Thursday, December 8, 2022

Dream unveils face, internet responds

By Bryn Fawn

Dream, one of the largest Minecraft YouTubers of our lifetime, unveiled his appearance for the first time Oct. 2. Amassing 31 million subscribers as of yesterday, this event was history for the platform, on the same level as their yearly “rewinds.” It is unheard of for such large creators to have no face associated with them. 

Dream had humble beginnings, uploading Minecraft videos for fun, until he blew up in 2020. He had even gained recognition by the platform YouTube, titling him with the number one “break out” creator of the year. 

Dream grew popular with his “manhunt” videos, where his friends chased him down in the video game, in an attempt to kill him, while he attempted to beat the game. It originally began with his friend GeorgeNotFound, but his circle of friends grew to include the likes of the late Technoblade, TommyInnit, Wilbur Soot and MrBeast. 

Dream, along with GeorgeNotFound, began a Survival Multiplayer server in April 2020. The SMP was not just a server for friends to join in and play, however, as soon members began to create personas of themselves and roleplay, telling a story for their viewers as they streamed. This drew thousands of eyes to his content, especially those younger and in the tween demographic. The fandom quickly exploded, creating fanart, fanfiction and animatics.  

Yet, before his explosion into popularity, Dream was a speedrunner. Speed running is the process of which one completes a video game as quickly as possible. There can be conditions applied, which creates categories for each video game. Dream was known for his Minecraft speedruns, claiming to hold the world record for the 1.14 edition of Minecraft.

In 2021, it then was news that Dream had cheated. Dream used a mod in his more recent speedrun, fudging the probability and chances of him obtaining essential items. His fans were outraged and flocked to defend Dream. This is Dream’s hubris. Many online consider Dream’s fanbase to be toxic, and with many of them being younger, their immaturity and lack of life experiences leads them to make less-than-ideal choices. 

Dream, however, defends his fanbase. He has made it known he is well aware that a diehard fandom of his size is extremely powerful. Dream also has made it known that he is aware that parasocial relationships, those where someone views their idol as a friend instead of a distant figure, are dangerous. Dream still goes on to defend his fans’ behavior, and coddle them often.

This resulted in chaos when his face was unveiled.

Dream uploaded a video titled “hi, I’m Dream.” Oct. 2. The video originally premiered, meaning those who tuned in could not skip to the fateful moment when Dream lowered the mask. At 1 minute and 18 seconds, his face was revealed. His appearance was nothing out of the ordinary. Dream is a white man with curly brown hair and hazel eyes. He has a pronounced chin and cheeks, but nothing beyond ordinary. No one would pick him out of a crowd of people. 

Twitter exploded. 

The hashtag “HESUGLY” blew up on Twitter, with thousands of people mocking Dream’s appearance. Memes overflowed from users’ dashes. Many compared Dream to popular horror characters or fictional characters with unappealing appearances. 

User aqua tweeted “‘u guys r so mean for calling him ugly’ hes more than just ‘mean’ for being racist, ableist and a pedophile but u definitely dont seem to have a problem with that.” This user is dragging previous scandals back to the limelight to justify the ridicule of Dream’s looks.

Dream is not a saint, nor has he a clean history, but it is not an excuse to ridicule a man. It takes a lot to reveal your appearance to the internet, and it’s an action not easily undone, especially a creator of his size. There has to have been a reason Dream hid behind a smiley face for so long, and to receive never ending jokes and dissections of his face does not bode well for his mentality going forward.

Dream has not made any posts since Oct. 2, on his YouTube channel nor his Twitter. The last tweet he posted is pictures of him with his friends. The ridicule is deafening. Another trending hashtag is “PutTheMaskBackOn” with countless memes and insults of Dream’s appearance instead of his character.

Dream is not a stand-up individual, nor is he one to idolize or make one’s hero, with a history of using his platform to attack his detractors, or kindling a toxic parasocial relationship with his young fans, but needless to say all this discussion dissolves to playground bullying behavior. If Dream is considered genuinely ugly to some, that is fine. It does not require dragging his character through the mud because he isn’t one’s taste.

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