For the second year in a row, I put out a plea to the Minecraft community to help me put a stop to the bullying that happens on Minecraft servers around the world but also bullying that happens anywhere and more specifically, how much more often it happens to those that have autism. For the second year in a row, the Minecraft community answered.
This year several people that make YouTube videos of themselves playing Minecraft made some heartfelt and powerful videos sharing their experiences and opinions, helping to support us in our mission. These people did this because they knew that these videos, as painful or awkward or difficult to make as they may be, will help at least one person somewhere and that makes it worth it.
I put some of those videos at the bottom of this post for you to watch.
On April 2nd, I decided to live stream (play Minecraft in a live video for others to watch and chat with me) in an attempt to get my message out and to explain why I was so passionate about this. My Minecraft server, Autcraft, was built specifically to give children with autism a safe place to play, free from bullying and hate. It’s a place that I wish never had to be made in the first place, and so I spoke out to what few viewers I had.
As hour followed hour, my viewership grew. More people came to watch me. I took a ten minute break for something to eat, fearing to take too long for I might lose those people. But they didn’t leave. The numbers continued to grow, as did the support.
I intended to stream for a few hours at most but more and more people came to watch me… to listen to me! And then, it happened… Arkas appeared in my live stream chat.
Now, I’m going to start mentioning a lot of names in this next part and you are forgiven if you don’t know who they are. They are people that play Minecraft on YouTube and in live streams of their own and have thousands, hundreds of thousands and even millions of people subscribed to watch them. They influence these people. When they speak, their viewers listen.
If you play Minecraft or have a child that plays Minecraft, some of these names may be familiar to you, if not, then just believe when I say that they are “celebrities” in the Minecraft world.
Arkas shared the link to my live stream on Twitter and appeared in my chat room to let me know that he supports me. Shortly after, he was followed by Docm77. He too, shared the link on Twitter. Suddenly I had more viewers than I imagined I ever would have and they were in my chat room, talking with people and me and supporting me.. supporting the autism community that I represented.
Before I knew what was going on, I was adding them both to the server’s whitelist and they were there… on the server… with the children! Talking to them, taking screenshots together, giving those children on the server, autistic children, autistic adults and family, giving them the best day of their lives.
We had a wider audience, we were teaching so many people about bullying, autism and about how amazing people with autism can truly be!
But it didn’t stop there.
To my total amazement, another YouTuber then joined the server. Etho.
You need to understand that for me, Etho is the first that I had watched and quite literally taught me most of what I know about Minecraft and, without ever knowing it, gave me the know how and confidence to ever start a server of my own. But more so than that, he’s just as important to so many of the children on my server.
But what made his appearance truly amazing is that… that just does not happen. Etho is “illusive,” in fact, that’s what many people call him. He just does not “make appearances.” To show up on my server, with dozens and dozens of children that idolize him (some of the grown ups too)… that told me that what we were doing here truly was that special, it truly was that important. That’s when I knew that we were doing something amazing.
But wait, still not done!
Shortly after that, I was messaged by Keralis! Keralis (along with Arkas) are two of the best builders in all of Minecraft, in my opinion. He messaged me and said that he would come on too. Then another message… Xisuma Void! Xisuma Void passed along the message to the rest of the members of a server he helps to manage called HermitCraft and then suddenly I found myself in a chat room talking to a whole bunch of people that I’ve been watching for years! Biffa2001, ZombieCleo, Zuelgin and Sl1pg8r then joined the server too!
Here I was, this guy all by himself, asking the Minecraft community to help me. To help us. To speak up. All I wanted to do was help but somewhere, in the back of my mind, I thought… “what am I doing?” because I really didn’t think anyone would listen. That’s what I’m used to. I have autism myself and to be quite honest, I’m used to people not listening to me too.
But not in the Minecraft community. They listened. No, they didn’t just listen, they shared the message, they got behind it and amplified it. They didn’t just listen, they talked to me about it and helped me to reach so many people that I never would have reached on my own.
They were so very kind to me and to the kids on my server. They changed lives that day. Not just on the server but in their audiences, in my audience… in our communities and more.
This is what the Minecraft community is capable of and it’s amazing. I want to thank all the YouTubers that did this but I also want to thank the rest of the Minecraft community. I have received so many messages from so many people in YouTube comments, Twitch messages, tweets and so much more from people telling me what a great thing I’m doing and how they support me. When they support me, they support the autism community. When they support the autism community, they support these kids that need us so much.
That’s not to be taken lightly. So thank you Minecraft community, on behalf of myself, my server and the autism community.
These videos are from very kind people that have spoken out… the bottom 2 videos are from the live stream in which all of those YouTube celebrities came to visit Autcraft.