by Daniel Goldberg and Linus Larsson, authors of Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus “Notch” Persson and the Game that Changed Everything (Seven Stories Press, November 2013)
This is the story of how one bedroom coder changed the rules of the videogame world forever.
A few years ago, 34-year-old Markus “Notch” Persson of Stockholm was an unknown computer programmer stuck in a job he didn’t like. In the evenings, he toiled away on a labor of love: an obscure game with a tiny but dedicated online following. The game was called Minecraft. Markus released it to the world in early 2009. Pretty much nobody cared.
Today, Minecraft is a global phenomenon. The game Markus built in his spare time has more than 40 million players. Thousands of fans of all ages, from elementary school kids to their parents, gather at Minecraft conventions, dressed up as their favorite characters from the game. Millions of people worldwide manage their own Minecraft-servers and share recordings of their favorite sessions with other players through YouTube. In Barcelona, Spain, a cartoonist draws a monthly comic book set in the Minecraft world. In England, two young guys and one girl have built an audience of millions through their weekly Minecraft-themed show on YouTube. In hundreds of schools throughout Europe and the US, teachers are using Minecraft—a game their students already love—as a tool to help them understand concepts such as teamwork, engineering, and computer science. (more…)