Each type of block and item is given a unique identification number. This is used by the game to remember which blocks you placed where, as well as to select the appropriate texture, icon and behaviour of a block or item.
These ids are also known as 'data values' in the Minecraft community.
Certain items have additional attributes that cannot be described by the id alone. For example, the damage on a sword, the age of some crops or the colour of some wool. These are stored in an additional field called 'meta data'. Some people also refer to it as the 'damage value' as originally it was only used for damage.
Spawning an item generally means obtaining it without performing the actions the game normally requires. For example, instead of waiting for crops to grow and then harvesting them, you could spawn the wheat item instantly. Many players consider this to be cheating and it is sometimes frowned upon.
You can spawn items using the
/give command, which is typed
into the chat box. The syntax of this command is:
/give [username] [id] [amount] [meta data]
You should replace
[username] with the name of the player who
should receive the item,
[id] with the id of the block or item,
[amount] with the quantity of the item you wish to spawn and
[meta data] with the meta data of the item. The default value for
meta data is 0, and it can thus be omitted from the command if you do not need
to change it from this default. An interactive list of item and
block ids may be found on this website.
For example, if you wished to give the player Ancient three glowstones, you would type this:
/give Ancient 89 3
If you wished to give the player Notch a spawn enderman egg, which involves a non-zero metadata value, you would type this:
/give Notch 383 1 58
On most servers only the administrators of the server can use the