The Dream SMP: A Modern-Day Media Marvel


Isabel Smith, Copy Editor

You have probably never wondered how to mix hardcore roleplay and Minecraft together, but that is exactly what hundreds of thousands of people on the Internet are now avidly engaging in due to a unique phenomenon called the Dream SMP.

The Dream SMP, at its core, is a survival, multiple-player Minecraft server created by the popular Minecraft YouTuber, Dream, and is populated by an ever-expanding line-up of his fellow content creators. However, the server has greatly evolved from the casual gameplay that marked its early days and is now known for being the most widely-followed in-game roleplay server to ever grace online creation platforms.

The server brings the concept of roleplay to an entirely new level by writing over-arching plotlines that define the course of the story and providing viewers with a production quality beyond what they could have ever imagined—all within the confines of Minecraft’s classic game mechanics. Main writers like TommyInnit, Dream, and Wilbur Soot have been overseeing the general plot, but in-character interactions on the server are almost entirely improvised to live audiences of up to 300,000 viewers.

Its beginnings go like something this: Wilbur Soot, a charismatic revolutionary, is seeking independence from what he sees as the oppressive hand of the server’s dictator, Dream. He recruits friends and fellow soldiers and wages a brutal guerilla war against Dream and his companions. After a shocking betrayal and a lost duel reminiscent of the story of Alexander Hamilton, a young soldier named Tommy steps up and offers his music discs, incredibly valuable artifacts on the server, to Dream in exchange for their nation’s independence. Therein concludes one of the dozens of plotlines that would come to make-up the story of the Dream SMP. Now, the server has witnessed a corrupt election, political exile, descents into insanity, bloody battles, friendship, wide-scale destruction, emotional manipulation, anarchy, grief, and hope. It would take tens of thousands of words to summarize.

The complexity of the storylines on the server is one thing I enjoy about it, though. They are, dare I say, more compelling than any professional media on Netflix or bound in hard-back I could find today. I have a special love for the writing of Wilbur Soot, who fabricated some of my favorite arcs and pieces of character development.

The real genius of the Dream SMP, though, is its multiple perspectives. Unlike professional media, which typically explores the thoughts and actions of select characters, since members live-stream their perspectives, viewers can choose to watch whatever characters or plotlines interest them the most and gain insight into the minds of all the players in the story. I especially adore how it asserts the idea that people, even those viewed as villains or antagonists, have their own motivations. It creates a one-of-a-kind outlook that puts almost all characters on the server in a moral grey area—all the better for debating and analyzing.

However, I admit there are inherent flaws with the amateur level of the production. These are streamers and entertainers. They are by no means professional actors or writers, and this shows in the way they sometimes break character or forget their motivations or, notably, have their parents yell at them while they are trying to conduct a dramatic monologue. It does not have the polish of the professional film industry, and that is something to consider.

Generally, if you are interested in following a complex, intriguing story, discovering a new form of media, and can stomach its amateur but certainly not low-quality nature, I would highly recommend checking out some of the content creators involved in the Dream SMP and diving head-first into its abundant, riveting lore.