Yes, that game, the block game. That game that was all over youtube a few years back. The hunger games, ultra hardcore, modded survival, all of that. Its all apart of Minecraft. Yes, that game, the block game. That game that was the go-to kids game. The game that redefined sandbox games in a way hard to match. Yes, that game. But that game was special. It was special to me, and still is special to me. Let's give a little bit of background I’m an 18 year old guy, I’m heading to college next year. I know, exciting stuff. I’m a huge football fan, I love positivity, and I love video games. I’m actually a huge nerd, but we can get to that later. Now what if I told you that everything in that description except for my age can be partially attributed to Minecraft? Yeah, even college. It's one of those things that's weird to say, its weird to even think about. A game I bought back when I was barely 11 is a game that's stuck with me for 7 years this november, and it's changed me, tremendously. Let's start this story, it's a bit of a long one, but it's one to talk about nonetheless. Back then I was just barely a 5th grader, 2 months into that grade. Elementary school me was really outgoing and happy, and I actually made a lot of my friends get the game within a year. My friends, who I won’t be addressing by their real names, got their church friends and old friends to join in, too. And then we started a group, roughly 15 of us in total. This was my first experience in a community. Fast forward to middle school, just as a whole. Lots of shit happened but whenever I think about it, it all just blends together, but nevertheless, it's important. Somewhere in late 2012, we have massive Minecraft youtubers play this game called McInfected, and it was an MW3 inspired zombies gamemode, on the server called Super-Gaming. My friends and I played it once, but left it be. About a year later we revisited the server, and it was here that I diverged from my friends. I made friends within the community, whereas they tried to keep in just our friend group. And around mid 2014, we are all heading into high school. This is just about the last time I talked to all of them, and I have only talked to a few since. I still can contact them, but our interests and hobbies diverged. And here is the part of my life where I realized how different I was from everyone else. I loved things like math, television, football, video games, teaching, and, most importantly, helping others. The last two were things I discovered over the course of the next 4 years of my life, but thats soon to come. So let's talk about the friends I made within the community, Super-Gaming community. I remember the first time I felt like there's someone else in the same mentality as me was when i talked to a guy named Buddysai1. Turns out, he was a brown guy playing Minecraft too, and we were just about the same age. Other people like psandoval19 had literally the same ideas I did and we ended up being long lost twins who lived on opposite sides of the country. There were guys like Yoshi_Prodigy and Gohan812 who I still talk to on snapchat whenever something reminds me of them, and there are people like Meap56 and Driviter4 who I wish I could get in contact again. But there was one person from Super-Gaming, one person in particular that changed me. For the sake of keeping this person private, I won’t be name dropping him. I’ll refer to him as John. John was a guy I didn’t actually talk to a lot. I would see him a lot in games, occasionally just chat about some random thing in game with him, some usual shit you expect in an online game. But John was friends with someone I knew, so him and I naturally talked. One day in particular though, John was acting up and had some deep shit going on. Keep in mind this was back when we used Kik, and it was perfect for all of us like 13 year old kids to talk when we didn’t all have iPhones and iMessage. Now when I say I was lost, I was fucking clueless. And God, I am grateful I didn’t say much that night. John told us things he had to deal with, an abusive brother, extremely poor grades, depression and suicidal thoughts, physical harm, stuff that was foreign to me. And shit man, that was a reality check. It was the first time in my life, in the life a shy reserved nerd, that I felt useless. I had no life experience, hell I still have barely any at all. What made it worse was him telling me its this shitty because of me. His words exactly, I still haven't forgotten this 5 years later, "I fucking hate you masteraj, you stole all my friends and made my life shit when I had nothing else”. It was gut wrenching, me being myself made this guy miserable. So what do I do? I talk to John, and I kept talking to John. Being honest, I think John may have hated me because I was a really annoying guy, but I think it was what he needed, and it showed. He really did not like me, but I didn't want to just leave him be, I wanted to help whatever way 13 year old me could think of. He got a lot better and opened up to me more, but eventually decided to quit and sort of left me in the dust. It's been maybe 4 years since I’ve last talked to this guy, but I still have him on Instragram and he still uses it, which makes me happy. The thing is, I didn’t do much, and I know that. All I did was talk to him, and I said things without any knowledge of how volatile the situation was. But that was my first step. That was what got me to be less shy. High School It's late 2014, talking September-October. Things have gone downhill for Super-Gaming. Instead of having seven dedicated infected servers, its down to 1. Instead of frequent updates, the last update was almost a year ago. The owner left for college, and all that was left was a self-sustaining host and a server that kept dwindling in players and motivation to play. I mean, its expected to happen eventually. Games are meant to die out at some point, and self-sustained servers in games die out even faster. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t said. I mentioned that I took a step, but it was still small. This is still awkward 8th grade me, this guy. Yeah, it was bad. I got mocked a bit in middle school and people would give me stares, and it fed into my insecurities. But insert two guys, maxben34 and jackson30007. Two guys who wanted to make an McInfected 2.0, and they did. It came out Halloween 2014, on the server Project Mayhem. And this community is one I will never forget. Nothing really happens in the time from the servers release until summer, where I eventually come back and have a shit ton of nerves before heading into highschool. The server now has a teamspeak3, this prehistoric thing that we used before Discord. One of the first memories was joining in, having no donor rank, and literally every single person being in the donor room. Here is where I talked to someone whos become a good friend of mine, Kendyy. He’s one of those weird ass Canadians, you know, the moose riding hockey players who drench themselves in maple syrups. Those guys. Eventually, we got to talk to everyone else, too. It was a little bit of a wait before they joined us, but it happened nonetheless. The next few months are me just playing a game I love, playing it with new faces and new people to talk to. Enter high school, freshman year. And its around this time, too, on December 6th, 2015, that I got promoted to being a staff member on the server. This server wasn’t huge, I’m talking roughly 150-200 people on most of the time back then, but it was enough to make me grow and make me change. It was significant to me, and I felt like I had a position to uphold. Yeah, it was nerdy as hell looking back on how tryhard I was, enforcing rules and trying to make everyone feel welcome, but I didn’t want anyone to feel without somewhere to go. Things keep going for about a year, and then I get a girlfriend. I start making more friends, my social life is starting to actually grow a bit. We even did a film project, something I had a huge interest in and had a lot of fun doing. I was finally doing what my friends had done prior, branching out. But then I moved. It wasn’t far, but being a 16 year old who couldn’t drive yet and had an insanely insecure state of mind, it was horrible. I was only a few minutes from my old school, so I tried to keep going there but my request was denied. To put this in perspective, this is my house, this is my school, and this is roughly the cut off line for the district. Yeah, I got fucked. But that isn’t why things were south. The worst thing was I was going to a new school, I was going to have to start all over again, get involved in clubs again, break out of my bubble again. My girlfriend broke up with me, I didn’t have a car or license to hang out with my friends, I essentially entered high school all over again. Summer was rough, I barely saw my girlfriend for all of June and July, and she broke up with me early August. I was probably depressed, or at least in the worst mental state I have been in my whole life. I spent hours on hours watching anime in my room and just trying to keep my mind off, but I was on a ticking clock until I had to worry about it all again in September. I did what I thought I should do, and that was get involved in the community again, in Project Mayhem. I came back active again, but I always felt like shit. I never told anyone this because I always felt my problems were so much less important than everyone else’s. Oh boo hoo, you moved about 20 minutes away, how unfortunate. I still had no life experience, and I felt my problems weren’t actually problems. Then, about 2 weeks before school started, August 19th, 2017, I got promoted again. This time, it was from moderator to Senior Moderator. This literally means nothing to most people, I could do a few new commands and had a special title, but it shocked me. I felt like I never did much for the community. I loved to help people, but I always felt like most of the things I did were always so insignificant. Who knew getting a shiny new tag that slaps on one more word could change my attitude on life. I got more positive. I talked to people about my problems. I acted more like the me I am. And this charisma infiltrated my day to day life. I’m still the same anime loving, video game playing, football watching guy I have been all these years, but now it felt like I could actually embrace that. It wasn’t that I couldn’t do it back then, it was that I was afraid to do it. But being congratulated by my friends and realizing I’ve actually helped a community that has given me so much made me understand that people are watching and appreciate what I’m doing. Its a Minecraft server, but its a Minecraft server where I’ve met friends like Kevin and Harvey, guys who taught me to not be a stuck up asshole. Its a Minecraft server where I’ve been a role model myself to peers who are younger than me and look up to me. Its a Minecraft server where I’ve learned to become even better at art and appreciate other forms of art that I couldn’t even begin to think of making myself. Its a Minecraft server where I’ve made friends I want to know for the rest of my life, but I know time will eventually take most, if not all, of them away. But thats fine. Thats fine, because something that won’t go is all the memories I’ve made. Here’s a list, a list of people who have made me smile, who have made me have a good time despite anything else going on in my life. Ben, Jack, Kendyy, Ewald, Baseball, Box, Smart, Jimme, Whale, Teegah, Rocky, Diamond, Purple, Hobo, Tacos, Ana, Mattrick, Wub, Jaka, JOKOKE, Beta, Bear, Max, Chessgeek, Pistol, Xmantium, my promotion buddy Fully ( ;=; ), Bilbo, Garth, Luke, Para, Soup, Bosshog and Hoozier. I’m glad I can say I am on the same staff team as you guys are/were. You’re all amazing people in your own rights, and it would be far too long to talk about why. Kevin, Trop, Amy, Chimmy, Sara, Keldricc, cw, Rooster, Nico, Kio, S C H W A B E, Xray, Blaze, DaSoccerBoy, Da_Runner, Sivad, Jelly, Peters, Draco, Nitmare, Creeper, Hypris, Element, Kyle, Xynq, Butter, Chief, Duder, Hale, Hunter, Pastor, Nexgen, Vext, Derpy, StaffMaterial, Bard, 12339, Agent, Kiara, Crayonix, AuntRosa, Unicornism, Skittles, Yoshi, Gohan, Meap, Psand, Buddy (both of them), Mocha, Canadian, Element, MrHatMan, Amortus, Wacky, Funky, Ryan, Hypris, Lobster, Nitro, Poke, Age, Livid, Asendra, Bacon, Bex, Legit_Hacker, Grape, Tg, Sporty, Hajun, Squid, Hawk698, Paul, Elliliv, Icey, Furiosus, Yellow, Jordan, Lord Slaughter , Rockin, TinyBananas, MadPanda, Miniman, Reece, Warthog, Stale, Vickey, Warlord_Mario, WreckedToast, RedEzreal, RedBleedingHeart, Super, Sundvallo, Khaotic, Tman, Toasty, Vamp, KappaKip, Rchan, Justin, Acerr, Rod, Pumpkin, the Michael Mydoeza, Carro, Greetz, Creyzzz, Willrock, Josh, Mew, Opower123, Piglord, Solid, Izayoi, Yuskyy, Omko, Wombo, M8rix, Gokuvsluigi, Marlon, and many, many more. These are the people I could talk to and get on daily and just enjoy being around. Things like infected armies, going out of map way back in early MCI, doing stupid shit on Discord and Teamspeak, #TeamRuinYourLife, Team Paradise, Project Mayhem Hunger Games, organizing the entirety of the IRL Thread, #VivaLaRevolucion, everyone getting together to play Mayhem Mania or FearSG, these are things that made me happy to be apart of this community. I love every single one of you in this community, every single person has given me something that no one else can give, some moment or memory special and unique between us. In 6 years of playing McInfected, 2 with Super-Gaming, 4 with Project Mayhem, I can easily say my time has been well spent. I wouldn’t be half the person I am without this community. Thank you guys.