So We Back in the Mine


The Minecraft startup screen; this particular start-up screen features Mizuno’s 16 Craft texture pack that anyone can use to re-texture their own personal games.

Glenda Chiang, Review Staff

As of 2019, there has been a sudden surge of popularity for this simple game made on the 17th of May, 2009. The popular sandbox game, Minecraft, has taken the media a bit by storm, especially in the past few years. There are a few elements that people would say to why this decade-old game is coming back in mainstream media. 

First, the obvious: some may say that the tenth birthday of Minecraft contributed to this growth in popularity. Being first released in 2009 by the creator Notch, this game reached its first decade — which would be a huge milestone for any game. There is an obvious growth from the first release and the recent versions today.

A screenshot of the newest mob in Minecraft: bees. They will be a part of the neutral mobs category whenever the version, 1.15 drops. Again, this is used with Mizuno’s 16 Craft texture pack.

“I don’t play it a ton, but I definitely think it deserves the popularity it’s getting,” junior Melody Baker said. “Maybe Jacksepticeye playing is making it popular, but probably the updates.”

There are a number of other reasons to explain this peculiar growth in popularity such as: old Minecraft Youtubers popular in the early 2010s returning back to the beloved game — one notable gamer being NetNobody, more commonly known as SkyDoesMinecraft — as well as massive in-game updates — “Update Aquatic” of 2018, being by far one of the biggest steps to updates to the game in entirety. 

These updates have changed Minecraft as a whole; one of the first steps being the change in combat mechanics in version 1.9. Update Aquatic and many other updates in a similar line, however, have added a massive dump of content into the entire game. 

On the popularity of Minecraft, gaming website Polygon wrote, “…to Minecraft’s credit, the game has managed to maintain interest through updates and increased ways to engage with its world. The augmented-reality game Minecraft Earth, which is currently in beta, seems to be the only thing capable of putting up a fight against Pokémon Go. Minecraft Dungeons, also announced this year, will bring a Diablo-like experience to a younger audience.”

This is the Minecraft startup screen for the Java Edition. This is an easy way to change which version of Minecraft you can choose to play.

On a separate note, the massive hosted event “Minecraft Monday” is also a huge factor and has most likely been the final brick in the proverbial wall. “Minecraft Monday” is a Twitch streaming event on Mondays hosted by Youtube gossip and drama reporter, Keemstar, in a minigame contest to see who comes out at the top for the week it is hosted. He has managed to convince Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg to join as well as beauty guru James Charles and many other popular ‘big name’ gaming Youtubers in on this event.

“…The videos that are on Youtube,” junior Evan Passmore said in regards to the popularity in the past. “Since back then Youtube just started and Minecraft just started…Minecraft also made it because of Youtube.”

One also may say that since it has been because of recent memes have been involving Minecraft. One particular meme involves the 2011 parody of Usher’s song DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love, which the song Revenge, written by CaptainSparklez, became the top 20th on the Genius lyrics site for a period of time. At one point, number one.

There has been the popularity of Minecraft on the social media website Tumblr. The fandom has been small in the past, but by far has become one of the massive fandoms on the site. Many have expressed an encouragement of playing Minecraft however one chooses to. There has been an influx of blogs being named after different aspects of the game. It is a massive fanbase with pictures of various builds and discussions on how nostalgia-inducing replaying the game is — and how freeing it is to do whatever you want in Minecraft without any limitations but in the game.

Minecraft’s search popularity according to google. There is a significant surge in searches during 2018-2019.

Minecraft has become a huge nostalgia factor for many people, and it continues to make new updates every year — the most recent version adding bees into Minecraft. No one can say that this surge in popularity is for the best of the worst, but regardless, the resurgence in popularity has brought back many people into this simple sandbox game where the limit is your imagination.