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Why so popular?

An explanation on how nostalgia keeps the game 'Minecraft' popular


Staff Writer

Leah Alam


Scanning the hallway one last time, you shut your door and head to your PC. It’s 2012 on a Summer’s night. Turning on your computer, a small icon sits under your cursor - a dirt block with grass on top. With a double click, the game loads. The familiar red glare of the Mojang logo spreads across the room. Just a few seconds later, a blue tint appears across your face. Minecraft.

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Minecraft, created in 2009 by Markus Persson or “Notch”, is currently the world’s best selling game with 180 million downloads and counting. The game is extremely simple - build things using blocks, fight mobs, and eventually, defeat the ender dragon. With the game being so simple, it’s obvious as to why it is the world’s best selling game. Everyone can play it, as the mechanics are easy and there is no mature content within the game. Yet, there seems to be an underlying reason for Minecraft's massive success. It can’t just be the fact that the game is accessible for anyone to play, or the fact that it’s been out for over 10 years. There seems to be a reason people keep playing Minecraft.

A major reason for Minecraft’s sudden merge back into pop culture is Youtube. As Minecraft’s 10th anniversary approached in the Spring of 2019, the Youtube algorithm made a shift towards gaming videos. Videos appeared on recommended pages from popular Minecraft Youtubers such as Captainsparkles and PopularMMOs. With Minecraft videos back on the rise, popular Youtubers like Pewdiepie joined in on the trend. Seeing Youtubers playing this game struck a chord within many viewers who used to have always played Minecraft. For example, during the Summer of 2019, a Minecraft parody of “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love” by Captainsparkles that was made in 2012, suddenly became popular again and accrued over 200 million views and 3 million likes. Past Minecraft players who knew the song came back for one big reason.

Which leads to what I believe is the main reason people came back to Minecraft - nostalgia. Past players who watched Minecraft’s comeback must have remembered the overwhelming feelings the game brought to the table. The feeling of finishing your first house. The feeling of finding diamonds. The feeling of finally defeating the ender dragon and getting an elytra. The feeling of staying up late at night to play on servers with your friends. The feeling of having absolute freedom over what you can do and what you can create. Minecraft is the simplest yet most complex game ever made. Minecraft isn’t just a kids game, but a game that can be enjoyed by anyone who wants to feel like they have complete control over something that is their own. It’s an escape from the restrictions of everyday life.

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