Minecraft - Villagers

It’s hard to imagine nowadays, but there was a time when Minecraft didn’t have NPC villagers. While memories of that early era are a bit fuzzy at this point, there’s one thing that always stands out to me when I think back to the addition of these NPCs: They used to all have a TESTIFICATE label over their heads.

There have been many online discussions about where this name actually came from, but it seems safe to assume that this was some bastardized version of the word TEST.

The thing is, I’ve not been able to get this out of my head. To the bewilderment of viewers, I’ve actually referred to villagers as testificates on livestreams without realizing I was doing it (which typically results in me having to explain where the word came from).

Minecraft - Librarian

When Minecraft officially went into version 1.0, new text “Testificate!” was added to the list of possible splash texts to commemorate the original name of these industrious critters. It does appear that, at the same time, the overhead text was removed from the game proper.

And people seem to have forgotten, for the most part. At least, younger players who were introduced to the game at some point after 2012 don’t seem to often know about this bit of naming weirdness.

But for those of us old enough to remember, the legacy of the testificate lives on in our hearts, and also in a few random places on the internet. The word testificate has its own entry on Urban Dictionary, for example, and there are plenty of old forum discussions that you can revisit, which the merits of the term testificate versus villager. For me, I will never stop thinking of these ridiculous NPCs as testificates.

If you want to see the TESTIFICATE label phenomenon for yourself, here’s a 2011 video from Yogscast that shows it off pretty well:

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