTechnica overview.

How did they do it, and how might others do the same for their home-land/country/province/county/city/backyard?

Screenshot

Not sure about Minecraft but many games use grayscale bitmaps to create height maps. Basically you go take a DEM, convert it to a greyscale bitmap and replace a file in the games file system with it.

Some games that I know support this include:

FME’s support for the Minecraft format and over 350 other data sources allows you to convert and load practically any data into your Minecraft world for use however you need. For example, build interactive 3D environments from GIS and CAD data that you can subsequently share with your audience.

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https://www.safe.com/solutions/for-applications/minecraft-data-conversion/

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