Minecraft: A Renaissance


Luke Rinaldi, Staff Writer

Remember when you were in elementary school and all you wanted to do was play Minecraft? Well just like Crocs, it’s back. You can finally reunite with your Minecraft dog from six years ago without being shamed for it (maybe). Who’s to blame for this resurgence?  Influencers. Since its inception in 2009, Minecraft has been providing hours of entertainment to children and adults alike. Its intuitive building mechanics and unique style have enticed over 170 million people worldwide to join the game. There were a total of 112 million active players this past September. However, this massive popularity is coming off of a high of several years. This high was likely caused by an oversaturation of the market with other games, as well as less coverage by major presences in the gaming community. With these reasons for people to stop playing, why the sudden burst in popularity? Well, it’s a lot more complicated than you may think. As you may know, from the years 2017-2019, there was a major shift in popular game genres. Games like Overwatch and Call of Duty took a backseat to the new king: Player’s Unknown Battle Ground or PUBG. The prominence of PUBG in the gaming community incited a mad race for profits. Additionally, new battle royale games were being churned out by the minute. As these games flooded the market, titles like Fortnite and Apex Legends floated to the top. Fortnite would eventually dethrone PUBG, and would remain at the top of the charts until a new challenger appeared. That challenger was, you guessed it: Minecraft. Riding on the shoulders of a Swedish man and his pixelated horse, Minecraft re-established itself as a major player in the gaming industry. Now, if you live under a rock, you might be wondering who this Swedish man is. He’s none other a youtuber with the second most subscribers on the platform, PewDiePie. Amassing an audience of over 100 million people, you can be sure that he’ll get a message across. Therefore when he decided to pick up Minecraft, you can bet that his massive fanbase did the same. PewDiePie’s Minecraft series can best be described as an incredibly obscure inside joke. If you heard the words “Water Sheep” and “Feigi the Chicken” in a conversation without knowing the context, you would probably question the other person’s sanity. Nevertheless, the series was a “must watch,” and thus spread between teenagers across the nation. Personally, watching the videos gave me an overwhelming desire to play Minecraft, and I am sure it did the same for countless others. As a result, the game’s popularity grew exponentially putting it in an ideal position. In addition, people were finally getting tired of the same battle royale game branded 60 different ways, so even more of them jumped on the Minecraft bandwagon. As one can see, the combination of influence from a massive gaming presence and a shared apathy toward battle royale games facilitated the rebirth of Minecraft that has been seen since mid-2019. So put on your Crocs, fire up your console (or PC), launch Minecraft, and see for yourself what all the rage is about.