‘Minecraft’ streamer Dream admits to cheating after months of online abuse

Minecraft speedrunning legend Dream has finally admitted to cheating after six months of extreme controversy, claiming that he didn’t know a mod was active during his December livestreams.

After months of controversy, denials and statistical reports, the Minecraft streaming sensation known as Dream has finally admitted to cheating in his groundbreaking speedruns. There’s just one caveat – he claims it was an accident.

2020 ended in an all-out war between Dream and Minecraft speedrun moderators, who ruled his runs mathematically impossible. Half a year later Dream has suddenly confessed that he was in fact using a mod during some of his Twitch livestreams. He maintains that he was not aware that this modification was active during his December speedruns, and only realised much later.

Dream in disguise
Image: Instagram / dreamwastaken

The confession should come as no shock to the speedrunning community, with the 21-year-old having faced endless accusations at the time of his impossibly fast runs. The Minecraft community moderators initially declared his run “too unlikely to verify”, with a fully-fledged 29-page investigation report published to support this conclusion through statistical analysis.

Along with a video response, that has since been removed, Dream responded with a statistical analysis of his own, commissioning a 19-page rebuttal document that was allegedly written by a Harvard statistics expert. This report concluded that Dream simply got lucky, contradicting the initial investigation’s estimation of 1 in 7.5 trillion odds for the streak of extreme luck that Dream displayed.

The Minecraft speedrun moderation team responded with another statistical analysis, this time in a more concise fashion. The 6-page paper was a direct response to Dream’s critique, with the team concluding that “despite these problems being in Dream’s favour, the author presents a probability that still suggests that Dream was using a modified game”; meaning that their judgement remained unchanged.

This public debate of mathematics inevitably resulted in more widespread arguments amongst the worldwide Minecraft community, with months of controversy intensifying into harassment between Dream’s loyal fans and those who believed he cheated. For many, his confession comes six months too late, after letting tensions persist for far too long.

Dream’s confession was posted on Pastebin, before swiftly being removed by the streamer in a confusing gesture. He explained the circumstances that allegedly led to his accidental cheating:

“I ended up finding out that I had actually been using a disallowed modification during ~6 of my live streams on Twitch. At the time we were just starting to record videos on [Minecraft version] 1.16, and we had just hired a developer to help with coding mods for videos… One of the mods that they were working on was an overall recording mod, that I have used in every video (with updates and improvements) since around the speedrun controversy.”

Dream went on to explain that the mod increased the spawn rates of crucial enemies and items, cutting down on the need for boring farming runs when streaming Minecraft videos that weren’t speedruns. He claimed that he later found out this mod was active during his December 2020 speedruns, though he was not aware at the time.

Dream acknowledged his problematic course of action in the confession, apologising for the unnecessary drama:

“When the drama first started I cared more about defending myself and being right [than] about figuring out what was actually going on, and I shot myself in the foot by doing it. I felt really terrible for the mods because I dragged them through the mud even though they were mostly right.

I think the whole situation was extremely shitty overall for everyone involved, and I wish that I could go back and do things differently because it was some of the worst weeks of my life and still impacts me every day. I’m sorry to anyone that I let down or disappointed.”

The drama has not, however, ceased with Dream’s apology. He pushed back against critics in a nearly two-hour livestream on Twitch, contradicting those who try to discredit his accomplishments by saying he gained popularity from being a cheater. A valid point, considering his swift rise to fame throughout 2020 before the scandal.

He also took to Twitter, where he emphasised all the times he has denounced hate and toxicity, calling out harassment rather than simply letting it go unaddressed. While it may be true that he’s done his best to diminish hatred amongst his followers, which is great to see, omitting the truth for so long certainly hasn’t help his cause.

The ongoing blame of Dream for the abuse, both received and given by his fans, certainly raises complex questions surrounding the accountability of content creators for the actions of their audiences. A 21-year-old who became an online sensation seemingly overnight surely doesn’t have the capacity to control those who follow them. Despite this, they should still be held accountable for their mistakes, rather than unconditionally supported.

The drama and harassment that arose from what may have been a genuine mistake was clearly never okay, but neither is viciously attacking Dream and his fans now that he has confessed and apologised. Regardless of whether you believe his claims to be sincere or not, harassing a stranger on Twitter simply isn’t the way to go.