By Chloe Barrett
The past few years of YouTube has seen many memorable Minecraft centred channels fade into retirement, and seemingly spring back out into the online community. One reason for their resurgence could be the fact that Minecraft based videos have been doing surprisingly well recently. Many creators who had not touched the game before began to pick it up and mass-produce daily videos. Even though Minecraft is over a decade old, the game never truly died.
I grew up with the older Minecraft YouTubers. When I opened up the website, my home page was plastered with the likes of DanTDM, stampylonghead, iBallisticSquid, Sky Does Minecraft and CaptainSparklez. While the most popular creators at that stage were generally male, with female creators being pushed towards the beauty and lifestyle mould, LDShadowLady and iHasCupquake were two prominent members of the community. Many of the mentioned are still actively playing Minecraft, even if they departed for a while. However, their view counts, which used to almost always be in the millions, is not exactly the same.
Almost as if the older, thirty-year-olds have been refreshed with newer models, a younger, still male-dominated group has taken over, the Dream SMP. Dream, the person who the whole role-playing server is named after, has over twenty million subscribers, gaining the majority of them over the last year or so. Some of the other notable members of the group are TommyInnit, a seventeen-year-old with ten million subscribers, GeorgeNotFound, a twenty-four-year-old with almost ten million people subscribed and Wilbur Soot, another twenty-four-year-old with over five million dedicated subscribers, among many others (sorry if I did not name your favourite). Some have not shown their faces to the world yet, only a voice is present behind the screen, which increases the intrigue from fans. The regular role play streams gather millions of active viewers and even more worldwide who watch the videos when they are uploaded afterwards. They stream primarily on Twitch and YouTube as a group, but also have their own channels where they are free to record as they please.
The actual role-playing that these guys participate in is not too hard to grasp. Essentially, they all share a server where they interact with each other while getting up to all kinds of trouble and schemes in an entertaining manner for fans. The role-playing is both scripted and non-scripted at times, but usually, the main events that progress the SMP storyline have been planned out in advance. There are plenty of videos living on YouTube exploring the lore behind it all and the current status of the story, so if you have a few hours to spare, it is worth checking out if you are interested.
Even if you are not familiar with the whole roleplay aspect, you have probably seen their massive fan base dominating social media. Most notably Twitter, if you even spend a few minutes scrolling through your feed, you will likely have seen someone with their profile picture as one of the players. They are incredibly passionate fans, which has proved one point: these YouTubers and their hype is most definitely here to stay.