Minecraft and a New Era of Storytelling

By Lia Marchione

2020 was a year full of changes for a lot of people. Not only with everything that went on that year, like Covid-19 and our ongoing restrictions, but with many people’s interests as well. A lot of people turned to the Internet for entertainment, and a significant number of those people returned to watching the types of videos they used to watch when they were younger.

This, along with many more factors, contributed to the new and continually growing notoriety of the 2011 game Minecraft.

Minecraft has been rising in popularity for a few years now, ever since 2019 when the SMPLive event (SMP being an acronym for survival multiplayer) was created by now-felon CallMeCarson and when popular YouTuber Pewdiepie started getting back into the game, but 2020 showed a true cultural resurgence of the game. The real boom, and what seems to have absolutely skyrocketed Minecraft back into the limelight, is a YouTuber named Dream.

Dream is currently a very successful YouTuber whose videos started going viral in 2019, namely the first few videos on the channel; his four videos on PewDiePie, and two videos about “cursed Minecraft”. These initial videos are followed up by a video titled “How much I made from 4 viral videos”, which is also very viral in itself.

Profile picture used for Dream’s YouTube channel

Dream is now very well known for his “Minecraft, But…” videos he does with fellow YouTubers GeorgeNotFound and Sapnap, his “Minecraft Manhunt” videos with YouTubers GeorgeNotFound, Sapnap, BadBoyHalo, and Antfrost, and his Minecraft server, Dream SMP.

Dream SMP is a survival Minecraft server, created in May of 2020, that skyrocketed in popularity, especially in August 2020 around the time of the end of the first big arc that the server had. At the time, only a few servers had done roleplay like Dream SMP does, namely the previously mentioned SMPLive and YouTubers Wilbur Soot, Yung Chip, and JoshA20’s SMPEarth, which was a popular and active server from late 2019 until April 2020.

Wilbur Soot would go on from his previous geopolitical roleplay to be the main writer of Dream SMP’s geopolitical roleplay plot, seen in his focus on geopolitical warfare rather than a more character-focused plotline. While Wilbur has been on all three of the previously mentioned servers, Dream SMP is arguably the most ambitious of his projects⁠—considering he wrote an entire four-ish month-long roleplay by himself⁠—and the most successful, not only skyrocketing his career, but also the career of anyone who manages to get an invite to the exclusive server, most notably the apparent ‘main character’ TommyInnit, who has recently hit 5 million subscribers on YouTube.

Dream SMP has also popularized what used to be a rather niche thing, and has proven to the world that stories can be told over different platforms, yet still be enjoyed the same. The amount of people who have been inspired by what Dream SMP has accomplished is something to behold, and the way it has created and sustained an incredible story for over half a year is phenomenal. Dream SMP has changed Minecraft and storytelling forever.