The Cult Of Minecraft, Live

By Alec Meer on November 21st, 2011 at 8:54 am.

The Guinness Book of Records guys should probably take a note - largest gathering of people wearing cardboard boxes on their head

Minecon is done and dusted (no, we weren’t there – the RPS private zeppelin was in for servicing that week, so we couldn’t make it out to Vegas). Anyone go? If not, here’s a taste of what it was like, with the lavish, jokey keynote speech – featuring a history of Minecraft, a specially-commissioned animated short film documenting a day in the life of Steve, amateur dramatics, and appearances from all sorts of folk, including that woman with the pink hair, the Yogscast chaps and some guy in a hat called Markus. While witnessing such fervour around an indie game about building stuff is more than a little odd, it’s all very sweet and genuinely celebratory.

This via Gamespot, who were there, because they all own underpants made of solid gold.

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57 Comments »

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  1. Hoaxfish says:

    I know this is kinda mean, but about 99% of the people who apparently attended this, going by the videos, are exactly the sort of people I was expected to.

  2. cupogoodness says:

    We exhibited, and had a great time. The crowd was definitely skewed young, but that was great for us as we reached a whole new demographic for our game. Jinx (Minecraft merch) must have made millions, their line was out the door the entire time.

    The after party was a complete disaster, but other than that the event was a pretty big success as far as I could tell. I can’t see Mojang making this a one-time thing. It was short notice for a convention, and they still sold all 4,500 tickets well before the actual event. They could more than double that number next year and still sell it out as long as they announce it earlier on.

    • cupogoodness says:

      It was no fault of Mojang’s. They were told when they reserved the “XS” (bad pun shutter) night club at The Wynn Casino, that it was for the event attendees (21+) alone.

      Well that didn’t happen at all, Dead Mau5 attracted every type of club douche and douchette you could imagine. They probably outnumbered the MineCon crowd 5 to 1. The casino/club staff and security, apparently not knowing or caring about the exclusivity of the event, just lumped us (when I say us, I mean both attendees and exhibitors) in with the overwhelming number of Jersey Shore clones (and treated us as such, I was manhandled by a few bouncers for, well I’m not really sure. Standing?)

      To make things worse the place was several thousands over capacity. I waded through the dance floor to get to the other side and it was like a metal concert, I received a few blows to the head from stray elbows and such. One of my exhibitor friends was “kinda” puked on by a very drunk club regular. You couldn’t move, you couldn’t talk, you couldn’t get a drink in under 45 minutes from the bars unless you wanted to pay for $1,000 table service.

      It was an “eff this” situation in minutes, and apparently the awfulness even touched up the MineCon big wigs a bit. One of Mojang’s staff was tweeting that they roped off about half of their group when trying to get in, and they were not allowed to enter the club. During the discussion with the bouncers dozens of scantly clad women were ushered in while they, some of the very people who had reserved the club and booked Dead Mau5, were told the room was overcapacity and that they wouldn’t be allowed in until numbers dropped.

      In short, total failure by the Wynn Casino, and as Notch just recently tweeted: “We also learned who not to work with at Minecon. Shame.. :/” I can’t think he means anyone else other than them.

    • Maldomel says:

      Shit that’s not cool at all, I guess the casino security was either not aware of the event (the Deadmau5 live, not the minecon), or maybe they let everyone in because it meant more and more people, more and more money to get?

    • johnpeat says:

      A friend of mine used to organise events and spent a few years doing so in LV and the whole security/deadmau5 thing is something he’s seen 100s if not 1000s of times.

      The Casinos run according to their own rules – they decide who comes into ‘your’ party – not you. Once you’re aware of this, there are things you can do to smooth the waters but you’ll never get ahead of their dodgy dealing.

      Don’t assume this was a ‘mistake’ by security – they don’t make mistakes (they run a multi-million-dollar a DAY operation where security is pretty key to the whole thing!!)

      End of the day they’ll have wanted to fill any ‘party’ with their comped customers and friends – and the ‘easy girls’ they’re looking to find there. They don’t really care if they piss anyone off because there’s always another sucker (that is pretty much the motto of the casino “There’s always another sucker”).

      His advice would have been to host the party outside the main casinos to avoid having these ‘people’ in your party…

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      “Dead Mau5 attracted every type of club douche and douchette you could imagine.”

      That’s rather insensitive, his fans won’t take kindly to such lambasting! You get points for accuracy though.

    • cupogoodness says:

      @Casimir’s Blake

      There are tons of Dead Mau5 fans I love and respect. Just none of them happened to be those clubberlings. Additionaly, I freakin’ love Dead Mau5 and was depressed as hell that I had to walk away from his performance because of everything that was happening.

      Anyway, certainly didn’t mean to generalize it as “all dead mau5 fans are club douches.” Not true at all, most Minecon nerdlings like myself couldn’t wait for that performance. There are a lot of awesome stuff out there good people are into that attract a less than savory demographic as well. Metal, anime, theme parks, Star Trek. The list goes on.

    • empath says:

      I used to do rave promotion and DJ at raves, and that’s pretty normal. The club/promoters would have laid out nearly $100k for those two DJs, and almost all of that would have to get recouped at the door. They probably allowed in minecon attendees as a favor to Deadmau5, and it would have been treated as ‘guest list’.

      Most big clubs like this will have a separate line for free guests, but they’ll always be second in priority behind people with tickets, and more importantly, people who reserved a ‘vip table’. A table is going to set people back several hundred to a thousand dollars in champagne bottles. Generally, you’re going to want to get there very early if you want any hope at all to get in front of paying customers. Unless you know somebody, or you’re a regular.

      Also, anytime a big DJ like this comes to town, the club is generally going to sell tickets until they literally can’t fit people in the door any more. I once worked at a party where legal capacity was 600 and we sold 3000 tickets. I’ve been at parties that had so many people that the fire marshall had to shut it down after people collapsed and EMT’s couldn’t fit into the club.

      You’d never want to go to something like this if you weren’t going to be happy crushed onto a dance floor with a few thousand people on drugs or alcohol. It’s definitely not a thing for introverts.

    • Jambe says:

      I have nothing topical to add; I just wanted to comment on the peculiarity of empath’s distinction between “drugs and alcohol”. And I’m not picking on you, empath — many people make the distinction. I just think it’s an interesting bit of language pointing to a larger societal phenomenon.

      “There are drugs, you see, and then there this is other drug, alcohol, which merits being set apart because… er…”

  3. Baboonanza says:

    My hat is called Benjamin.

  4. N says:

    SO FUNNY HAHAHA. And I get such a sense of community from this. NO LONGER FOREVER ALONE WAHGHAGHAGH!!

    • The Infamous Woodchuck says:

      sigh

      Your comment are not civilized enough for the hivemind. and because of this you are now EXILED

      (dun,dun,dun)

  5. Xaromir says:

    What does “Minecraftchick” actually do? She seems to be the most pointless person in the industry. Wtfbbq!?

    • Hoaxfish says:

      She’s a girl! Leave her alone!

      I think that’s literally the only thing… “is a girl” (or even a “gamer girl”), and so garners a ridiculous amount of additional attention.

      Granted, I’ve never actually gone beyond that basic assumption, and looked at anything she’s actually output… so maybe I’m wrong.

    • Lleamen says:

      This sums up my feelings about MinecraftChick: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeYJxXwvbvo

    • DrazharLn says:

      >I’ve never actually gone beyond that basic assumption, and looked at anything she’s actually output… so maybe I’m wrong.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      You don’t have to watch someone’s actual content if the way they’re effectively “advertised” is contrary to anything you would find appealing. As it is, “gamer girl, lol <3 minecraft" is the only that I have ever come across, and that linked youtube certainly doesn't seem to suggest I've misjudged either.

      That’s why that “maybe” creeps in, maybe it’s just really bad “PR”

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      LTK says:

      She’s basically Mojang’s PR person. No reason to hate on her.

  6. The Tupper says:

    I watched the live stream and am still trying to get the cushion extracted from between my arse cheeks, so profound was my sense of sympathetic embarrassment.

    ‘Super-excited’ pink hair was one thing, but the Microsoft guy spectacularly misjudged his audience, seemingly thinking it was an XBox crowd.

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    oceanclub says:

    “he Microsoft guy spectacularly misjudged his audience, seemingly thinking it was an XBox crowd.”

    To be fair, that’s the entireity of MS in a nutshell, not just him.

    Since my pre-order copy of Skyrim _still_ hasn’t arrived from Zavvi (grumble), I jumped back into Minecraft 1.0 and am having a load of fun. I don’t think I’ve played it since 1.3, so there’s lot of new stuff to get to grips with. All of which I’m ignoring til I build my giant glass water elevator (why? Because!).

    My biggest WTF moment, though, was learning via Twitter that Julian Gough (http://www.juliangough.com) wrote the ending to Minecraft. Better known to UK people as a comic novelist, he’s also known to Irish people of my age (and possibly others) as the former lead singer of Toasted Heretic, an indie band with very funny, sometimes poignant, lyrics (think The Smiths with much of the angst removed). I highly recommend their hits albums: http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?playListId=86782111 and cannot wait to find out exactly what he wrote….

    (Well, not until I build my giant glass water elevator.)

    P.

    • The Tupper says:

      I was all ready to poo myself with excitement when I updated from beta to the full version after the switch was thrown (well done to Mojang, btw, for keeping the servers working under what must’ve been extremely heavy load). After finding a nice new bit of real estate to begin on, however, I was pulled back towards Skyrim for the rest of the evening.

  8. Rancorist says:

    Guys.

    Help me.

    Please.

    I was in the first 50 people to purchase Minecraft (honest, I was) and I used to love running around with grass boxes and building mega structures out of them! But now … now I can’t enjoy it cause I felt it has gone too mainstream and everyone plays it. It used to be my secret little game I used to show to a select few friends and now it has turned into a multi million dollar game. I can’t help feel proud and also a little dismayed. I’m happy for Notch and I’ve had many chats a long time ago with him on the forums but am I a dick for feeling this way?

    I hope not.

    • DiamondDog says:

      Yes, I’m afraid you are. It’s like some idiotic hipster abandoning his favourite band because they got a bit of radio play.

      When you like something purely for it’s exclusivity, you are a dick.

    • The Tupper says:

      No one’s a dick on RPS.

      Only misguided.

    • wccrawford says:

      The usual label is ‘hipster’, and yes, most people will agree that hipsters are dicks. Only being able to enjoy something because you know about it and others don’t is selfish in the extreme.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      It’s understandable. The fact is that the idea of ‘I alone/a select few know about this secluded spot/unknown indie game/excellent author/etc.’ can give you a squee of exclusivity. Extra special because it’s limited. It’s similar to people who like things more if things are hard to get and hence when they get it they feel better.

      Of course, it would be so much easier if you were able to let go of that bit and just re-evaluate the game (or whatever) on its own. I mean, you did like to play the game, didn’t you? And if not.. why did you keep playing?

    • Urthman says:

      It seems like it would be really sad to only be able to enjoy things if they are both

      1. awesome, and
      2. limited to a small, exclusive group of people.

      Seems like you’d be a lot happier if you could be content with #1.

    • Josh W says:

      I don’t think you are, it’s actually really common; metal or electronic music people disappear into their various subcategories, each with something that most people won’t touch, hipsters try to keep ahead of popularisation, dropping things when people start cashing in, and loads of other people hive off obscure bits of their childhood that are too old for people to try to popularise.

      Why? Because sometimes when something is personal to you, when it has loads of unique associations for you and is seperate from loads of other stuff in your life, then seeing it get blurred into everything else just emphasises how that personal meaning it has to you is not essential to it:

      It’s not baked in, to some extent, you put it there. Even if they guy who made it agrees with you!

      Someone can like that thing you like and not understand it the way you do, and that can seem like the magnitude of what it means to you can be lessened, dilluted.

      That doesn’t have to be true. To some extent yes, the original small cluster of the starting game community won’t be coming back, unless you organise yourself together yourselves, maybe make a mod team or something, or build a new game, but as long as the original game is still there, and you can play it as you used to, it doesn’t really matter what it is to other people.

      They’re just random people who can’t really get why it’s so awesome. :P You’re always allowed your own world, with your own personal way of relating to stuff, so let them have their fun and play the proper minecraft yourself!

    • Rancorist says:

      You’re all right … Maybe I didn’t word myself right. I still enjoy the game but not as much as before. Ah. Thanks for voicing all you’re opinions

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      It hasn’t really turned into a multi-million dollar games, if by that you mean everything that usually comes with it: AAA quality graphics, made by hundreds of employees, overseen by clueless business and marketing people, generic hand-holding gameplay aiming for the lowest common denominator. It’s still made by two guys who follow their vision, and most CoD fans still won’t touch it with a ten-foot pole, so you can still feel special.

  9. Robslap says:

    So the pink haired lady is Director of “Fun” … is the fun only implied?

  10. Maldomel says:

    I wish I could have been there. Unfortunately, my underpants are not made of gold.

  11. Kaira- says:

    That was… surprisingly painful to watch.

    • SiHy_ says:

      I watched it live and felt the same. Everyone involved seemed to be really uncomfortable which made it all just… awkward. It felt more indulgent than celebratory, really dissappointing launch for a game I love.
      Oh well, it doesn’t affect the game any so I don’t really care.

  12. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Was it ever explained why a game developed in Europe had its major event so far in USA? And of all places on Las Vegas, one of the most expensive cities in the country?

    • Zoomon says:

      My guess would be to increase the profile of Minecraft.

    • johnpeat says:

      Notch is obsessed with LV – no-one else would have chosen that place for a ‘Con’ but him…

      Soon he’ll be making beards and hats mandatory to play – not that I’m suggesting his success has gotten to him in any way ;)

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      Actually it was put to a public vote.

    • shitflap says:

      IIRC, Notch said, “I wanna go to Vegas. Can I get some mugs to fund this party? I can! Yay! Vegas-time!”

  13. tigershuffle says:

    a work colleagues little bro went with 2 of his friends
    …….. they are in the middle of a US road trip

    Hes picking em up after a flight from New York on Dec 4th………….though we doubt they will make it

    probably be arrested or be broke and in a Mexican bordello before then :)

  14. nemryn says:

    I’d say that Markus is more of a ‘chap’ than a ‘guy’, actually.

  15. SiHy_ says:

    Hmmm. And now all hell has broken loose over on Twitter. Between this and the Project Zomboid debacle I’m starting to think that being open-and-honest on Twitter may not be the best stategy.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Well, suggesting Quake instead of a legal dispute, and slagging off probably the biggest “minecraft-celebs” outside of Notch/Jeb on Twitter… doesn’t quite smack of a “professional” approach to these situations.

      Especially since the “accused” are stuck in transit apparently.

      I think Project Zomboid is a slightly different matter, since they didn’t get into a tweet-fight with the guy who burgled them… just sort of got overwhelmed by a bunch of negative gits.

    • Sian says:

      Huh? What happened and could you kindly point me towards it, please?

      Holy! Yeah, too many tweets to read for someone who only got into twitter a few weeks ago.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      I love how calling people out for being total assholes is spun into “unprofessional”. If he’s telling the truth – and I have no reason to believe he’s not – what the fuck is wrong with that? Seriously, what?

      Unless you believe that saying not-nice things about other people is somehow inherently “unprofessional”, which is utterly ridiculous. You can’t behave appallingly, then whine about the person who is calling out that behaviour. How fucking backwards is that?

      Yogscast repeatedly insulted people, talked behind their backs, refused to cooperate, and acted like total spoiled divas nonstop.

      https://twitter.com/#!/notch

    • Hoaxfish says:

      basic thing: Notch made a tweet saying they (mojang) are never going to work with “people” (confirmed in a following tweet as Yogscast). Initially saying they’d “f-bombed” a child or something.

      Yogscast is a pair of UK people (named Lewis and Simon) who do youtube “lets play” style (which you may/may not already know)… they also cover other games (inc before minecraft). They have a huge following within the minecraft community, doing features about mods, and a roleplay-series. They do swear in their videos.

      Yogscast’s last thing (they were at minecon) was that they’re travelling for the next 24hr, and will make a video comment when they arrive and settle back at home.

      Meanwhile, shitstorm on twitter/youtube/etc as people from both sides randomly accuse and deny everybody else of being wrong/idiots/disorganised/egotistical. Other silly nonsense like vocally announcing how they’re unsubscribing/unfollowing from the “wrong side!”.

      Notch was generally pouring fire on the flames, with “his side of the story” (a very vague series of accusations), before declaring another holiday. Other youtube people, like total biscuit (who knows them personally+physically or something), and some other people have basically spoken up to say all these accusations sound very uncharacteristic.

      I love how calling people out for being total assholes is spun into “unprofessional”.

      I’m calling it unprofessional because it’s childish whining for attention, rather than basically talking it out in private with the specific people involved, or at least letting both sides of the situation be told simultaneously.

      If he wants to come across as professional… deal with it in private. Don’t go on the internet for emotional backup about how “wronged” you were. He didn’t “call them out”… he started with some “hint” (I think something… but it’s a seecret why!)… then basically got baited into this full-blown bitchfest. I think it would’ve been fine to stop after one or two tweets (that he had a problem with Yogscast + swearing… and then end it there), since it’s “notch” rather than “mojang” talking… but he really strung it out.

      There’s no way they can actually defend themselves if they’re stuck on an aeroplane either.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      For the record, this is TotalBiscuit:

      http://www.reddit.com/r/ShitRedditSays/comments/lgpdz/totalbiscuit_im_not_going_to_apologise_for/

      Using him as some kind of character witness is…funny.

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      bear912 says:

      Really, the people who threw rocks at Indie Stone for being unprofessional should have beaten Mojang to a (figurative, internet) pulp long ago if they were consistent sociopaths, and not all wishy-washy about their sociopathy.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Using him as some kind of character witness is…funny.

      Well, people are taking upon themselves to defend sides/moderate the flaming… most are not acting as official spokespeople. I don’t think he is, certainly.

    • Premium User Badge

      bear912 says:

      Edit: Eh, nevermind. I’m just going to keep my mouth shut.

      Except when I place popcorn in it, while I watch the show.