August 21, 2021

The Borderless Joy of Minecraft YouTube

Source:YouTube/ doktormorris

Minecraft is everywhere. Since it was first released in 2011, the game’s blocky realms have been explored by players all around the globe — copies have been sold in every country and territory in the world, even Antarctica and Vatican City. The audience of curious explorers, builders, and storytellers who have interacted with it in the decade since has been diverse and multinational—a testament to the freedom Minecraft offers. It’s a canvas for creativity, allowing anyone to paint their own interests and obsessions onto it—which means anyone from anywhere can find something to love. Naturally, Minecraft YouTube reflects this global popularity.

Creators around the world, from South America to Southeast Asia, record let’s plays, roleplays, tutorials, and builds, and there’s ample space within these tried-and-tested genres to express regional idiosyncrasies. And therein lies a huge part of Minecraft Youtube’s international appeal. Local expression often occurs through language itself, but the game also supports a vibrant cottage industry of modders who create culturally specific items and objects. For example, creator Hermanos Liu shared delicious-looking tacos with his Mexican viewers and creators around the world have celebrated holidays like Diwali, International Mother Language Day, and Eid.

Watching Minecraft YouTube also allows a window into seeing how people from different parts of the world interpret similar themes and ideas. Roleplay servers, for example, have taken off across borders and languages. While Dream SMP, the epic narrative series that plays out across multiple YouTube channels, has taken the English-speaking world by storm, similar ground-breaking events are happening elsewhere. Herobrine SMP captivated Indian viewers, Topcraft enthralled those in Brazil, and TortillaLand brings together the world’s most popular Spanish-speaking creators. Racking up millions of views, these collective, cross-channel events are an important focal point for, and celebration of, regional scenes.

Channels like these allow the world to see the potential for Minecraft as a means of expression. These creators allow viewers to see their own culture reflected onscreen, but their videos also allow that culture to spread—helping introduce viewers around the world to customs and ideas they weren’t previously familiar with. Below, creators from around the world share their thoughts on the Minecraft YouTube communities in their countries, and how they’ve begun to share their content with everyone, everywhere.


Ayu Gaming

“In Brazil, we love entertainment, and YouTube is great at delivering that. I actually had a music channel before I started Ayu Gaming. One day I was just playing Minecraft for fun, and Forever Player, who’s a fan of my music content, sent a raid to my game. A lot of people came, and then we became friends, and I discovered a whole new world. The Minecraft YouTube community is so friendly, and the creators are so helpful. That’s different from the music and vlogging scene I was part of, which can be very competitive.

"I’ve started a group called #craftgirls which is me, Sam, Nogal, and Judy Gaming. We try to produce a lot of Minecraft content, because in Brazil, like other places around the world, Minecraft YouTube can be a male-dominated space. We’ve already received a lot of messages from girls out there who have been inspired to play Minecraft again, and it’s amazing when we hear that our viewers are having fun watching the content. I love making people laugh.”



“I’m 19 and I’ve been playing Minecraft for ten years—it’s my childhood game. In Turkey, we have a small Minecraft YouTube scene, but we all support one another because we were so young when we started—15 or 16. There’s Enes Batur and RuLing Game—he helped me a lot in the beginning. We’re good friends and often go on vacation together.

"I make roleplay videos in Minecraft—kind of like cartoons, and there’s a few of us doing this style of content in Turkey, like TheMurat and Minecraft Parodileri. I used to watch Tom and Jerry on the television growing up in Istanbul, and my videos are inspired by this a little. Most of my audience is based in Turkey but we have viewers across the world—Germany, Belgium, France, anywhere there’s a large Turkish population. I incorporate Turkish food into my content, like kebabs and lahmacun. Normally you can’t eat a kebab in Minecraft, but I modded it into the game. Sometimes I go to mosques in my videos, and other times, I incorporate Turkish dialect, like gardaşım, which means ‘bro’. My audience loves these elements of my content.”



“I started my career in 2014 in Ho Chi Minh city, which is where I currently live. Back then, Minecraft YouTube was a new thing in Vietnam. I have to shout out BHGaming, who inspired the first wave of Minecraft YouTube in our country. We just wanted to have fun and made content focused on survival games, minigames, tutorials—that kind of thing. Since then, Minecraft YouTube has changed a lot. There are not so many creators, but a new wave has joined the scene, like Dương Record—he’s super entertaining.

"Minecraft in Vietnam is just as popular as it is in any country in the world. [Everyone loves] the game, and when they want to know more, they search for it on YouTube and watch our content. I’ve got over 1400 videos on my channel and recently started focusing on storytelling. [People] love the Dream SMP series but don’t necessarily understand it because it’s in English. So I decided to make videos explaining everything that’s happening. I even created a cute chibi character to help tell the story.”


Zloy XP

“I’ve been playing Minecraft since Java 1.4 came out in 2012. I watched a YouTube video of Markiplier playing the game and thought it looked super interesting. Then I started searching for information on the game, not on YouTube but on the Minecraft wiki because, in 2012, mobile internet in Russia wasn’t up to snuff. What I noticed was that the majority of players with whom I played Minecraft weren’t necessarily aware of a lot of the game mechanics. So when I eventually made my first ever video in 2014, it was to help the people I played Minecraft with—so they could play the game more efficiently.

"You know, a lot of the people I was collaborating with were trailblazers to a degree. It’s this attitude of being behind overall progress [of English-speaking developments], and at the same time trying to find your own way. So while English-speaking players might build a server based on Game of Thrones or Harry Potter, those properties aren’t necessarily us—they’re not native to a Russian person. Out of this, you get something unique, like a giant recreation of Chernobyl from the Stalker series of games. That’s something that’s present in Russian Minecraft YouTube—the way the game combines with things that aren’t necessarily meant for children.”



“In 2013, when I started my channel, I was twelve years old and watching a lot of videos about Minecraft command blocks [mechanical blocks that when powered by redstone run a command of the player’s choice]. But there weren’t any Mexican YouTubers making the kind of amazing creations with command blocks [like creators in other countries] were—that’s why I started uploading videos.

“Right now, I mostly create content about Minecraft news and feature updates, like the recently announced frogs and fireflies. But I also post about curiosities—strange things that are hiding in the game’s code, as well as challenges I host for my subscribers. I’m one of the biggest creators about Minecraft news in Spanish, and I have viewers all around the world, in English-speaking countries like the USA and England, as well as Spanish-speaking nations like Peru, Argentina, and Columbia. I started the channel for fun, but in the last two years, it’s grown very fast. At the moment, it’s my job alongside my studies in graphic design. I’m really happy about this because my family’s not super wealthy—now I’m able to help them.”



“The Spanish Minecraft YouTube [community] has been a roller coaster since I started my channel in 2012. There’s no doubt that today there’s content for everyone, and we, as veteran creators, now have resources to make better videos. I’d describe the times we’re living in as the ‘professional’ era.

“Getting together as a community is important—each of us tries to do our bit. There’s a lot of talent in the Spanish-speaking community: mapmakers, redstoners, casual players. In 2020, I spoke to Guude, founder of Mindcrack [a private server that often hosts Ultra Hardcore matches] to bring the English and Spanish communities together. The event confirmed that both communities are titanic and that Mindcrack and UHC España players are charismatic and fun—every moment was one to cherish. There’s also a meme about Spanish people being inhabitants of the Minecraft world. We’re very expressive, and I think that being able to create anything in a sandbox like Minecraft allows us to have lots of entertaining content.”