Into the Caves: Exploring the new Minecraft Update

    Minecraft is a 3D sandbox game, originally made by Notch, owned by Mojang Studios and Jeb Bergensten. Originally released on May 17, 2009, the game was fully released November 18, 2011. The game mainly focuses on the player’s ability to explore, rework and interact with the uniquely generated blocky world. Players can build, mine, farm, and fight! Interaction isn’t limited to non playable characters either, friends can join in too. This open-ended way of play contributes to Minecraft’s ability to stay mainstream for nearly ten years.

    One way Mojang keeps a strong connection with their fans is by hosting a live event in person and online to decide what gets added or changed. Minecraft isn’t reserved for young audiences; there are plenty of fans of all ages. 

    “It continues to draw a lot of younger people but the older people still stay. I still know a lot of thirty and forty year old minecrafters,” said Marshfield High School teacher Stephani Howe, a longtime player.

    Recently an incredibly hyped update has come out: Caves and Cliffs. This update was so big it had to be split into two parts. The most awaited feature was the new terrain generation. Mountains are larger and more realistic, ore spawn rates have changed dramatically, and caves have become their own beautiful ecosystem. 

    Before the Caves and Cliffs update, caves were devoid of plants and the structures were simple, the only threat were the hostile mobs. But with the update, different cave biomes have emerged. These biomes house moss, drip leaves, massive geodes, berries, axolotl and much more. The caves are also larger and more complex than they once were, some being submerged in water. Now it takes more work and skill to gather materials to advance in the game. 

Siena Beckett

    Over the years, popular Minecraft YouTubers come in and out of the spotlight as audiences that once adored them grew up. Dantdm and StampyLongNose are two of the most iconic Minecraft YouTubers from the start of it all. Years later Aphmau rose to popularity with one million subscribers in 2015. 

    Minecraft had another huge resurgence in 2019 when Pewdiepie, a Swedish gamer with the most subscribers on YouTube, started a “Let’s Play” series. Some of the current top Minecraft content creators are Dream, Mr.Beast, and TommyInnit. A huge fanbase has recently formed over quarantine surrounding a survival multiplayer server, the DreamSMP, owned by dream and played by 36 total players. Over the decade there seems to be a pattern of Minecraft drifting from adored to uninvolved, but never ‘dead’.

    “I think my favorite thing about cosplay is getting into the character’s personality to make the videos!” Dream Mander, a Dsmp cosplayer with 19.2k followers on tiktok, states.

    There have also been a fair amount of memes, references, and parodies that have become deeply ingrained in internet culture. Don’t Mine at Night, a parody of Katy Perry, came out in 2012 and as of April 15, 2022 has 158,093,548 views. Even if one doesn’t play it’s very likely that they know of such a beloved game.

    Mojang has also expanded by making other Minecraft based games and events such as Minecraft Education Edition, Minecraft story mode, Minecraft Earth, Minecraft Dungeons and The MoPOP exhibit. 


Overall Minecraft is a game that has been a part of children’s lives for ten years now and continues to be incredibly influential.