Minecraft: The Return of the King

From Issue 2

       Many of you have noticed a particular game experiencing a resurgence in popularity among teens and the online community. That game, as of May 2019, has sold over 176 million copies and become the best selling video game of all time. Minecraft, a 3D sandbox game that allows the player almost endless creative freedom and several modes of play, has captured the attention of the masses from other games such as Fortnite and Apex Legends. This rise in popularity was helped by several Youtubers, most notably Pewdiepie, as well as others like Jacksepticeye, LazarBeam, and Mumbo Jumbo. Pewdiepie, who recently hit 100 million subscribers on Youtube and married his longtime girlfriend Marzia, gave Minecraft a popularity boost with his new playthrough series of the game. 

 The core gameplay of Minecraft is based around blocks, which can be mined and placed to build anything the player chooses. The player is spawned in an infinitely generating world, which houses many biomes (different geographical variations) and mobs (enemies and animals) for him or her to explore and encounter. Servers can be set up to allow multiple people to play in the same world at the same time. The game can be run on many platforms, such as XBox, Playstation, PC, and even handheld devices such as the iPhone. 

Minecraft has different modes which allow players to customize their experience.  Creative mode allows the player to fly, access every item in the game, and create massive builds in an easier and less time consuming way then survival mode. Survival mode takes away these advantages, forcing the player to fend off hostile mobs, gather resources manually, eat food, and defeat a final boss. Hardcore mode is a much more difficult version of survival; the player takes more damage, gets hungrier faster, and, most importantly, only has one life in the world.  Adventure mode is similar to survival but utilizes maps premade by other players and with some player abilities like mining or sprinting limited . In spectator mode, the player is able to fly through walls and other objects but cannot interact with the world.

There are several reasons why Minecraft has remained relevant since its original release in 2009. The development team, Mojang, has released many updates which have added new features and content to the game, including farming, potion brewing, item enchantment, as well as new block, mobs, and items. The most recent update 1.14, released on April 23, introduced many new blocks in varying degrees of functionality and decoration as well as a raid feature in which a player combats waves of enemies for valuable loot. The previous update, 1.13, revamped the world’s ocean and added coral reefs, sunken ships, dolphins, and other related features. The other factor behind Minecraft’s continued popularity is the massive, diverse communities in the game. Tutorials on how to make fancy builds, Let’s Play series of all varieties, PvP servers, redstone—think in-game programming—guides, and, most notably, Minecraft themed song parodies. These communities are very active on popular websites such as Youtube and Reddit and are frequented by many children and young adults.