The Gaming Ghost – Vol 5: How Minecraft crafted a generation


Josh Lawrence

Minecraft crafted a generation.

Josh Lawrence, Columnist

In 2009, a solo game developer named Markus Persson released the first build for a small little block game. But, little did he know that his creation would someday expand into the best selling game in the world, even beating Tetris. Bit by bit and block by block, Minecraft rose to incredible fame, and raised a generation of creative young minds.

The first time I was exposed to Minecraft was through my older brother. He showed me a mansion he had made entirely of dirt in the game. My mind exploded like the creepers that would eventually destroy the very same mansion. I was enthralled by this canvas of a game, where anyone could build whatever they put their mind to. Ever since that day, I was hooked. What I was surprised to learn is, I wasn’t alone. By the time I hit second grade, every snack-time discussion was buzzing with stories and accomplishments from each person’s game. However, little did I know how big the game was outside of a second grade classroom.

The year was 2014, and Minecraft was hitting its peak of popularity. By this time, the game had a remarkable 54 million sales, and this number would continue to soar to incredible heights. Today, 238 million copies of Minecraft have been sold. With a game this big, its cultural impact must be grand as well.

Gen-Z grew up alongside Minecraft. Gen-Z was raised in a world of fear. Kids in previous generations were able to go outside and play all day, and parents would only care about their whereabouts if they weren’t home by dark. The world was far less afraid in the past, and therefore children had more room for creativity. Minecraft became an outlet for this whole generation to play, explore, and express itself in a society that keeps children on a very short leash. According to a study by Iowa State University, researchers found that Minecraft truly does inspire creativity in its players. Gen-Z needed a creative output, and Minecraft provided it.

Minecraft was so much more than a game for me. It was a canvas. I look back fondly at the memories I made building skyscrapers with my brothers or cool statues with my friends. Minecraft became a worldwide phenomenon, and is responsible for inspiring creativity in its young and growing audience. It is truly no exaggeration to say that Minecraft crafted a generation.