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Book Preview: Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus "Notch" Persson

Marcus Estrada

Chances are, you have heard of Minecraft. You might not have played it yourself, but it“s incredibly hard to escape its presence in the gaming world. It“s a giant on the indie scene which began as a simple, creative blocky title and matured into a still-blocky game with millions of devoted fans. Now, it“s hard-pressed to find a system that won“t offer Minecraft for play. Even the PS4 and Xbox One will have versions of the title.


But how did all of this even happen? That“s what is detailed in the upcoming book titled Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus “Notch” Persson and the Game that Changed Everything. If you read the extremely long subtitle then it immediately becomes apparent what this book is about. It“s not just about Minecraft“s climb to fame - although that is there - but about programmer/designer Markus Persson (Notch) and his own life story.


As it turns out, the life of much-beloved Notch is far humbler than might be expected.




Although it“s not a complete biography, there is far more about his childhood and family shared than was expected. Reading through it, many Minecraft fans would probably be surprised to see what Notch had to overcome in his life and why it“s so exciting to see him succeed now. Of course, there“s also a ton about the roots of Minecraft, such as Notch“s fascination with Infiminer.


Journalists Linus Larsson and Daniel Goldberg co-wrote the book and it showcases a great deal of dedication to their subject matter. Almost all aspects of the Minecraft craze are covered, from the school-centric spin off MinecraftEdu to the first MineCon event. It even delves into Mojang“s company history as well and remarks on events such as the Scrolls vs The Elder Scrolls hooplah.




There are a few times that it does seem the book veers off into rambling territory, though. For example, the one time Notch posted a Twitter message about wanting to fund Psychonauts 2. You might recall this never went anywhere simply because the game would end up costing a great deal to serve too small an audience. This is a very small footnote in Notch“s history and seems silly to include. The same holds true for a few other tidbits, but they are still interesting all the same.


The book previously was a bestseller in Sweden and, if Minecraft fans catch wind of its English-language publication, then it will likely make waves in the West as well. Hopefully there will be enough time before then to make a few factual changes. For example, the book ends on a note about the game 0x10c, which has since been canceled. Aside from that, it is looking like this book about Minecraft is prepared to give readers new insight into Mojang and Notch himself. It is currently slated for a November 5th launch, with the first 300 copies purchased to be signed.

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