Why Do 'The Children Yearn For The Mines?' The Connection Between Minecraft And Child Labor Laws Explained
Once in a blue moon, a person utters a phrase so instantly catchy that it seems as though it were an age-old adage. Such is the case with an observation made by a particularly astute Twitter user, who noted the relation between historic labor trends and the popularity of the children's video game Minecraft.
The phrase became over more topical once news about Arkansas, Iowa, and Missouri repealing child labor laws emerged in early 2023. Here's the lore behind the phrase "the children yearn for the mines."
Where Does 'The Children Yearn For The Mines' Come From?
The catchphrase was first spoken into existence as part of a larger observation about the classic children's video game Minecraft. In February 2022, Twitter user @Froggenthusias1 posted a tweet that read, "Minecraft proves that abolishing child labour was a mistake. The children yearn for the mines."
Twitch streamer Hasan Piker quoted the tweet to comment on a Libertarian Twitter account advocating for child labor in the name of education. The phrase was also used on and reposted to several websites, including Reddit, TikTok and Instagram.
@gronffo #duet with @Mehar K. never show this kid a coal mine ,#fyp #fypシ #childlabour ♬ original sound – lils
How Does The Catchphrase Relate To The Repeal Of Child Labor Laws?
In early February of 2023, a new bill that aimed to loosen child labor laws was introduced in the Iowa Legislature, which opened up the opportunity for children above the age of 14 to work as grocery baggers, hold clerical jobs, and undergo more intensive professional training than previously allowed. The introduction of the bill inspired a fresh wave of jokes and memes about children and their insatiable need to mine.
@rileycollins__ They yearn for the mines #greenscreenvideo #children #labor #nelk #joke ♬ original sound – Riley Collins
@xiandivyne #stitch with @aflcio the children yearn for the mines #fyp #xiandivyne #blacktiktok #uspolitics #politics ♬ Spooky, quiet, scary atmosphere piano songs – Skittlegirl Sound
For the full history of why "the children yearn for the mines," be sure to check out our entry on the catchphrase here for even more information.
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