Calling all Minecraft fans! May 17th is a day celebrated just for you!
If you’re an avid Minecraft player, I bet you already know that it’s International Minecraft day today! But if you’re learning about this for the first time, then you better add it to your calendar now to remember!
It’s been 13 years since Minecraft’s official release, and it’s still one of the best-selling and arguably the most influential video games of all time.
In celebration of this day, let’s take a trip down memory lane together, look through the history, and learn fun facts about this epic game!
But before we move on, let me greet you first:
Happy International Minecraft Day!
Minecraft is a multi-platform “sandbox” video game developed by Mojang Studios, where players can explore, build, and survive in a world they created. From cities, castles, and oceans to modern skyscrapers, players can express their creativity and make whatever they can imagine—even replicate their own school, house, or backyard! The possibilities are endless!
Minecraft was created in the Java programming language by a Swedish video game programmer named Markus Alexej Persson, more commonly known as Notch. He previously worked with King.com through March 2009 and later for Jalbum.
Notch created the game through inspiration from known computer games such as Dwarf Fortress, Dungeon Keeper, RollerCoaster Tycoon, RubyDung (one of Notch’s previous games), and Infiniminer. The visual style of Infiniminer heavily influenced the game, but he wanted Minecraft to have RPG (Role-playing game) elements.
Minecraft was initially called the Cave Game, a game tech test Notch made on May 10th, 2009, with its first video released on May 13th, 2009. It was referred to as the world of Pre-Classic Alpha and the first known version of Minecraft. The game only had two blocks available at this phase: grass and cobblestone. In addition, the world was also small back then and entirely flat.
Persson completed the base program of Minecraft in six days that month, and private testing was released on TigIRC on May 16th, 2009. The game’s first release to the public was on May 17th, 2009, on TIGSource forums, a forum for Independent game developers. On this forum, Notch received feedback that allowed him to update the game’s version, which later became known as the Classic version.
A few more developmental phases were released in 2009 and 2010, including the Survival Test, Indev (short for in development), and Infdev (infinite development) versions. And on June 30th, 2010, the first major update called Alpha was released.
Finally, after two years of development, Minecraft’s full version, named Minecraft: Java Edition, was completed and released on November 18th, 2011, at MINECON 2011, which became an immediate success. Further updates of Minecraft have been released ever since, with the most recent update as of May 17th, 2022, being Java Edition 1.18.2.
Minecraft Fun Facts
I’ve gathered the top 10 fun facts about Minecraft.
- Minecraft’s first version was created in just six days—from May 10th, 2009, to May 16, 2009.
- The Ghasts, one of Minecraft’s monsters, make noises, and they actually come from the sleeping cat of Minecraft’s music producer Daniel Rosenfeld, who accidentally audio recorded the cat suddenly waking from sleep.
- There is about 0.01% chance, or 1 in every 10,000 times, when you play Minecraft, that you will see the introductory menu flashing a misspelling of the game’s title. Instead of “Minecraft,” you’ll see “Minceraft” instead. This is not a bug, but a small Easter egg the developers put in the game for fun.
- Contrary to popular belief, Minecraft is not infinite. Players won’t be able to venture further out in their world because they will ultimately arrive at the “World Boundary,” in which players can’t go any further. The boundary has several layers, and once the players pass the first two layers, the game will crash.
- Minecraft’s creator, Markus Persson, has a unique avatar in the game. Once his character dies, he is the only player who drops an apple. Also, Notch Apples or Enchanted Apples, which are named after him, are still the most powerful food items in Minecraft.
- The Swedish school, Victor Rydberg, made Minecraft a compulsory subject in 2013 for about 180 students aged 13. Its goal was to teach kids about building, city planning, environmental concerns, and planning for the future.
- Dragon Egg is the rarest item in Minecraft, and a player can only get it once the Ender Dragon has been defeated. And among the rarest items to mine include the emerald ore block, diamond ore block, and pink wool block.
- For younger ones, or players who prefer a less violent game, there’s a “Peaceful Mode,” which is the safest mode to use. The hostile mobs in the game here will not deal damage and not spawn.
- Microsoft paid 2.5 billion dollars in 2014 to acquire Minecraft and Mojang Studios.
- Over 200 million Minecraft copies have been sold worldwide, and over 126 million people play the game every month.
- Naming a sheep jeb_ turns them into a rainbow of colors for each one spawned.
- Minecraft originally took 6 days to develop.
- Steve is named Steve because it was suggested by Notch as a joke.
- Creepers were supposed to be pigs.
- Mojang (the company that now makes Minecraft) is pronounced Mow-yang.
- Mojang is now owned by Xbox Game Studios which is owned by Microsoft.
- Alex is based on Jeb.
With its well-known branding of pixelated and block graphics, it’s no wonder that Minecraft is one of the best-selling sandbox adventure video games of all time.
That’s all for today, everyone! I hope you enjoyed reading this!
Go on celebrate this day with your friends now!
Special thanks to all the users on KidzTalk who help contribute some of these facts (Minecraftnerd, Numberblock 21, EloquentRacer92, and others).