How Minecraft Changed My Life
Hearing that a simple little video game could change someone’s life probably sounds a bit stupid, but I promise, I am not exaggerating.
Minecraft holds a special place in my heart. It’s a game that allows for unlimited creativity and the ability to fully express yourself in any way possible. And while, yes, this is what makes the game stand out, this isn’t what makes it special to ME.
I love Minecraft because of the fact that it completely altered my entire life, allowing me to live out my largest dream and become successful in many other aspects of life. It kickstarted my career, made me learn a lot about myself, and set the stage for me to be able to impact other people's lives in a meaningful way.
At this point, you probably think I am an absolute psychopath that has an unhealthy obsession with a video game about mining and crafting little squares, and while the latter may be true, I have a valid reason for my crazy claims.
In order to talk about why this game has been so life-changing, let me first talk about how I got started in Minecraft.
Back in 2009, I came across this game on my Xbox 360, and it seemed super interesting. It appeared to be a game that allowed you to find resources and create whatever your heart desires. On the surface, it looked cool but yet surprisingly simple, and the screenshots that showed on the Xbox store were enough to convince me to spend my hard-earned money to buy it.
As I purchased the game and played it with my friends for the first time, I was blown away at how much there was to do in the game. It was cool being able to play something that had unlimited possibilities, and the surface level simpleness turned out to be something much more complex and interesting.
I spent hours upon hours creating cool creations and building worlds with some of my best friends at the time. We built houses, castles, forts, caves, and anything else that we could think of. It was awesome.
Creating New Things.
At one point, we decided to create a town world with a working economy, shops, jobs, apartments, and much more. Players could make money from completing little tasks, buy a house, rent a shop, find and sell resources, and carve out a life in our virtual world.
It was super cool to create this exclusive little world, and it was exciting for me to see how much people enjoyed the things that I spent a large amount of time creating.
Eventually, our little town world would become more and more popular, until we had a cool little community full of people who would hop on every single day and interact with us as if we had created a real society. Players would join and complete their jobs in exchange for virtual currency, which could be used to buy items and trade for goods in malls and marketplaces. It created a sense of belonging and purpose in the community, and it helped our 10 and 11-year-old selves to feel as if we contributed something to society, even if it was our own, pointless virtual society.
It was a cool experience, but it wouldn’t prosper into something much larger until I decided to purchase the game, for a second time, on my computer.
I purchased Minecraft on PC in 2012. I had played it off and on at friends’ houses, so I was very familiar with it. The main difference with the PC and Xbox versions at the time was that the PC version had much more to do. It was the more developed and established version of the game and it had a much larger group of active players compared to Xbox.
But the best thing about the PC version of Minecraft was the ability to join community servers. This meant being able to play with hundreds or even thousands of other people who weren’t on your friends list. It opened up the ability to meet new people that you didn’t already know and I thought it was the coolest thing ever.
As I played on these community servers, I began to make friends with strangers and realized the true capabilities of what could be done with the internet. This is where the real story starts.
As I learned more and more about community servers, I kept thinking about the town world that my friends and I built back over on Xbox. I realized that servers didn’t have the restrictions of private multiplayer games and that you could even customize the code on your servers with plugins to create cool features that aren’t a part of the base version of the game.
So, I figured I would make another town world, but this time with a properly developed ecosystem and an economy that didn’t require 12-year-old kids to operate it. All of the dirty work would be automated and it would function independently of my controlling, immature personality.
So, I found someone who was experienced, also young, and willing to work for free, and I decided to try to start my own Minecraft server. The server was known as Mincenomia Towny (don’t ask how I got the name because I genuinely don’t know) and it was super cool and revolutionary.
Well, not really. It was actually kinda trash but at the time I thought it was the coolest thing ever created.
Anyways, I posted my server online and tried to get people to join it and play with me. After about two months of spamming my server on every website imaginable, I managed to attract over… *dramatic pause*… 50 different players.
Compared to the large, 30,000 player Minecraft servers at the time, this was nothing, but to me, it was the entire world.
My Newfound Passion
Turns out I was SUPER passionate about my little Minecraft community. I loved interacting with the other players and it was super cool to feel important as a young kid. People liked what my developer and I created and it made them happy, which, in turn, made me happy.
I did whatever it took to keep my players happy because I loved seeing their reactions to the experience that I provided them with. So, after a lot of different requests, I eventually decided that I would make a YouTube video showing off the server.
So, I got the free trial of bandicam with the obnoxious watermark at the top and hooked up my Turtle Beach headphones to record a video showcasing the server. Unfortunately, I was embarrassed about the video later in life when I was in high school and I would end up deleting it, but it was the first time I had ever messed around with creating content.
After posting the video, a few more players would end up joining my server. I saw the potential of YouTube as a platform and thought about YouTubers such as stampylonghead and TheSyndicateProject and how they made videos where they played Minecraft with friends. They had millions of fans from these videos and it seemed like they were doing something that was super cool and unique at the time.
So, I decided to make a series in which I played on my server on video.
And it was a feeling that I don’t think I will ever experience again in my life.
The thrill of posting content online for the first time, even with my squeaky little kid voice, was outstanding.
Building A Community.
I kept posting content on YouTube, using my server as an advertising platform for my channel. My videos were not good, but it still seemed like people loved to see them. I felt as if I was positively impacting other people’s lives while doing something that I genuinely enjoyed.
I continued posting Minecraft content and my subscribers and views continued to grow.
5... 25... 100... 500…
And then I did the unthinkable. I hit 1,000 subscribers on YouTube, and I started to feel as if I was going to make it on a a platform that so many people dreamed of being able to be successful on.
I would continue to make content for quite a while, eventually adding other games besides Minecraft as people began to ask for other content. I started playing a game known as Unturned, I played Rust, Call of Duty, and quite a few other games.
It took me about two and a half years to hit 100,000 subscribers and about another year to hit 200,000. I am now at 365,000 subscribers on YouTube and I am happy to be a part of a career that is desired by so many other people in the world.
Being a YouTuber has changed my life. I am extremely happy to be able to do what I love every single day and I have met a ton of cool and interesting people. I have met some of my best friends through YouTube and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I have also learned a lot of really cool skills that are going to be valuable as I finish up college and enter my career in the upcoming years.
Many people credit their success on YouTube to their hard work and dedication, and while yes, that is how I have grown as much as I have, I still credit mine to Minecnomia Towny. To Minecraft.
Unfortunately, Mincenomia would end up closing in 2013 as I drifted away from Minecraft content and started focusing more on growing my channel. But, I decided to open a new Minecraft server in the beginning of 2020 and it has once again been an amazing experience so far. My new server is much larger than Mincenomia could have ever been and it’s great to go back to my roots and create a community that people love to play on.
So once again, thank you Minecraft, for changing my life.