Minecraft Madness

Video game Minecraft undergoes surge in popularity once again.

Janice Aragon


As internet trends come and go, patterns start to appear. We’ve seen unprecedented trends come back during these unprecedented times. Especially those of the 2010’s. From knee high converse to One Direction, to the one causing the biggest buzz right now, Minecraft youtubers.  

It’s a peculiar comeback, Minecraft content creators seem to have grown an international fanbase in just a few months. Sites like YouTube and Twitch have seen record highs in channel growth in creators with names like Dream and Tommyinnit. With live viewer counts reaching into the hundreds of thousands as of recent, many question just how did these creators get so popular? There are more factors that account for their sudden rise to fame than you think. 

The Beginnings

To realize why exactly these creators started gaining traction, we first have to focus on when began playing Minecraft 


publicly. With the pandemic hitting hard in the spring months, millions of teenagers and young adults were stuck at home, consuming content at rates unforeseen. Reports show that video streaming services saw especially increased rates, and those numbers would only get greater as the pandemic stretched on into one of the most boring summers of teens’ lives. This aligned perfectly with Tommyinnit’s arrival on the Dream SMP. 

For background, the Dream SMP 

(Survival Multiplayer) is a Minecraft server started by popular youtuber Dream and his group of close friends.  In July of 2020, he had already gained a large following due to the success of his “Minecraft Manhunt” videos, with a YouTube subscriber count around 5 million when Tommy was allowed access to the server. 16 year old Thomas Simmons, or Tommyinnit, had been invited to join the server alongside a few creators he had befriended, including Wilbur Soot, another creator who had a steady following of about 1 million subscribers. He live streamed for the first time on the SMP on July 4, and the first real “conflict” of the SMP began just five days later. Little did any of these creators know, this would be the start of a Minecraft renaissance within the coming months. 

 What began as improv banter and a few loose ideas would become a scripted plot as the month progressed and interest in the story picked up. This is where this next underlying factor comes in.

Redstone and ….The Revolutionary War?  

Minecraft and musical theatre are two things that don’t exactly spark a connection in most minds, however popular musical theatre plotlines and tropes integrated into the storyline of the Dream SMP were a big part of their growth. 

Just a day prior to Tommyinnit’s big entrance to the Dream SMP, Lin Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton was released for public streaming on Disney Plus. This increased accessibility to the highly regarded show was rewarded with a renewed interest in it for old fans, and a surge of new ones. Being influenced by this musical themselves, a group of Dream SMP members broke off to start their very own revolutionary war. The struggle of the fictional country of “L’Manburg” spiraled into what many regard as the SMP’s first real experiment with roleplay and story-driven content.  

Theatre kids crowded to the fanbase, drawing connections from other popular musicals such as Heathers and Be More Chill as the story went on, the Dream SMP successfully taking a large piece of the internet market by storm. By connecting to a familiar and well loved story while introducing new elements to keep it exciting, the Dream SMP was able to invest its viewers for the long term, even after the story had diverged from L’manberg’s struggle.  




Speaking of connecting to familiarity, many teens born in the early 2000’s, Minecraft youtubers played a key role in their entertainment. As YouTube began to grow and kids traded tv time for iPads, Minecraft youtubers were some of the most recognized creators on the platform. These youtubers hit their peak around 2014-2015, with kids watching their content from the ages of 8-13. While older creators have since moved on, the now older teens of the internet acknowledge their fond memories of them and the game they played. I believe this nostalgia is another factor in the success of modern Minecraft creators. During such an unfamiliar time, some found themselves longing for familiarity, and they found it in this content format. 

The Circle of (internet) Life 

These creators have also thrived off the remnants of other, less active fanbases or ones who weren’t receiving official content anymore. Fanbases like those of DanPlan, Eddsworld, and other gaming youtubers needed something new to fan over, but still love the same patterns of content and character/creator dynamic. This “Powerpuff effect” can be found in lots of popular media if you look for it. This effect ensures that any content with these three types of character in a group setting will be popular.

  • A leader figure, generally the most neutral tempered and mildly characterized enough to be widely well received. 
  • A generally attractive secondary character, perceived as the more sensitive member of the group. 
  • A strong, rebellious, or stoic type, the troublemaker of the dynamic. 

Try looking for this trio in your favorite tv shows and movies, and you might see what people mean when they say time is a flat circle. 

Artists and Animatics 

Visuals are an important part of any story, but what happens when your visuals are nothing but block men and pixel landscapes? Turns out, that leaves all the more room for artistic interpretation. Passionate members of the “MCYT” (Minecraft youtuber) community have contributed thousands of drawings, paintings, animations, musical pieces and more to the internet. A big contributor to the hype is YouTube animator SAD-IST, who is well loved across the board for their dramatic renditions of SMP events.  

Works like these appeal to audiences beyond the fanbase, who in turn develop curiosity for this story. Many have even mentioned that they only consume fan-content and not the official works at this point. However, the dedication of fans, no matter how detached from the official content still contributes to the popularity. Additionally, fan works encourage viewers to re-watch live events, or watch a different streamer to unlock the storyline portrayed in the art. That leads to this next attention grabbing point. 

The Storytelling 


With so many interwoven plots, viewers have a unique experience depending on the streamer they choose to watch. This is what makes the Dream SMP so addictive and easy to consume. A viewer can choose their preferred character and see the story through their eyes, and also enjoy the different play and commentary styles of the streamer themselves. People who enjoy higher energy content or those who prefer calmer experiences can both find ways to watch the Dream SMP and stay updated within their respective content preferences. In addition to that, they can uncover secrets and upcoming arcs exclusive to other characters by tuning into new streamers, and introduce themselves to other content creators in the process. Finding at least one creator you enjoy is almost unavoidable, even if it is outside SMP content.  

“There he is! There’s my favorite white boy!” 

Aside from their personalities, there is also the inevitable physical attraction some people feel for the creators themselves. Edits, screenshots, and even drawings of the creators in real life flood sites like Twitter and Instagram, causing a level of banter from both those within the fanbase and outside of it.  

Attractiveness is subjective, and to each their own. But I won’t deny that fan attraction is a factor in these creators’ success. Harry Styles, Timothee Chalamet, and now “GeorgenotFound”? Is anyone seeing the whole British brunette guy thing again or is it just me?

The Twitter Trending Tab 

A common complaint from those outside the fanbase, and even those within is how easy these creators seem to trend. Everyday these creators go trending from the most minuscule of actions. So much to the point it is impossible not to hear about them. You can imagine a few have been intrigued or annoyed to the point where their curiosity gets the best of them, and maybe a few have found themselves following these creators on accident. The most popular streamers hold viewership upwards of fifty thousand people (an impressive feat in itself), so you can imagine it isn’t very hard to get their names on the trending tab. Recently, there has been an effort from fans to censor names in their posts, as to avoid trending and leave the page so people can focus on the more important issues in the world. 

All in all, the Dream SMP is a perfect storm of genius, passion, and completely accidental success. New creators are only rising in popularity and even big names like Lil Nas X are making their appearances alongside them, fans and onlookers of this curious content phenomenon can only wait and see what they’ll come up with next.