Dream's viral face reveal shows why anonymity is an influencer's best friend

Dream's public persona
(Image credit: Dream)

Dream, one of the world's best known Minecraft players, finally revealed his face to the internet yesterday. The content creator has been known online for many years as a wide smiling drawing of a face, attached to a body wearing a green hoodie, which of course raised many questions about his true identity. That was Dream's thing for many years, and even friends he collaborated with didn't know the true identity of their mate. Now that's all changed. 

Over a million people on YouTube waited to see what Dream looked like. In the 48 hours leading up to the reveal, Dream called content creators who filmed their reactions to seeing his face for the first time. From TinaKitten to HasanAbi, hundreds of thousands of people liked and reacted to these teasing promo videos, each one hinting at what he might look like. Hasan did this live on stream and said he thought he was going to be "worse looking". KSI joked that Dream was actually Black though we all knew that wasn't the case from Dream showing at least small amounts of his body over the years. Wilbur Soot laughed about how good his hair looked. Big content creators got calls from Dream, elevating this from just a face reveal to the YouTube event of the year.

Millions of likes in total, hundreds of thousands of retweets and piles of comments waiting to see what this YouTuber looked like. The pressure mounted, and fans waited with bated breath. This man with millions and millions of views on every Minecraft video, known for both the good and the bad (specifically his Minecraft cheating scandal), was about to show everyone what he looked like finally. The video went up, and people pressed play.

And Dream was just a normal dude. 

Anonymity made Dream. Anonymity gave this perfectly normal guy a reason to be mysterious and distant when his appearance would never have suggested that. He's got brown hair, green eyes, and a pleasant demeanour. Actually, and probably predictably, his camera presence is awkward. In this video he sits kind of tilting his face in a way that looks uncomfortable to the camera. Who amongst us wouldn't be trying to make sure our best angle was shown on screen after years of hiding, especially when people want you to be attractive because of all the fanart viewers have created. 

Dream is just a dude who made it big through creating original, interesting content on one of the biggest games of all time. That's it! He's physically a normal human like anyone else, like you or me. Good for him that he's out there but his success has driven home a point for me. Anonymity, not just for Dream, but for other content creators, is one of the most powerful tools out there. 

Quite recently, a lesser known (but still extremely successful creator) called ShrodingerLee did a face reveal too. He was known for his Valorant content, good voice, and even jokingly flirting with creators he played which made this another guy that the internet had to know the face of. He recently revealed he was also just a decently attractive dude who liked games, and had made it big by (among other things) being mysterious and coy.  

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And who can forget CorpseHusband. The music artist suddenly found himself in the middle of the Among Us content creation infatuation because his voice was unlike anything anyone had ever heard. Deep and sexy, his music and all his content hinged on his low vocal range and quietly aloof attitude. He is yet to do a face reveal but that hasn't stopped the internet trying to discover his identity and, with Dream's reveal, memes about Corpse doing one next arose. 

Another creator, by the name of Technoblade, was also anonymous during his career. Like Dream, Technoblade was a Minecraft YouTuber but sadly he passed away (opens in new tab) at the age of only 23. His real name and identity was only revealed in his farewell message to his fans and, in that case, it felt like Technoblade's parting gift to those who supported him and his videos. Though the circumstances couldn't have been worse, showing who he was to his fans finally let them in on what felt like the streamer's master plan, and allowed his family to celebrate his successes publicly. On the other hand, when Technoblade was diagnosed with cancer and it affected his life, he had the privacy to deal with that in his own time away from the ever watchful eyes of the internet.  

Really the best thing a creator can now be is anonymous. Perhaps it's more of a male content creator thing, as fan girls seem to often perpetuate the mystery with fanart, unapologetic stanning videos, and fantasy situations. But the point stands that no one knowing what you look like can be one of the most advantageous things about certain content creators right now. And that's both a great thing for those who don't want to be seen, and kind of terrible for Dream right now.

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He wanted to live his life a little more normally, which is why he did the reveal. Content he wanted to film with friends wasn't possible without the reveal happening so he finally relented and showed everyone who he really was. And I can't lie, I'd hate to be in his position right now. Lots of people who want those tasty Twitter interactions are making fun of his appearance, even going so far as to joke about him putting the mask back on—undoing the reveal. 

Dream is a normal dude when his online persona was so much more than just normal. The illusion of him being a supermodel, unusual, or perhaps a god amongst men is gone. He really is just a guy you'd see on the street. And that's exactly what everyone should have expected. 

Anonymity has given a select handful of creators the ability to be one of the best-known names on the internet while living a normal life. Their talent and work can be appreciated by the masses without being inconvenienced by the fame. I can imagine it's not always great, as there are lots of opportunities you have to turn down as a result but eventually, like Dream, people can reveal themselves when they're ready.

It's probably harder to become a successful content creator without using your face. Human brains like to see faces so, without them in thumbnails looking wide-eyed and shocked as most do, it can be hard to get noticed. But once a creator has some traction, the mystery of anonymity has the power to skyrocket an ordinary person to incredible heights of internet fame and intrigue. You can theoretically be whatever the audience wants you to be, for however long you want. And that may be the most powerful thing a content creator can offer.  

Imogen has been playing games for as long as she can remember but finally decided games were her passion when she got her hands on Portal 2. Ever since then she’s bounced between hero shooters, RPGs, and indies looking for her next fixation, searching for great puzzles or a sniper build to master. When she’s not working for PC Gamer, she’s entertaining her community live on Twitch, hosting an event like GDC, or in a field shooting her Olympic recurve bow.