Campus Is Closed, So College Students Are Rebuilding Their Schools In Minecraft

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    An anonymous reader quotes a report from 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. Makarios Chung, an early builder, measured buildings’ dimensions and streets positions constantly to ensure their scale was as accurate as possible. The first day of building, students took an hour to decide the placement of one street. 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. The boom of college Minecraft servers has begun. These servers have the express purpose of bringing students together and building, oftentimes focused on recreating their college campuses. Searches for Minecraft server hosting have peaked to unprecedented levels in the last few weeks, and thousands of students are discussing college servers, most notably on the Facebook group “Zoom Memes for Self Quaranteens.” 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. “Come May there will be in-game graduations,” writes Pearse Anderson. “Inspired by the aforementioned Japanese elementary school, Boston University seniors Rudy Raveendran and Warren Partridge created ‘Quaranteen University.’ This is a new server specifically made to host a Class of 2020 graduation for students from hundreds of different universities. 706 students from 278 institutions have signed up in the last week, and one mom has already emailed Raveendran asking how she can get an in-game seat to this massive ceremony on May 22nd.” Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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