TommyInnit’s Minecraft character looks out at what remains of L’manberg, the country he fought for. (Photo by @The_Eret / Twitter)
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The Dream SMP: How Minecraft role-play is taking over Twitch

Ten months ago, YouTubers Dream and GeorgeNotFound started a new Minecraft survival world. They added a few of their friends, including Sapnap, the third member of their trio dubbed the “Dream Team,” and BadBoyHalo, the owner of the server that originally brought many of these players together. “We’re just playing normal survival,” Dream said in the original April 25, 2020 stream. Back then, they had no clue what it would become.

More streamers and YouTubers were added to the server as time passed by, most notably Wilbur Soot and TommyInnit. Tommy, a 16-year-old British streamer, became a catalyst for all major events on Dream’s survival multiplayer world, often abbreviated to Dream SMP or DSMP. However, it wasn’t until Wilbur was added that their live streams switched from gameplay and banter to scripted improvisation.

The server saw its first of many wars as Wilbur and Tommy created their own nation, demanding independence in a fashion akin to the Broadway musical Hamilton. After suffering through the betrayal of one of their allies, the fight culminated into a bow duel between Tommy and Dream. The startling emotional climax was only the beginning of the long, complicated story that would henceforth unfold.

Streamer Eret built a castle on the Dream SMP and is considered to be their king. (Photo by @The_Eret / Twitter)

On Jan. 20, over 600,000 viewers tuned in to watch “The Dream SMP Finale,” aired live on TommyInnit’s Twitch. The community surrounding these streamers has massively expanded and only continues to grow as the plot advances.

Audience interaction plays a part in the events that occur; Wilbur held an election through a Google Form poll, while Karl Jacobs allows the audience to vote for characters during his “Tales From the SMP” streams. There are many Twitter accounts devoted to the streamers that create art and stories based around the virtual world.

One of the members of the Dream SMP has risen in popularity to break some of Twitch’s records. Ranboo, whose name and age remains undisclosed, did a “subathon” stream on Feb. 20 with the intention of donating the profits to the Trevor Project.

On Twitch, subscribing to a streamer is most often a paid service, the lowest price being $4.99 a month. Subs can also be gifted for higher amounts of money, or viewers can link their Amazon prime account and get a free prime subscription every month.

Due to the subathon, Ranboo became the streamer with the most subs on Twitch during the month of February. He is also one of only three streamers to ever reach over 100,000 concurrent subs on the platform.

Ranboo rapidly gained attention after being added to the Dream SMP, rocketing up in followers and subscribers within a very short amount of time. He also plays a large and compelling role in the storyline, having the same powers as a Minecraft mob and seeming to forget the bad things he’s done to the server.

It has been hinted that he’s unknowingly helping Dream, the villain of the server who is currently trapped in a prison designed by streamer Awesamdude. The only people who know how the story will play out are the streamers themselves, who are the ones writing the script.

The virtual nation of L’manberg, founded by Wilbur Soot, was central to many conflicts on the Dream SMP. (Photo by @Ph1lza on Twitter)

To avoid going through the hours upon hours of gameplay that progress a story, a YouTube channel titled “EvanMCGaming” has been creating recap videos to summarize the past events for new viewers. Though it isn’t caught up to the current plot, the videos are a great way to learn the lore without having to go through every live stream up to this point.

With more people being added and more stories to tell, the Dream SMP shows no signs of slowing down.