The writer behind Minecraft's infamous End Poem has released it under public domain after experiencing an intense mushroom trip in which he believes he talked with the universe.
That's a pretty loaded lede, so let's break it down. The cryptic scroll of words that you see when you beat Minecraft's Survival mode was written by musician and playwright Julian Gough, but for reasons detailed in his lengthy - and absolutely wild - Substack blog, he twice refused to sign over the rights to Mojang and later Microsoft. Now, instead of selling it for presumably what could be a lot of money, Gough is giving it away for free for all of us to use in any way we please.
So, eleven-and-a-bit years ago, I wrote the only written narrative in Minecraft: the story that appears after you kill the Ender Dragon. (A narrative which players often call The End Poem.)Today, I officially librated that ending.Er, what does that mean?🧵December 7, 2022
Again, Gough explains the events preceding his decision to "liberate" the Minecraft End Poem in much greater detail in his blog, but the story involves a friendship complicated by miscommunication around money and much more recently, a psychedelic revelation where Gough felt the universe had told him to release his infamous poem into the wild.
I will absolutely not be attempting to paraphrase Gough's psilocybin-induced epiphany, but here's one paragraph that gives you an idea of just how deeply personal and thoughtful it appears to be:
"And that night, with the stars blazing above, the universe told me that it wasn’t acceptable for me to give love, but then refuse to receive it. That was just fake humility; another form of arrogance, of ego. I had to allow people to say thank you; I had to accept whatever gifts people might wish to offer in return, because too much charge was building up along that blocked circuit.
"I had to complete the circuit. Let it flow."
And so it is that the only piece of concrete narrative ever officially written for Minecraft is the world's to share. That means, in Gough's words, "you can set the words of the End Poem to music, or animate them, or dramatise them, or mash them up with something, or use them on t-shirts, posters, tote bags, [or] barn doors." Essentially, you can do whatever you want with that End Poem, even if you profit off of a creation, and needn't worry about legal backlash from anyone. Thanks universe!
Speaking of, have you seen this wicked Minecraft universe build or played these games like Minecraft?