One of the latest dramas involving Minecraft involves conventions, money, lies and false advertising. The money involved was over $50,000. The people involved were shady and cryptic. The attendees involved are mad and out of money. What happened? It was a convention for Minecrafters that was built on lies and deception. It was called "Meeting of the Mines". This scam was so wide-spread, it made the local news. If you want the summary of this whole scandal in video form, BebopVox from Yogscast explains it well in this YouTube video.
So, let's get started. There was this Minecraft convention called Meeting of the Mines. The first convention held was in Florida with the next one being held in New York. This Minecraft convention promised a lot of things from $500 creation contest, to give-aways, to a Xbox one scavenger hunt, to PS4 give-aways and more. The only thing that took place was the $1000 costume contest. Oh, wait, the check bounced because it was apparantly "contested." A lot was promised; only so little was done.
Over 1,024 tickets were sold at 50 a piece totalling to $51,200 USD. The next convention, in New York, was scheduled to be at the Marriot in Uniondale, NY but the management at the Marriott says it was never booked for a convention. Interesting.
The start time for this convention was 12 noon but opened 20 minutes later. However, it was shut-down by 2:20 PM, two hours later. So, it had 50,000 dollars to use for the convention, but shut down abruptly two hours later. Why? Because it was apparantly getting "out of hand." A Saturday event was also scheduled but never took place and the main event took place on a Sunday.
Any more warning signs? The event "Meeting of the Mines" was sponsored by Nickelodeon, Red Bull, and a local gaming store "Play n Trade" as displayed on their website, which has been taken down. However, Kevin Roman has issued a long statement regarding the matter on this website claiming his innocence.
So, the attendees came to the convention in Florida but something was amiss. There was no security and the "ticket checker" was reported by many to be very lenient and was a volunteer. Essentially, some people could walk in without the $50 USD ticket. But after about an hour, the events started getting shut down due to "people rushing the doors." However, the thing is, many parents were with their children so why would they act so aggressively? The parents then started to loot the convention by taking Minecraft cut-outs to get their money's worth.
Some give-aways were not available, so what did they do? They gave away pens. Yes, you read that right. They gave away ball-point pens instead of the Minecraft stuff they promised. Among other things was a peculiar event called Star-Crafting. No, not that StarCraft (tm) but rather a Minecraft-based plan where MOTM staff planned to turn attendees into YouTube stars with their own Twitter, Facebook and YouTube following.
The contest boiled down to the MOTM staff choosing 6 lucky people to become the next YouTube Minecraft sensations. From there, their Minecraft name would be of their choosing... however, they would have to add the suffix "MOTM" to their name. Then came the use of the social media accounts and they said themselves they would get followed, liked and subscribed by everyone in attendance because they were so awesome! From there, their own website and merchandise would be created for their YouTube star to shine! And last but not least, they would travel with the MOTM staff as they bring the Minecraft brand to other states.
It all smells like a lot of promises with a hint of sliminess. It all seems so far-fetched. Luckily, Mojang staff Vu Bui has been notified and is working directly with the scammed people and will be going after Kevin and the team for such an event gone awry.
At CraftHub, the best thing we hope for is that the attendees get their money back in some form of compensation and hope everyone learns to keep an eye peeled for future scams. Happy crafting.