Mindcrack (formerly stylized as MindCrack[a]) is a group of 25 prominent content creators that publish footage of their video gaming experiences online, often in a Let's Play format. Content is shared primarily via pre-recorded video uploaded to YouTube, or live broadcasts to Twitch. The instigator of the Mindcrack community is known online as Guude.
Beginning as a Minecraft-oriented group, Mindcrack has expanded to play a variety of games together. As a group, they have pioneered of a number of popular gameplay styles and gamemodes within Minecraft, including Race for Wool, Ultra Hardcore, King of the Ladder, and ABBA Rules caving. To date, Mindcrack has raised in excess of $300,000 for Extra Life charity, primarily through their annual livestream marathon event, the Mindcrack Marathon.
Mindcrack was created on 19 October 2010 when a then-29-year-old Guude uploaded the first episode of his singleplayer Minecraft Let's Play to his YouTube channel 'GuudeBoulderfist'. It was a short video featuring him playing an early version of Minecraft, with a brief introduction to the game's format and an explanation as to why he was creating the series; in his own words, the game had "started to get stale" after playing it for three weeks. He hoped that recording his gameplay would make the game "more interesting again."
Guude expressed interest in continuing his Let's Play alongside friends once a functioning version of multiplayer for Minecraft had been released. Responding to viewer suggestions, Guude said he liked the idea of inviting fans to play with him, but was hesitant to trust strangers on the Internet. The Mindcrack Server was founded by Guude in December 2010, together with his friend since high school, madcow21. In the following weeks, Guude introduced a number of his friends from World of Warcraft to the server, for example, Alcimedes, thejims, and Crysix.
The second Let's Player to join Mindcrack was jsano19, who had been invited to join the server by Guude in January 2011. The first contest allowed four of Guude's fans to join the server. Contest runner-up adlingtont started his own Let's Play from the server in February, while contest winner Nebris and thejims both began to release short clips from the server infrequently. Mhykol joined the server as a guest in April 2011 as part of his 'Mhykol Invades' series, in which he toured other Let's Players' Minecraft worlds.
The second and third contests accepted video applications, which Guude says was a motion for adding more video creators to Mindcrack. All of the winners of the second contest started Let's Plays from the server; one winner, VintageBeef, had an already established fan-base thanks to his hardcore survival Minecraft Let's Play. None of the winners of the third contest began a Let's Play upon joining the server. The reset of the server in September 2011 saw Mhykol join Mindcrack as an official member, along with BdoubleO100. Since then, all new members invited to Mindcrack have been content creators of some form. Members that didn't initially produce consistent Let's Plays have begun to do so in subsequent years, for instance, all of the winners of the third contest, Nebris, and thejims.
Reflecting on the apathetic pre-Mindcrack period of his life, Guude has shared that he identified closely with fictional character Creighton Bernette (played by John Goodman) from Treme, adding that he felt empathetic of the characters' suicide at the end of the first season. He says Bernette's production of vlogs inspired him to begin his own Let's Play, creating purpose in his life.
"Mindcrack is changing"
On 3 April 2015, Mindcrack's project coordinator WesWilson announced, via a blog post titled "Mindcrack is changing", that Mindcrack would be taking steps to strengthen itself in order to benefit its members. The two primary strategies used to achieve this would be enhancing group events to improve entertainment value, and building a legal entity to negotiate licensing and sponsorship. Ultimately, BdoubleO100, Etho, generikb, paulsoaresjr and thejims are no longer considered official members of Mindcrack, taking the number of Mindcrackers to 25. The departing members are now considered VIP guests of Mindcrack, and are still welcome to play on the Mindcrack Server and participate in events such as Mindcrack Ultra Hardcore. OMGchad explained simply that Mindcrack has created an enforceable trademark, and the departing members were not interested in legal business.
Mindcrack members reiterated that they were still in good relations with departing members, and that there wouldn't be any major changes for viewers. In the week following, /r/mindcrack lost 584 subscribers. An unofficial subreddit, /r/leftcrack, was created by fans to discuss content from former Mindcrackers. It gained 344 subscribers in its first week.
During a channel update vlog, BdoubleO100 said he still considers all of Mindcrack as friends and family; he just "[wished] it didn't have to happen". He confirmed that his Mindcrack Server Let's Play would not be continuing. Etho shared during a livestream that he was "not super happy about leaving", but was uncomfortable about being involved in the expanding business side of Mindcrack and thus decided to leave. He revealed "they were kind of looking to get rid of anybody that felt like they didn't fit in anymore". He said he remains on good terms with Zisteau, Docm77 and AnderZEL, among others. generikb mentioned in a Facebook post that leaving Mindcrack "changes nothing about [his] channel, who [his] friends are, and who [he] make videos with", adding that his participation in future UHCs is 'unlikely'.
In a June 2015 Facebook comment, generik said that the departing members were "removed from [the group] because [they] did not wish to sign certain legal agreements." BdoubleO said during a August 2015 livestream that "[he] was told that [he] was not allowed to be an official member anymore." Reflecting on the announcement, Guude said on 3 April 2016 that "the year has been great for Mindcrack and was certainly the best decision moving forward for the group." He says the 2015 Mindcrack Marathon in San Francisco and the Superfight card pack would not have otherwise been possible. Guude mentioned that he has stayed in contact with Etho, Paul, and thejims.
A separate YouTube channel, the Mindcrack Network, was created as "a place for content from collaborations from the guys on the Mindcrack server."
- White Cannon Tournament
- MindCrack Party
- 2013 Mindcrack Marathon
- PAX Prime 2014 meetup
- 2014 Mindcrack Marathon
- Vancouver: Meetup and ExtraLife charity stream
- Ultra Hardcore Season 20
- Ultra Hardcore Season 21
- MineCon: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015
- London 2012
- MindCrack Party
- Penny Arcade Expo: PAX East 2013, PAX Prime 2013, PAX East 2014, PAX Prime 2014, PAX South 2015, PAX East 2015, PAX Prime 2015
- VidCon: 2013
- Insomnia: i49, i52
- GameVid Expo: 2014
- Vancouver Meetup
- The Mindcrack Network's official website
- The Mindcrack Network on YouTube
- The Mindcrack Network on Twitch
- The Mindcrack Network on Twitter
- The Mindcrack subreddit
- Mindcrack's Spreadshirt Store
- Guude initially titled his videos with the spelling "MindCrack" when referring to the multiplayer server. Many members including Nebris, PauseUnpause and Zisteau have always used the "Mindcrack" spelling. Both spellings were generally accepted, with the 'capital C' being considered the official spelling. Over time, the use of the 'lowercase c' spelling became more prominent, and Guude began titling his videos as such. In March 2015, WesWilson confirmed that the 'lowercase c' would be used when referring to the brand in a legal context. Some members such as AvidyaZEN and SethBling still use the previous spelling.
- W92Baj (28 June 2012). Reddit reply. Reddit. <http://www.reddit.com/r/mindcrack/comments/rvuf3/mindcrack_brand/c494vtz>.
- brighteyes890 (15 March 2015). Reddit reply. Reddit. <https://www.reddit.com/r/mindcrack/comments/2z3c43/mindcrack_or_mindcrack/cpfb7ul?context=1>.
- Mindcrack (19 June 2012). "Mindcrack Podcast - Episode 1". YouTube. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gub7YEAGWo4&t=1467s>.
- GuudeBoulderfist (19 October 2010). "Minecraft MindCrack - S1E1 - Clausterphobified". YouTube. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZI_SwHIdiU>.
- GuudeBoulderfist (20 November 2010). "Minecraft MindCrack - S1E42 - I like my stuff". YouTube. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fb9xXOSFfUQ&t=2m32s>.
- GuudeBoulderfist (28 November 2010). "Minecraft MindCrack - S1E51 - Wrangled - 1 of 2". YouTube. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNTbKDDIFPo&t=2m7s>.
- GuudeBoulderfist (30 November 2010). "Minecraft MindCrack - S1E54 - Spider Expressway". YouTube. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nf4O5_ceQ6A&t=7m11s>.
- GuudeBoulderfist (8 December 2010). "Minecraft MindCrack - S2E62 - Hitting the Ground". YouTube. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZls7Eaaqo4>.
- JSano19 (1 January 2011). "Minecraft - Let's Play - S2E001 - A Fresh Start". YouTube. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocHxVZTL2k0>.
- GuudeBoulderfist (10 February 2011). "Minecraft MindCrack - S2E128 - Take Three". YouTube. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pH_z5AsA7FU&t=2m53s>.
- GuudeBoulderfist (12 April 2011). "Minecraft Mindcrack - Let's Play SMP - S2 Bonus - Mhykol Invades". YouTube. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Iv01lWT_24>.
- GuudeBoulderfist (18 July 2014). "Minecraft MindCrack - S4E63 - Season 4 Finale". YouTube. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5A40ZkALr8&t=16m2s>.
- GuudeBoulderfist (2 May 2011). "Minecraft MindCrack - S2E178 - Your Top 10". YouTube. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l36_m8dENOE&t=5m26s>.
- GuudeBoulderfist (13 August 2014). "Minecraft MindCrack - S5E9 - Torch Tuesdays #4 - The world we live in". YouTube. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxjFbIIubOE&t=23m46s>.
- GuudeBoulderfist (8 December 2014). Reddit reply. Reddit. <https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/2ojtzf/youtubers_with_over_100000_subscribers_whats_your/cmochss>.
- WesWilson (3 April 2015). "Mindcrack is Changing". Reddit. <https://www.reddit.com/r/mindcrack/comments/31c57h/mindcrack_is_changing/>.
- OMGchad (3 April 2015). "Mindcrack #151: Mindcrack Is Changing". YouTube. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZXOtSHZ4XQ>.
- W92Baj (3 April 2015). Twitter. <https://twitter.com/W92Baj/status/584074542726938625>.
- WesWilson (3 April 2015). Reddit reply. Reddit. <https://www.reddit.com/r/mindcrack/comments/31c57h/mindcrack_is_changing/cq0ck69?context=3>.
- Vechs (4 April 2015). "Mindcrack Season 05 Episode 057 Drama Llama Ding Dong". YouTube. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GV7H9JVF3Cw>.
- "/r/mindcrack metrics". reddit metrics. <http://redditmetrics.com/r/mindcrack>.
- BeepBoopBike (4 April 2015). "New sub!". Reddit. <https://www.reddit.com/r/leftcrack/comments/31fkjq/new_sub/>.
- "/r/leftcrack metrics". reddit metrics. <http://redditmetrics.com/r/leftcrack>.
- BdoubleO100 (3 April 2015). "Channel Update! 4-3-15". YouTube. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_CYLTHz3kM&t=7m40s>.
- EthoTV (5 April 2015). "Etho's Secret Stream". Twitch. <http://www.twitch.tv/ethotv/v/3991326?t=57m05s>. Transcript
- Generikb (5 April 2015). Facebook. <https://www.facebook.com/Generikb/posts/810671725693540>.
- Generikb (10 June 2015). Facebook comment. Facebook. <https://www.facebook.com/Generikb/posts/842748799152499?comment_id=842752445818801&reply_comment_id=842755719151807>.
- BdoubleO100 (13 August 2015). "NBA 2K15 My Team 200,000 VC Pack Opening Livestream". YouTube. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLFO1I1L2MU&t=5m28s>.
- GuudeBoulderfist (3 April 2016). Reddit reply. Reddit. <https://www.reddit.com/r/mindcrack/comments/4d68ff/it_has_been_exactly_a_year_since_the_mindcrack_is/d1o41d1>.
- GuudeBoulderfist (3 April 2016). Reddit reply. Reddit. <https://www.reddit.com/r/mindcrack/comments/4d68ff/it_has_been_exactly_a_year_since_the_mindcrack_is/d1o3sqo?context=1>.
- MindcrackNetwork. YouTube channel. YouTube. <https://www.youtube.com/user/MindCrackNetwork>.