The Significance of Minecraft During the Pandemic


Lindsay Grimm, Staff Writer

The game Minecraft has become a household name by now. First released in 2011, the game has gone on to become the best-selling video game of all time, selling over 200,000,000 copies of the game across the many platforms on which it is offered. 

Multiplayer gameplay has always been an important part of what Minecraft has to offer. Whether it’s a small server for a group of friends or one of the massive servers that offer its thousands of players different ways to play the game, a good portion of Minecraft’s player base plays the game online. 

During what is starting to feel like an endless quarantine, Minecraft provides the perfect distraction and past time to people stuck at home. In fact, the game garnered over 131 million active users since the start of the pandemic and a 90% increase in multiplayer games. 

UC Berkeley decided to take advantage of the game’s versatility when they held a Minecraft commencement ceremony in a virtual replica of the university dubbed “Blockeley University.” Students at the ceremony had digital caps and gowns and even the opportunity to throw their caps. 

Graduation was not the only way that schools utilized Minecraft. A university in England offered a tour of the campus via Minecraft, allowing students to get an idea of what the campus is like without having to risk getting sick while visiting the campus in person.

While it has proven to be a fun and useful resource, Minecraft has shown that it can be used in more ways than just for school events. A virtual concert was held via Minecraft, featuring a lineup of artists including 100 gecs, Charlie XCX, Cashmere Cat, and more. 

A group of people created a Minecraft re-creation of Disneyland and Universal Studios, complete with functioning rollercoasters and custom sounds and texture packs to add to the immersion. Speaking from experience, these virtual theme parks were surprisingly realistic, and the rollercoasters were fun, and the theme park offered rewards, including the iconic mouse ear hats, for the number of rides you went on. 

As the pandemic drags on, people continue to find new and innovative ways to stay connected. Whether it’s Zoom raves or Minecraft Disneyland, in this era spent mostly online, there are more and more ways to spend time with your friends.