18 December, 2022
Minecraft is a different time. A day lasts twenty minutes. A night lasts seven hours. Rome can be built in one day if the right conditions are met. With the right supplies, a tromp can turn it into ashes in minutes.
2b2t is a malicious form of Minecraft. It's full of such ruins. It's a place both of beauty and terror.
Minecraft is a popular video game that has been ranked among the top ten most played. It encourages creativity and constructive play, which is why it is ranked as one of the most loved games in the world. It is the preferred successor to Lego and can even be used in schools as an educational tool. Multiplayer servers allow the game to be played in a social setting. These communal worlds are subjected to rules: If you start a fight or damage property, a moderator will typically ban you.
2b2t, the oldest and most famous of its kind, is an "anarchyserver". It creates a world where aggression is encouraged and survival can be difficult. 2b2t is a Cormac McCarthy novel with thousands of 1x1 digital bricks.
Minecraft is the land of the imagination. 2b2t allows you to follow your darkest desires. Now, 2b2t has been ravaged by war.
The Facepunch Era
Anarchy servers are a dark tradition in Minecraft. You are dropped into a random world and you build structures one block at time. There are two modes: survival mode where players must eat and fight off zombies at night; and a free-form creative mode where they have unlimited health and resources. Online servers are available for players to join with friends or strangers. However, they are not allowed to attack others, destroy buildings, or use pornographic terms to describe a mother.
These rules do not apply to the anarchy servers. They are hostile by nature. Players are advised to bury all their supplies, be prepared to die many times, and to arm themselves with everything they can. 2b2t-"2builders2tools"-was created in 2010 by a user named Hausemaster and is known as "the worst place in Minecraft." It has its own subreddit and a webcomic. A news site called "2b2t Press" is also available. This site allows anonymous players to post updates about the ongoing war's latest atrocities. One writer who explored it found it littered with flags of Islamic State (ISIS).
Its first colonizers were users on the Facepunch forum, hence 2b2t's seminal "Facepunch Era." Members began to map out and establish bases. When rival forums joined the server, the first factions were formed and they began to launch raids against each other's work.
The server is even more chaotic today. Two camps are formed by players. "Rushers" is a group of disorganized newbies who seek to infiltrate 2b2t settlements and claim them for their own. They fight the "veterans", more experienced residents who have rigged "spawn", the point at which players enter the game, with traps to kill new players.
TheCampingRusher, who is a YouTuber, started the newbie invasion. His video about the server was posted June 1, and has already had over 2 million views. As he enters the previously unknown world, his excitement is palpable in the video. The server was thrown into chaos by new players almost immediately after the video was posted.
Since then, the battle lines are becoming more ambiguous. 2b2t's oldest users have fled to the edges of the map to protect their settlements and to allow the siege to continue in peace.
My Time In Minecraft Hell
2b2t's appeal lies in the ability to learn what is possible. There are few limits to your power and survival. Cuddly Minecraft turns into a horror game in the server. You will die multiple times and respawn back to where your original location. A stream of insults, shitposting, and other chat messages are mixed in with server updates. No arrival goes unannounced. No death goes unsung. I am told by Dr Funky Pepper that he has "becomelava" while playing. Two other players are "slashed into gibs" by a zombie porcman and reduced to "a bloody pile of meat with just fists."
To navigate 2b2t means to feel overwhelmed and lost. To play is to accept this confusion and pain as a part of your existence. The wait to join the server queue is over 1000 players long. You are allowed in when a slow-moving countdown appears on the screen.
It took me three attempts and more than four hours to join 2b2t. It was worth the wait. I was standing in front of an abyss, and I saw a drop into sea, stone, and lava. I climbed a huge, craggy mountain after I had overcome my virtual vertigo.
There are several cruel traps hidden in the landscape: false sanctuaries that explode and pits that plunge you into a river lava, pits that send you into an explosion, and false floors that lead to prisons made from obsidian with no way out. The queue is endless and players are forced to log out.
This land requires a collection of hacker clients that have been modified to the game with enhancements similar to cheats like X-ray vision and teleporting. Popular cheats include the ability to see through walls to find victims or supplies, and one to improve your aim. This might explain why a figure far away was able to shoot me with a crossbow. In the darkness.
As I played, alerts in the chat window listed deaths occurring by the second. The soothing, ambient Minecraft theme song played as bodies hit the ground.
With mechanical efficiency, Nazi propaganda, racist slurs, and a succession death threats pour into chat window. Their sheer volume negates any effect and they become part the background. This is what I want to change. I want to feel at ease in chaos.
I am also cursing now, shouting very loudly to my screen. I fall. I respawn. I fall again.
A Story Written in Blood
Devi Ever has been a 2b2t pirate and griefer for many years. This refers to players who terrorize others for their own amusement. She claims that the best sights in 2b2t lie far from spawn. These locations can be logged by players using interactive maps, where distances are measured in bricks. One brick is roughly equal in cubic meters. She says, "The million [brick] mark...that is where all the cool stuff are." "It wasn't destroying that I enjoyed the most, it was exploring."
She says, "Exploring 2b2t feels like archaeology .... It has so many things to say about the nature and design of Minecraft." 2b2t deserves a book."
Ever is a veteran player and has access to the priority queue. This allows her to skip the four hour wait. Some fans believe that this barrier is artificial, and was put up to slow down anyone who joined after June 1st, the date TheCampingRusher's video went online. Ever has been approached by players asking for her old accounts to gain quick access privileges. Sometimes they offer hundreds of dollars or trade intel to facilitate espionage. Information is currency in 2b2t. Have you ever traded a spare account to locate 2b2t's fabled Jesus statue? It was built in homage of the Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro.
It is difficult to track the server's history due to its size and ephemeral nature. There are still attempts to organize the server's past into a coherent narrative. Redditor ArchCrono (known in-game under ArchQuantum) wrote a series detailing 2b2t's history that eventually made it onto the site's homepage. Their popularity is why he was asked by 2b2t to lead a faction, which he reluctantly accepted.
Why is it that players wait for hours to spawn only to be killed in seconds? ArchCrono argues that "Minecraft is notoriously lacking a standard story mode." "This is a very real problem that developers have not chosen directly to address."
2b2t is a meta-narrative that extends beyond the game. It's similar to the halftime show on sports broadcasts. Reddit and YouTube players post about the server, much like amateur sports analysts. ArchCrono states that what you do on 2b2t matters more than what your do on a single player, or in a local setting. It is accessible to so many people. "The YouTube channels that cover 2b2t are particularly TheCampingRusher or FitMC provide commentary that creates the plot of a story-mode. I added a whole new section to the plot when I posted on Imgur.
Now, the rushers are lining up to play a part in Minecraft's history.
Not Safe for Your Life
Hausemaster, the founder and chief executive of 2b2t is a quasi-mythical figure that is both praised as well as trolled. He claims that he started the server in 2011, shortly after Minecraft Multiplayer was released. Players began to flood in, creating settlements and communities. He chose 2b2t's final setting, anarchy mode without moderation. "I wanted to see how destruction would be made, and also whether there would still be connections between players in such chaotic, rule-free environments."
I was assuming Hausemaster would be disapproving of the current influx in rushers. But he is happy to see the server get attention, even though the world he helped create has erupted into violence. "2b2t is not destroyed-in my view it's exactly how it should be: chaotic."
2b2t allows players to abuse, destroy, and self-destruct. It is almost nihilistic. Players thrash against their virtual cages, taking out their disaffection with the same technology that they have become addicted to. Their behavior is not only unsafe for work, but it is also dangerous for life.
Perhaps the true appeal of 2b2t is in the fact that you have to endure this hostile environment. Ever says that 2b2t is about pride. Pride in being able thrive in the most notorious environment that you can play in.
No one survives very long in 2b2t, but the pride comes from having been there.