Image credit: Jesse Grant/Getty Images for YouTube
Teaming up with Minecraft aficianado Wizard Keen, YouTube Minecraft creator Stampylonghead has launched a brand new channel geared towards children!
The channel, Wonder Quest, was produced by Maker, and produced completely online with contributions from professionals from all over the world. NMR was invited to the show’s premiere at YouTube Space LA to talk to the show’s stars about their latest and greatest addition to the internet.
Please introduce yourselves!
Garrett: Hello! I’m Joe Garrett, I’m more commonly known as Stampy. I am a YouTuber. I’ve been doing YouTube for about 4 years now. I do child-friendly content on YouTube in the game Minecraft.
Clarke: And I’m Adam, I’m known as Wizard Keen in Wonder Quest, and I make videos for Minecraft education, so I use Minecraft for learning and also I make maps for organizations that want to engage young people with Minecraft content. So, I take Minecraft seriously and I take it to different organizations like that.
Do you think there’s a lot of educational content with in the space, like for example, with red stone circuits?
Garrett: Yeah, I think there’s very natural things you can learn like coding or circuitry with red stone, but what we’ve done with Wonder Quest, it’s kind of just the stage, and the stuff that we’re learning isn’t stuff that’s just in Minecraft, we’re kind of just using Minecraft as a tool to tell our own story and teach what we want. We haven’t remained bound by what is done in Minecraft. We have some of the graphics and overlays that sort of help expand what you can do in Minecraft.
Clarke: Liberties have been taken to tell a story, and that narrative drives forward a way to deliver content that is a bit educational but maybe invisibly educational, which is really the exciting part. Kids will watch it, and they’re learning something, and they won’t even realize that they’re learning, it’s just going to seep right in.
How did the collaboration between the two of you start?
Clarke: I’ve got a seven year old boy and we were hungry for content that was safe for him to watch, and was interesting for him to watch, so we were watching a lot of Stampy anyway. A lot of moms and dads that we knew were all looking for that something on YouTube, something Minecraft-y that our kids could watch safely. Stampy was kind of the place that we went.
I read to my boy every night, and I read a story to him called “When the Tiger Came to Tea,” and one night I just changed “When the Tiger Came to Tea,” to “When Stampy Came to Tea,” and that night I thought ‘that is a great idea’, so I tweeted it to Stampy. I said, not thinking that you’d (gestures to Garrett) respond at all, cause I thought it would just hit the wave of millions of tweets, and twenty minutes later he went ‘oh yeah, what a great idea,’ and we kind of got into contact then. I did a “When Stampy Came to Tea,” video with Joe’s voice and then he got back into touch with me saying he had a project called “Wonder Quest.”
Garrett: Yeah, when this all happened, we were developing “Wonder Quest,” at this point already and I thought ‘well this is just a cool video,’ and then we came to suddenly we need someone who is a teacher in Minecraft, in the game to sort of help us develop “Wonder Quest,” and to help us play a part in it. I was already speaking to Adam, and then, it was only when I really looked through some of his past that it was this is the guy we’ve been looking for, and he just reached out to me for a completely separate project. So you know, I suggested it to everyone and we all go speaking. We did a sort of mini-pilot episode, testing because in the show there’s lots of the characters bouncing off each other, so we had to have a little practice run with that.
Clarke: To see if we connected.
Garrett: Yeah, and we did, and that’s how we met and that’s how we both ended up on this project.
Clarke: And that’s how we met in Minecraft, this morning was the first time we’ve met in person.
Image credit: Jesse Grant/Getty Images for YouTube
Wow, this is the first time you’ve interacted with each other in person?
Clarke: This is the closest we’ve ever been!
Garrett: I had met other people from the team before but this was the first time that the “Wonder Quest” team have been in a room together.
Does the “Wonder Quest” team span solely across the US and UK or is it more international than that?
Garrett: Even more than that. The people who built the sets in Minecraft are located in Spain.
Clarke: One of them is in New Zealand, one is in Colorado, these are the set builders, and they work together every day, but they are from opposite sides of the world.
Garrett: And of course, Maker Studios, who not only produced and directed it, but also played many of the characters, and a lot of the talent came from many different places as well.
Can you tell me a little bit more about the show?
Clarke: I don’t know how much we can give away, but we have a charming little story, almost like a fairy tale story, but not quite. You have Wizard Keen, and he is in Wonderberg and he has a problem. To solve that problem, he summons a hero, and that hero is Stampy. Stampy comes through a portal and we have loads of adventures together to solve the problems of Wonderberg. Through the solving of each problem, we hit common core curriculum pieces. We basically looked at the US common core curriculum for grade 2, and we tried incorporating that into the narrative.