This is a sidebar to the March 23, 2015 Forbes Magazine cover story, Inside The Post-Minecraft Life Of Billionaire Gamer God Markus Persson.

“Survival mode” is simple: Your protagonist (known as “Steve”) is dropped into a randomly generated landscape and must collect resources and build things to survive. Walk up to a tree and “punch” it to collect blocks of wood, and craft them into a simple shovel or pick; use that to dig in the ground or mine a mountain. Eventually you’ll be able to make stone tools, then iron.

Fail to build adequate shelter and come nightfall you’ll fall prey to dangerous monsters. In “creative mode” you can build whatever you imagine–Big Ben, a disco, a mansion–except this modern-day take on LEGOs lets you interact with others and their various creations.


–Initial launch: May 2009. Downloads to date: in excess of 100 million. That’s more than 47,000 a day.

–Minecraft’s procedurally generated worlds are so large the map can contain up to 921.6 quadrillion individual blocks.

–There are 372,047 subscribers to the YouTube channel Far Lands or Bust!, which chronicles one man’s attempt to walk to the edge of a Minecraft map. At his current pace it should take him another two decades.

–If you search for “Minecraft” on YouTube, you’ll get about 63,800,000 results. Several stars host regular shows updating fans on new features.

–There are more than 431,000 subscribers to Reddit’s /r/Minecraft forum.

–The Danish Geodata Agency created a 1:1 scale re-creation of the country in Minecraft. It contains over 4 trillion blocks, and the file is over 1 terabyte in size.

–Official Minecraft licensees include Scholastic, LEGO, J!NX, ThinkGeek, Mattel and Telltale Games.

– lists 490 different books in its “Minecraft” category, including strategy guides, joke books, fan fiction, teachers’ guides and programming manuals.

–Minecraft users have built replicas of hundreds of different architectural masterpieces–from the Great Pyramid of Giza to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater.

–There are 359 different splash texts that can randomly appear on the game’s launch screen, including “Made in Sweden!” and “Call your mother!”

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