Herobrine (Minecraft Legend)

Original Text:

Informant: “In Minecraft, basically…well, Notch created Minecraft. And when he created Minecraft, there was this big thing that there was like a bug in the game and it created Herobrine, who was like an evil default avatar with white eyes. Herobrine would go into peoples Minecraft servers and kill them in Minecraft, and burn their buildings, and put lava everywhere. So then everyone was like have you seen Herobrine in your game? And people would lie and say ‘yeah Herobrine was in my game’, but it wasn’t possible for Herobrine to be in the pocket edition of Minecraft. Pocket edition is just Minecraft on your phone. It was only possible on the computer” [

Collector: Is it real?

Informant: “Probably not real, but…I was playing on pocket edition with my brother one time, we were just hanging out, and then I joined a new world and I randomly just get killed and I was like OMG ITS HEROBRINE! Herobine killed me! Im pretty sure I just accidentally walked back into lava and then burned alive but yeah. We all would tell our Herobrine stories. My brother and his friends said that they actually had a Herobrine war, like they were fighting him, I don’t think it was real, but yeah.”

Context: The informant in 18 years old and grew up in Orinda, California. He says that he was an avid player of Minecraft from 5th to 6th grade and it was cool to be really good at the game among his peers. His brother’s friends were especially good at the game, and he wanted to be able to play with them. The informant watched a lot of YouTube videos about Herobrine that further cemented his belief in the legend.

Analysis: The legend of Herobrine is obviously terminus post quem the invention of Minecraft (2011). The same way children tell ghost stories because they are unfamiliar with the concept of death, children like the informant and his friends would tell stories about Herobrine, who was a white-eyed scary version of the default Minecraft avatar. Just because there is a new digital age, doesn’t mean the typical types of legends from the past don’t resurface online. Little boys like the informant would naturally be intrigued by a scary, other-worldy version of their avatar with the desire to haunt and kill them. To add on, the invention of the internet and games is still very new, and people often make up stories like Herobrine to deal with the unknown factor they find eerie about the internet — like it perhaps having a mind of its own.