Grid Size:28W x 45H
Design Area:1.86″ x 3.07″ (26 x 43 stitches)
My Patron, Samantha Delgado, is an aficionado of lesser known martial arts. There’s this one centered around the self discipline needed to not pet a cute dog. If they can learn to not be swayed by the allure of dogs, then maybe Samantha can finally take down their greatest rival, a werewolf with the cutest little ears.
So, I’ve been watching a lot of Hermitcraft lately. For the uninitiated, Hermitcraft is a Minecraft server with over 20 players who all make Youtube videos. It’s a fascinating piece of storytelling since everything that happens is documented and you can watch the same interaction between players from different perspectives. Different Hermits will edit their videos to give different impressions of the same event and the possibility that something might have been left out encourages me to watch all of them.
Anyway, I’m here to talk about the most interesting Hermitcraft question: What political/economic system does Hermitcraft have?
What, you mean that’s not your first question? Well, it’s definitely mine.
Hermitcraft outwardly sets itself up as a Libertarian Capitalist society. Everyone splits from spawn and creates their own bases however they want and in the center there is a shopping district where players can build shops to sell whatever items they have in exchange for diamonds.
However, it’s not as clear cut as that. In a video, Doc has called Hermitcraft a Socialist server. I think this is because all basic needs are met by the nature of the game. Almost all land is unowned and there are no systems in place to restrict hermit’s access to materials. Yeah, you have to build your own iron farm, but no one is taking a percentage of what you produce or anything like that.
What really tips this over into Socialism territory is how hermits interact with each other. When Tango, Bdubs,and Impulse formed Boomers, they explicitly said they would split the diamonds 3 ways. No one is a boss and no one is an employee. The Boomers, and other groups like them, are showing us what collective ownership looks like.
Because it’s not really about the diamonds is it? Diamonds are a plot device, a goal, a catalyst for shenanigans. The Buy Mumbo’s Bits store sold the body parts of MumboJumbo, one of the hermits with the most subscribers. Other hermits bought those parts at high prices, a whole stack of diamonds for Mumbo’s iconic mustache, not because they had any in game value, but because being featured on Mumbo’s channel could bring in more subscribers. The real currency of Hermitcraft is views, clicks, likes, and ads. The real currency is you. Once diamonds become boring, they will be replaced.
But it got me thinking. What is Hermitcraft like as a business? What about the trademarks and the ad revenue, the real world money? I asked Reddit and surprisingly got an actual response from one of the hermits, ZombieCleo.
“The Hermits own Hermitcraft. We collectively decide on what happens under the name of Hermitcraft, everyone is equally able to use the name Hermitcraft when making videos on the server, but we talk when the name needs to be used outside the server. We are not a company. Nor do we pay dues. However, we may pool resources if we need to obtain something specific, this is very rare and is only really done to help out another hermit. We keep our own ad revenue. We are owners of anything from the server we come up with, the sahara guys deal with sahara stuff etc. It’s not really a “business model” it’s “Hermits do stuff separately, but together.””
So there we go, Hermitcraft is an artist collective with a non-hierarchical structure. Sounds pretty Socialist to me.