A Minecraft TV show would be a huge success, if only because there are millions of people, all over the world, who play it. In fact, Minecraft has sold over 1 million copies. If you haven’t heard of Minecraft, either you’re not a gamer or you don’t live with people between the ages of six and twenty-two.
In the game of Minecraft, you mine your world. And then you craft things. The premise sounds simple, but the more you play and discover within your world, the more strategy is involved. The game requires you to plan ahead, be creative and, occasionally, fight for your life.
Minecraft is an addictive game, but it could easily make the leap to a weekly Minecraft TV show. Plenty of other video games have found success on TV in cartoon form, such as Viva Piñata and Sonic the Hedgehog. Here’s why a Minecraft TV show is a great idea.
Steve the Everyman Protaganist
When you play Minecraft, you’re Steve, the brown-haired guy wearing dark blue pants and a light blue shirt. Steve is someone we can all relate to. He’s a working man just trying to build a home, make it rich and stay alive.
Steve already has a quiet personality. He could easily play the straight man to any jokes other characters in the cartoon would make. He is also perfect for pratfalls, since he can’t move more than one block up without just banging into the wall, or one block down without losing some life, or even his armor. Plus, he can carry a variety of accessories, whether it’s a diamond pickaxe or a whole bed.
Survivalists would love Steve. Sure, he can make friends with wolves in order to have a dog for company. But when he’s hungry, he has no qualms butchering cows, pigs and chickens to cook up in his furnace. He is completely self-sufficient.
A solid protagonist alone does not a good story make. Even Tom Hanks had Wilson in Cast Away. In a Minecraft TV show, Steve could interact with the villagers, for instance. He already trades goods with them, but anything could happen. He could fall for the blacksmith’s wife, or become embroiled in a sheep-napping mystery, or even come under fire from environmentalists for so carelessly using the world’s resources for his own selfish needs.
Beyond the villagers, Steve could quickly be given family members to deal with, by throwing some skins onto regular Steve. He could be jealous of Tennis Steve or Scottish Steve, while Creeper Steve could feel like an outcast because he is, perhaps, the offspring of mom and (oh my) a Creeper. Which leads me to…
Minecraft is full of villains who could play antagonist to our everyman Steve. Spiders could feed into his worst fears, hiding in abandoned mine shafts while he’s investigating that sheep-napping. Then there are zombies, always a nuisance during night-time travel, who pop up for battles at just the wrong time. (Think The Walking Dead in 8-bit form.)
Even better than mindless spiders and zombies could be a mafia-like organization working against Steve and his skinned brothers. Picture Minecraft’s fiercest villain, the Enderman, running an outfit that is dead determined to keep Steve and his costumed brothers from succeeding in any venture, whether it be mining or building. The tall, black, gangly Enderman is the crime boss, while Skeleton Archers act as his snipers and Creepers are his brutish hit men.
This stuff writes itself!
Minecraft also comes with a wide variety of locales for all the action and drama our newly formed crime syndicate can dish out. Steve could save the day in the steamy jungle, in the arid desert, in the chilly forests, on the windswept beach, or even on the mysterious ‘shroom island. (‘Shroom island could be the setting for a Scooby-Doo-like mystery, taking up a trilogy of episodes!)
Treasure always lends itself well to dramatic stories, and Minecraft is full of it. Imagine the secrets and alliances that would spring up when Steve discovers a large vein of diamonds. Or if that dashing Tennis Steve were to discover a trove of emeralds, our Steve could endure an inner battle of morals, deciding whether to rob his brother blind or allow him to enjoy his riches. Or maybe fights could break out over crop harvests. “I need that wheat to bake a cake for my child!”
Minecraft is unique because it embraces the retro 8-bit style of graphics, making everything a parallelogram, whether you like it or not. But several good YouTube videos have shown us that even within the restricted use of cubes, the characters and action would not suffer. In fact, that cubic world could poke fun at itself in any number of ways. “Oh, villager #4, your square jawline makes my blocks weak.”
No doubt Notch, creator of Minecraft, a.k.a. Markus Persson, has been approached by a network suit somewhere about turning his baby into a cartoon. And knowing what a tight rein Notch has had on merchandising, he is most likely scoffing at the idea of a weekly TV cartoon. Or waiting for Ang Lee to come calling. Regardless, a Minecraft cartoon would blaze up TV ratings like Netherrack.
As of July 21, 2015, a movie is in development at Warner Bros. No date yet on its release. A Minecraft TV show, however, would be able to delve much deeper into a variety of worlds and mythologies.