Yesterday, history was made. It’s just entirely possible that you weren’t aware of it.
The wildly popular—and mysterious—Minecraft content creator known as Dream finally revealed his face. This came after an announcement of the face reveal in late September, followed by reactions from his online friends who saw his face before he showed it to the wider world.
For no-Minecraft players and probably just about everyone under the age of 40, reading headlines like ‘Dream Finally Reveals His Face’ probably felt a little like reading word salad. How can a dream show its face? Wait, did the creator of Minecraft have a dream that revealed his face? What?
So who is Dream and why is his face such a big deal? I’ll do my best to explain.
What Does Dream Do?
Dream—whose real name is Clay—is a 23-year-old Minecraft content creator. The building-block game has a truly gigantic online community and its top content creators are kings among YouTubers. You can peruse his YouTube channel to get a sense of his content and style.
What’s The Deal With His Face?
Until the big reveal this week, Dream never showed his face. He hid it behind a smiley face, which in turn became an iconic part of the YouTuber’s branding, inspiring fan-art and establishing some mystique around his personality. It certainly gives him a distinct appearance that sets Dream apart from the rest of the Minecraft content creators.
Dream Has An Enormous Online Following—Rivaling Major Celebrities
Whatever the case, between his engaging personality, mystique and gaming skill, Dream has gained a gargantuan following on social media and YouTube since he began creating content three years ago. Few famous celebrities have followings as big as Dream.
Dream has 30.6 million YouTube subscribers and counting (up from 30.4 million last night). That’s not quite in the same league as PewDiePie (111 million) or Mr. Beast (105 million and gaining fast)
But it is in the ballpark of major celebrities like Taylor Swift (47.5 million) and Billie Eilish (46.7 million) and more than other popular gaming YouTubers like Ninja (23.8 million). He trails popular gaming YouTuber Markiplier (33.7 million) but only barely.
So How Big Was This Face Reveal?
Approximately 20 million people have watched the Dream face reveal video (below) which is roughly the population of New York State in the last 17 hours (as of this writing). That number will continue to grow. Imagine having 20 million people tune in to watch you show off your face to the world?
“This is weird,” Clay says at the start of the video. I can only imagine.
Why Reveal His Face Now?
“A lot of you are probably wondering, ‘Why now?’” Clay says in the below video. The reason is kind of lovely. His best friend—YouTuber GeorgeNotFound—was finally able to get a visa to come live and work in the US and the two want to collaborate on videos with Clay’s actual face, though he plans on keeping the iconic smiley face for his Minecraft streams.
“Hi, I’m Dream, and this is what I look like. After years of being completely faceless online, I finally decided to do a face reveal. GeorgeNotFound will be uploading a video of us meeting for the first time ever soon, so make sure to be ready for that,” the caption on the video reads.
How Bad Was The Internet Freakout?
Well, as with any big internet thing the response has been . . . mixed. Obviously a lot of fans are just excited to be part of the reveal and to see their favorite content creator’s face for the first time. Others have been less kind.
Twitch streamers who simply streamed themselves waiting for Dream to show his face have broken record viewership numbers:
(Note: That 20 million views number on Dream’s video is obviously just part of the equation given how many people were clearly watching other content creators co-stream the “event” not to mention everyone out reading articles like this one).
Naturally, the reveal has also inspired fan-art which itself is drawing down huge numbers:
Dream has continued to post pictures of himself after the reveal to his millions of Twitter followers:
I Still Don’t Get It
Look, you’re not supposed to get it. This is a generational gap thing. I’m someone who has spent over a decade covering video games and I don’t get it, either. South Park lampooned this very thing nearly ten years ago.
Basically, Dream makes videos for young people who love watching videos about a game where you punch trees to get wood (sorry, South Park joke) and has created a mysterious persona around himself that millions of adoring fans have been intrigued by for years.
Now we know what he looks like and he’s . . . perfectly normal. He seems like a nice kid. But will we ever truly understand his success? Probably not, and that’s okay.