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Enderman is a mob (video game monster) introduced in the Adventure Update of the indie java game Minecraft. They are relatively tall creatures in the Minecraft universe standing three blocks high with luminescent purple eyes, long slender limbs and the ability to teleport. The name “Enderman” was coined as a reference to the mythical creature Slender Man.
When the image was posted to Reddit the same day, Notch replied to the thread saying he would name the new mobs “Endermen”, referencing the mythical Slenderman creature, for the upcoming 1.8 update of the game.
Later that day, an Enderman entry was created on the Minecraft Wiki. On July 29th, Notch revealed the mob’s gameplay mechanics in a blog post, which explained how the creature would teleport toward the player when looked at. The same day, articles were posted to the news blog The National Examiner and the gaming blog Rock Paper Shotgun, which remarked how frightening the creature appeared. On July 27th, Minecraft Forum member Tha Kipsta started a thread about the mob’s block carrying abilities.
On July 30th, 2011, an article was published to the gaming blog Joystiq, which pointed out the creature’s similarities to Slender Man. On August 21st, a “General Enderman Discussion” thread was created on the Minecraft Forums, which covered various news and concerns regarding the mob. Endermen were officially released with Minecraft Beta 1.8 as part one of the “Adventure Update” on September 9th, 2011.
Endermen are passive until the player places the crosshair directly over them. As long as the crosshair is still, the mob will remain frozen staring back at the player. Once the crosshair is moved, they become agressive and will either run or teleport toward the player to attack. Endermen can be defeated by luring them into water, which rapidly decreases their health pool. They were initially created with the controversial ability to move both natural and player placed blocks, which could destroy player-created structures.
The ability for the mob to move different types of blocks was considered frustrating by many players, as Endermen could destroy structures that took large amounts of work to build. On September 20th, 2011, Notch tweeted that he would be removing the ability for Endermen to carry blocks:
By the way, I will nerf the endermen block carrying. It was a horrible idea.
— Markus Persson (@notch) September 20, 2011
Endermen spawn most often in the Minecraft dimensional plane known as “The End”, which can only be reached through portals (shown below) found in the “Stronghold” underground structures in the Overworld. In the plane, light remains in a constant dim-setting, maps and compasses do not work correctly and Nether Portals cannot be activated. The player can only return to the Overworld by defeating an Ender Dragon or dying.
Endermen have been featured in a number of parodies, animations and machinima videos on YouTube.
Search query volume for the keyword “enderman” picked up in July of 2011, the same month Notch named the mob on Reddit.