Participating in Minecraft can feel like a mindfulness exercise. Players carefully unearth blocks, amass resources, construct buildings — then, when they've had enough crafting, they can bathe in the deep glow of the game’s glorious pixel sunset. And that zen vibe isn't just for the players; the Minecraft YouTube community allows players to spread peace of mind far and wide.
For many players and viewers, Minecraft is a source of comfort, a place filled with positive experiences and good memories, so creating and consuming serene content is a natural draw. The creator iHasCupquake, for instance, has her own series of quiet, conversational “chillcraft” videos. She plays in survival mode with ray tracing—a graphics setting that enhances light effects—turned on, and between the soft lighting and her peaceful narration, stress seems to magically dissipate. Viewers can also get cozy next to this fireside scene, built expressly to facilitate relaxation, or enjoy an hour-long rain-soaked vista. Sometimes, these videos take a more surprising form, like this zen parkour run through scenic environments set to low-key ambient music.
The following creators use Minecraft to tap into and build on existing relaxation micro-genres popular on YouTube, like ASMR, guided walking tours, cottagecore aesthetics, and time-lapse videos. Their content and gameplay highlight the many ways Minecraft and gaming as a whole can function in players’ and viewers’ lives. Video games can offer high-octane entertainment and tension, or they can provide the exact opposite: weightless reverie.
TheASMRnerd is not only one of the longest-running practitioners of ASMR Minecraft but is also among the most tranquil. Since 2013, he’s carved out time in the middle of the night to record his quiet videos, a notable departure from his days working on a PhD about forest fires. Where others opt for high-energy ASMR fun, theASMRnerd goes low and slow during improvised play sessions, drawing attention to the game’s beautiful vistas and sound design, a little like the Bob Ross of Minecraft YouTube.
“When I’d just graduated from my bachelor’s degree, I experienced a lot of anxiety,” he says. “But I found this kind, earnest community on YouTube doing things for others. I wanted to give back to them, which is why I started my channel.”
In a little under a year, Toronto-based creator InfiniteDrift has cemented herself as one of YouTube’s most soothing Minecraft creators thanks to her “relaxing longplays.” In videos that regularly top three hours, InfiniteDrift methodically chips away at resources and builds structures in a gently modified version of the game (she uses Jerm’s Better Leaves to give the in-game foliage an extra, brain-tingling pop, for instance).
The creator was inspired by the extended video-game content of Loopy Longplays as well as the work of Watched Walker, who offers virtual ambulatory tours of iconic IRL cities around the globe. “I just got totally entranced by [those creators],” she says. “It’s this thing where you can have it on in the background, watch it before bed, or actually pay close attention. That’s been a big inspiration — to create content that people can either actively or passively watch.”
Kelpie The Fox’s build videos are among the most wholesome on all of Minecraft YouTube. Whether constructing a quintessentially English cottage or a magical fairy pond, Kelpie guides viewers through the process as hypnotic lo-fi beats chime in the background. But the channel, which started in April 2020, isn’t a solo endeavor — business partner Pink handles cinematography and editing.
“We started during the pandemic when we were both on unemployment,” explains Kelpie. “We’d talked about wanting to do this for a while, and then we had this free time, and we’d also seen some music-only Minecraft creators like Typface, which we thought were so cool. We realized we could make content without it being a performance.”
Between Pink’s slick production values and Kelpie’s artistic flair, it’s easy to become hypnotized, block by carefully placed block.
The time-lapse builds of London-based creator TrixyBlox are noticeably epic but still decidedly chill. Since 2013, he’s refined both his building technique and presentation style, effortlessly relaying how his awe-inspiring creations, from entire underwater kingdoms to the balloon house in Pixar’s tear-jerking Up, come to life. Their incredible detail, the result of hours of painstaking research and planning alongside his partner, Steph, is revealed satisfyingly slowly.
Asked what makes Minecraft so relaxing, TrixyBlox sums it up perfectly. “It’s such a versatile game that you can play at your own pace,” he says. “That’s something we can’t always do in the real world.”