If you play Minecraft—or are the parent of an offspring who plays Minecraft–then you probably know that the international YouTube Minecraft superstar known as Dan TDM is on tour.
Dan TDM (TDM stands for “the diamond minecart,” kind of an inside joke among Dan and his 17.9 million subscribers) rose to fame by making videos of his Minecraft-playing adventures. His face appears in the corner of the screen as he narrates, providing tips and advice, but mostly entertainment. The man is a delight, even if you are the kind of parent who swears you couldn't be entertained by a twenty-something English guy narrating a video game.
You see, Dan TDM is kind of a genius. Not only has he managed to rack up 10 billion views of him playing Minecraft, but also he has now figured out how to turn his video persona into a world tour, for which he has sold more than 85,000 tickets including 32 sold-out shows in the U.K., four at the Sydney Opera House, and 21 (and counting) in the United States. But you might have questions. The first of which is most assuredly, What does Dan TDM do onstage? Does he just play Minecraft?
“I'd say the top comment I get when I see people after the show, parents, they're like, ‘We don't know what to expect,'” Dan told PopularMechanics.com. “We've sold this idea of the live show on pretty much nothing, really—they know that I'm going to be there, but they don't know what I'm going to do. But then hopefully, we do blow them away with this really cool show that does have gaming within it, but involves everyone in a much more personal experience. Which was my main goal: I wanted to take that one limitation about my videos, which is there's always a screen between me and my audience.”
Having seen—and thoroughly enjoyed—the show, we are here to answer that and a few other questions about the tour, which runs through July 23 in Seattle.
What does Dan TDM do onstage? Does he just play Minecraft?
No. He doesn't play Minecraft at all, actually. What sets his Minecraft YouTubing apart is his ability to create characters and tell stories, and he brings this creativity to life on the stage.
Will adults find him funny?
Yes, he's funny, in a charming, self-deprecating, British way.
Is there merchandise for sale?
Ohh, yes. T-shirts, posters, Dan's book, hats, stuffed pugs (Dan has two, who figure prominently in his videos), and plenty more.
Can the kids meet him?
Yes. At most shows, Dan does a meet-and-greet for a couple hundred fans before the show. The tickets for this are $95 on top of the regular ticket price, and you need to arrive several hours before the show. It takes a while. But that's because Dan TDM is magic with kids. He doesn't rush. He listens to them. He talks to them. He graciously accepts their gifts. He poses for photos, signs whatever they have, high-fives them. Buy the ticket. Stand and wait. Smile.
How long is the show?
About two hours, including an intermission.
Are there other people on stage, or just Dan TDM?
He is not the only human in the show. We'll leave it at that. No spoilers.
Doesn't all of this just encourage kids to play video games?
Not really, no. There's a plot to the stage story, and it has to do with busting out of the virtual world into the real world. Dan TDM genuinely entertaining, he encourages kids to approach Minecraft with originality and a sense of adventure, and he seems intent on making kids feel good about who they are. In the show, he talks about his shyness as a child, and now here he is, standing in front of 5,000 people, hopping around telling stories, making people laugh and clap and have a truly enjoyable evening.