Andrew McMurry’s installment of his gamer-driven and After Effects-laden Real Life original web series that deals with fending off Minecraft zombies in the non-virtual world got me thinking about two things. First, what exactly is Minecraft? And second, what exactly is the deal with all these Minecraft videos?
Let’s tackle these in order. At it’s core, Minecraft is a video game that allows you to make anything you want to out of 8-bit blocks. In the two-and-a-half years since the game’s inception, players have taken that open premise to some very impressive (and obsessive) extremes, putting in literal days’ worth of game time into constructing renditions of familiar structures and fantasy landscapes.
(At least that’s how the game’s ‘Creative Mode’ works. There’s a ‘Survival Mode,’ too, where zombies come out at night to destroy your buildings, so you have to build shelters and blow the zombies up with dynamite to to protect your work.)
Those gamers that put so much time into crafting their retrographic architecture naturally want to show off all their hard work. Couple that tendency with the over 16 million current registered Minecrafters, and that explains where all the Minecraft videos come from. Alex Leavitt, of the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California, estimated back in November 2010 there were at least 400,000 Minecraft videos on YouTube alone. Since then, that number’s most likely increased by an order of magnitude or two.
So, for the most recent installment of our Tubefilter Weekly Video Blog (to which, you should most definitely subscribe), I highlighted a little bit of my favorite Minecraft video-related finds (as well as showcased some pictures of chefs and jocks). Check it out:
(Minecraft creepers on Abbey Road by 9Andrey.)