Updated: Nov 3, 2021
It started in November.
A few of my friends had begun to talk more and more about those Minecraft YouTubers who did the "Minecraft Manhunt" videos. Namely the women I had been talking to. You see, I wasn't aware at the time, but the "Minecraft Manhunt" guys also had a notable Minecraft roleplay server called the Dream SMP (SMP short for survival multiplayer Minecraft server). It was a space for the friends of these content creators to create their own videos and stream. The owner of the server, Dream, who is most notable for his internet empire and 19 million subscribers on YouTube, invites his friends and associates to roleplay and interact with each other for content. The server blew up in popularity after a small, talented community of dedicated fan artists brought widespread attention to the most catastrophic moments of the scripted roleplay. As the server expanded, so did its members, featuring more and more guests appearing on the server, whether for the sake of roleplay or for the purpose of separate content creation.
Enter Karl Jacobs.
Karl Jacobs is a friend of Dream's, met through their mutual friend and notable online figure Mr. Beast. He was invited to the server as a friend and originally spent most of his time introducing guests to the server. With the help of his many connections, he viciously claimed twitch stardom within the last year. Jacobs also gained what I can only describe as "hella fans," as every single woman I had been talking to in the last three months began ghosting me to watch him stream. It was fine at first, it happened maybe once a month, we said our goodbyes, and she’d off to watch Mr. Jacobs play "Among Us" with the hottest new twitch streamer.
Then it got worse.
Soon enough, it was often more than weekly, one of my closest female friends was leaving me without a word on the regular to watch Karl Jacobs play “Minecraft” or watch marble races for two hours. She’d return, messaging me while fawning over him saying, “karl jacobs is a very pretty man and i would very much like to hold his hand. also his hair is floofy.” or “karl and corpse are hyping tina up on her stream i-.” This was my life, wake up, eat, listen to my female friends talk about Karl Jacobs for two hours a day, sleep. The first time I had even seen Jacobs was because I needed to know who was beating me in every aspect of swagger. I needed to bear witness to this beautiful, masterful artist of charisma.
You have to be kidding me.
It couldn’t get any worse. I was second to this man? This middle schooler with a squirrely mustache? This? This is who they are falling for? A guy who looks like he pees in public pools and blames the warm spot on the heating system? A guy who dresses like a bougie hurricane victim displaced in a Goodwill? A guy who looks like he carried a rolly backpack and called himself a Redditor in middle school? My goodness, at least in the days of “Twilight” fangirls I could understand the appeal of Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, but this?
Have I been doomed to compete with painfully average men? I don't know, and it’s infuriating. I soon uncovered that this level of simping isn’t an exception in the Minecraft community when I discovered the Genghis Khan-esque conquering of Twitch spearheaded by Ranboo. Which started in what can only be described as a height thirst-trap on TikTok.
Initially joining the DreamSMP as a joke in late November, Ranboo is now the most subscribed to Twitch streamer on the platform with over 108,000 paid subscribers. The approximately 17-year-old creator went from one hundred Youtube subscribers to one and a half million between September and March. All without even showing his face! All he gave his rabid followers was him towering over his door at a shocking 6’7” and next thing you know he has one of the largest dedicated fan bases on this side of the internet.
While it is lightyears past impressive to grow this quickly, it startles me that this is one of the men my many female associates are either ghosting me for or obsessing over. Ranboo and Karl Jacobs’ swaths of fans invest time, money, and dedication to appreciating them and their content. Sure, they have done much more than standing next to doors and looking like that boy Zachary you took to the big dance in junior high to garner attention, but it’s a little disheartening to get left on read over Minecraft streamers. It hurts to lose this bad, to admit defeat. It stings to know that an ungroomed teenager in a Burger King crown is the reason why my Discord direct messages are filled with this GIF:
So, maybe I shouldn’t be all that mad that I lost in the game of attention to these men, it’s their job, isn’t it? The reason behind their popularity is their undeniable charisma and ability to draw attention to themselves. On top of that, they’re good people. Karl Jacobs is super involved with fans and actively calls out homophobia and transphobia in his community. Ranboo is donating a large portion of the money made by his massive amount of subscriptions this month to the Trevor Project to benefit LGBT people under the age of 25 (which accounts for a massive portion of his audience). These Minecraft men aren’t terrible people. Maybe this loss is warranted?
Nevermind, I am livid.