From Cave Game to Minecraft

The history of Minecraft and its relevance in today’s culture.


Credits: Google images

The blocky video game, Minecraft, has been a staple of a lot of teens’ childhoods. It quickly became one of the most popular video games in the world when it was first released over a decade ago. Although the game peaked in popularity in 2012, Minecraft revenue and popularity have been increasing in recent years. According to, a website dedicated to showing data and statistics for online forums, the revenue just for the mobile version of the game went from 89.31 million annually in 2015 to 157.65 million annually in 2021. Minecraft has kept its popularity as it keeps evolving with ever-changing technology and interests. Simultaneously it maintains its nostalgic feeling for many teenagers.

Minecraft was first created in 2009 under the name “Cave Game” by Markus “Notch” Persson. This new video game was unique in its style and objectives of the game. You can collect materials, build things, and make new items. The game itself was a vast wilderness with different biomes and a blocky-3D appearance. You could also fight hostile creatures, or mobs, and kill animals for food and supplies. The name soon changed to Minecraft and the full version of the game was released on November 18, 2011, where it quickly gained a lot of popularity due to its uniqueness and the vast capabilities the game had.

YouTube videos of gameplay were released as far back as May 2009 and as the game came out with new updates, its popularity grew and Minecraft YouTubers like iBallisticSquid, The Yogscast, and Ethos Lab gained a big following as they uploaded videos of them playing the game. One of the most prominent older Minecraft YouTubers, Joseph Garret, most commonly known as Stampy or Stampy Cat, was very prevalent in the Minecraft community. The house from his Minecraft world was added to one of the older versions of the official Minecraft Tutorial World.

Many students at Herriman High grew up playing Minecraft and watching YouTubers associated with the game. Hailey Wooton, a sophomore at Herriman who hasn’t played since she was a kid, explained her history with the game by saying, “When I was little, I wanted to be an architect. Minecraft helped me experiment and play out this dream I had. I loved playing Minecraft with my friends and big brother.” In recent years, she hasn’t taken up Minecraft again, but she says, “Whenever I hear about Minecraft, it reminds me of my childhood where I would play for hours on end.” She still enjoys the idea of Minecraft and likes talking about her childhood whenever the subject of Minecraft comes up in conversation.

A senior at HHS, Jeff Garn, who has played Minecraft as the game has progressed said, “I was introduced to Minecraft back around the time it came out on consoles. The earliest memory I have of Minecraft is looking into a scary cave and seeing red eyes staring back to me. I always played creative and didn’t know how to stop flying after I started. I always ended up flying farther and farther upwards.” When asked about how he sees Minecraft now, he explained, “I’ve enjoyed the new updates that have come out. I recently made a new world with my brother who hasn’t played Minecraft for many years. It was very fun to see him discover all the new updates the game has had. He was very happy and surprised.” Jeff Garn and others have been impressed with how well Minecraft has been updated over the years.

Minecraft has changed and adapted throughout the years. Minecraft and its fan base have grown and should continue to grow as it keeps changing to fit the personalities and interests of the new generation. Minecraft has been a big part of a lot of high schoolers’ childhoods. Whether they find it nostalgic looking back or if they are staying up to date, it is certain that it’s an iconic game bound to keep its popularity going for a long time to come.