No, not our cat Stampy. I mean the man who our cat is named after (yes really, it's true). The very nice (very rich, though that has no relevance to him being nice) Mr Stampy Longhead. Or Longnose, I'm never quite sure which it is.
I feel like I know him personally, though we've never met. Over the two years, or probably longer, his voice has boomed out around our house most days... in fact, if I'm honest, I can't remember a day without him. Our autistic girl plays his videos over and over, and I'm eternally grateful that he has made so many of them. Variety is the spice of life, after all.
For the uninitiated, Stampy is an English YouTuber who gained fame worldwide by uploading videos of himself playing the game Minecraft every day. He has nearly 6 million subscribers and has had 3,668,849,707 views of his videos on his Stampylonghead channel. Minecraft can be played on various platforms, and in our house is played regularly on the XBox, PC, iPad and Hudl. We even had a Minecraft themed 9th birthday party last year:
In January 2014, at the age of 8, our eldest girl made her own animation of a Stampy video game and asked me to tweet it to him. I did, and the next day he had placed her in his Love Garden (it's not rude, honest!). She has now had over 68,000 views on her video, figures I could only dream of on my channel! I love that Stampy interacts with his young fans and appreciates their creativity. Here is her animation:
Stampy is well known in the autism community; I think it's fair to say that lots of autistic children (and probably adults) seem to have a special ability when it comes to Minecraft. Both of my girls love this game, and both have created amazing worlds of their own, but it always struck me how quickly our younger girl picked it up. She has tried to teach me, on occasion, but I've failed miserably to become an expert. When I couldn't even figure out how to get my character up the stairs in her house, she was laughing uncontrollably. Stampy has helped guide her through all the options in the game, and gently encouraged her to be creative and excel at something.
Stampy's real name is Joseph, and having seen him do a 'real life' interview once or twice, I can tell you that Joseph is a lovely young man. A man I would dearly love to shake the hand of, and maybe even hug. More than that, I'd like to hug his mum, who has clearly done a great job at this parenting lark, even if at some point she didn't think so.
You see, this young man has done something for which I think he already deserves a knighthood. He has used his fame and his considerable social media reach to help others. He could have 'turned to the dark side' and moved on to broadcasting adult games, as some of his counterparts already have. Instead he has been involved with creating a new educational channel for YouTube, called .
There seem to be two strands to this new channel; one is set in a Minecraft world with the original Stampy following quests, but learning along the way. The other is called 'I Wonder' which is a brand new animation filled with exciting facts. The second episode of I Wonder was all about planets, hooray - one of our youngest girl's favourite topics:
I have so much admiration for people who can see the bigger picture like this, who realise than they can help others. Our little girl has already learnt so much from these new videos; they engage her in a way which her mainstream school setting can't offer. All hail modern technology!
So now that I've introduced you to the delights of Stampy and Minecraft, there is just one more thing left to say.
Stampy, we salute you!
Do you have any experience of Minecraft? Have you watched the new videos yet? Would love to know what you think about this phenomenon!
oh and p.s. here's a pic of our very own Stampy cat doing some yoga!