Imagine a game so popular that it sells an astonishing ten thousand copies…every day. Believe it or not, since its release, Minecraft® has sold more than 18 million copies worldwide. That’s pretty impressive considering the game itself features blocky 8-bit graphics and stars no major characters like Mario or Sonic.

What is Minecraft?
Minecraft is the LEGO®-like sandbox building game made using Java™, that’s been dominating the world of video gaming for the past few years. The game is available for practically every gaming platform – from smartphones to the Xbox 360 – and continues to create new fans.

In Minecraft®, players can create anything from buildings to starships.

Created by Swedish programmer Markus “Notch” Persson as a pet project while working at online game companies, Minecraft® was inspired by Dwarf Fortress and Dungeon Keeper. Those games, like Minecraft®, featured both adventure and world-building mechanics.

Persson added RPG elements to the mix for Minecraft® and ultimately quit his job to work on Minecraft® full time when sales of the original alpha version (released in 2009) far exceeded his expectations. After a trip to the states to game maker Value, who was trying to recruit him, Persson founded his own gaming company. Called Mojang, the company has even licensed Minecraft® to LEGO. The success of Minecraft® has surprised everyone.

Creating Your Future
A future as a video-game developer is not that far-fetched – but you have to show some commitment. Just ask Markus Persson, who started programming when he was seven years old.

Modding Minecraft can help give an idea of the basics of game programming.

For kids and teens today who want to learn programming, homebrew gaming and coding is great, but if you really want to get ahead of the competition, why not learn from professionals at a tech camp like Digital Media Academy? DMA’s video-game courses are taught by people with real game-development experience, instructors who can teach you what it takes to succeed in the video-game industry. Just getting started on your path to video-game domination? Check out this Minecraft camp. You’ll discover how to modify Minecraft in amazing ways and also learn some Java while you’re at it. Java not only powers Minecraft but the devices and computer programs that help run our lives.

Java Development as a Career
Mastering Java can not only help you get your foot in the door at a gaming company, a week at Java camp can look pretty good on your college application, too.

Still not convinced that you can make a career out of games or Java development? Well, here’s some food for thought: In 2011, Napster founder and former Facebook prez Sean Parker was turned down when he offered to invest in Mojang. Why? By March 2012, Mojang (thanks to Minecraft) had acquired a net income exceeding $80 million.