• Beth & Tim Manners

Students 'Game' Minecraft Campuses

The Verge: "The day before University of Pennsylvania students were told that their college commencement would be held online, junior Andrew Guo thought of an alternative to holding the address over Zoom. Students could have a 'Hey Day' and graduation inside Minecraft, just as a Japanese elementary school had organized days earlier. Quickly, “Penncraft” students began to recreate dormitories, food trucks, and local sculptures in-game ... Their main goal was to have a completed campus, specifically Locust Street, for graduating seniors to walk down in-game now that COVID-19 ensured they wouldn’t return to campus and complete this UPenn tradition." "Students from Boston University to UCLA, from South Louisiana Community College to Northwestern University, have recently created or resurrected Minecraft servers and shared their creations on Discord chats, in Facebook meme groups, and on Reddit threads ... Smaller groups and clubs, like Bowdoin College’s men’s ultimate frisbee team or University of La Verne’s debate team, have found ways to bond in survival mode servers after their practices and championships were canceled. Zoom isn’t nearly enough, and it doesn’t carry the ten years of memories that Gen Z has for Minecraft." "Nearly all builders say that they will leave their projects with a newfound appreciation for campus architecture, especially the spots they never visited or overlooked ... Builders can get caught up in small details; a pair of Girl Scouts selling cookies at a crosswalk in the University of Minnesota, or Domino the Cat lounging outside the UT student union building. University of Washington builders went as far as creating a 'Building Standards' channel on Discord to formalize road widths, the variety of wood for signs, and the color of concrete blocks used in brutalist constructions."

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