Revisiting Minecraft: The Game that Shaped a Generation

We all still get terrified when we see a creeper.


Moorea Atkins

Minecraft is a timeless game that has influenced a generation.

Everyone remembers the first time they played Minecraft. I know I do. I was at a sleepover about eight years ago, and needless to say we stayed up way too late building houses and barely escaping the clutches of zombies and skeletons. Minecraft is one of, if not the best, role playing adventure games of all time, and one that has touched me and millions others.

Minecraft is a simple game. You start in a randomly generated world and you try to survive. You can climb mountains, get lost in caves, swim in the ocean, invade enemy territory; the world is yours to explore. 

Minecraft is one of the best selling video games of all time, with over 200 million downloads. Many people have fond memories of playing Minecraft with their friends, or building impressive castles and mosques. Minecraft opens up a world of possibilities and adventure, and it’s a game that shaped a generation – my generation, to be specific.

Before Fortnite broke the Internet, there was Minecraft. The game hit its peak popularity in 2013 on Youtube, where countless YouTubers by the names of DanTDM, SkyDoesMinecraft, CaptainSparkles, and others ruled the Internet with their ‘let’s play’ videos. These videos ranged from building tutorials, modded minigames, and pranks with their friends. Shortly after that, Minecraft’s popularity started to dwindle, and Minecraft became a distant memory amongst Generation Z.

Never fear, for hope was not lost. In July of 2019, the biggest creator on Youtube, PewDiePie, started a series on Minecraft. At the same time in the livestreaming world, streamer CallMeCarson and his friends were also seeing a resurgence of interest in Minecraft with their multiplayer server called SMPLive. As SMPLive ended and PewDiePie stopped playing Minecraft, emerging Minecraft stars were coming to the forefront. With quarantine arriving in 2020, other Minecraft creators such as Dream, GeorgeNotFound, Technoblade, and TommyInnIt saw significant growth in their channels. Today, these creators can have over 200,000 people watching them broadcast Minecraft over the Internet.

One of the things that makes Minecraft such an appealing game is it’s simplicity in design. The entire game is made of pixelated blocks and cubes. It’s like LEGOS, except you never run out of bricks. One may think that an entire game made out of cubes would be lacking in creativity in terms of visual appeal, but the visuals of Minecraft are oddly satisfying. At times, the game can be strikingly beautiful with its towering mountains, large oceans, diversity in biomes, and friendly animals like sheep, cows, and pigs. Don’t forget to suit up if you wander alone at night, those creepers will find you!

Another asset to the game that makes it so legendary is the soundtrack. I’m sure everybody my age could, when asked, hum you the first 30 seconds of ‘Sweden’ or ‘Minecraft’ on command. Though most of them are simple compositions, the songs perfectly convey what can only be described as childlike innocence. While listening to them one feels that life is an adventure, and the world is yours to conquer. When playing Minecraft the player can’t help but forget about all the other stresses of life in the real world, and can peacefully retire to a virtual universe if only for a little while.

This very sense of adventure and freedom is what caused Minecraft to be loved by millions. You are free to do whatever you wish in this new world. While you have to survive in Survival, you can also play in Creative where you have unlimited resources to build as you please. Teams of people have built entire cities in Creative, only to switch to Survival and explore it. Both Survival and Creative offer endless opportunities for your imagination to run wild, where you get to decide how difficult or easy your adventure will be. Whatever you decide, Minecraft taps into the core of the human spirit: the desire to embark on a journey of imagination and self discovery.

As sad as it may be that Minecraft will inevitably fade back into the recesses of time, Minecraft is a game that has shaped childhoods, creativity, and even education. As I grow into being an adult, the memories of Minecraft will always be ones that remind me of simple times, the joys of childhood, and endless possibilities. Minecraft may dwindle in popularity, but it will never die.