Seniors Can Participate in Minecraft Graduation Ceremony
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Some students are using Minecraft during their "self-quarantines" to recreate their campuses. And at least one group is planning a national graduation ceremony to take place in their virtual world.
Minecraft, introduced by Mojang and acquired by Microsoft in 2014, is an online world that allows players to explore and play in the game or to build their own experiences and realms using digital blocks. According to reporting by the Boston Globe, students at Berklee College of Music, Boston University and Emerson College are using Minecraft to socialize while their physical campuses are closed to them.
Students are building their campuses "block-by-block," using the game's "creative" mode. They're relying on Google Maps street views, satellite images and photographs to "piece together" the exteriors of buildings and using photographs and their own memories to recreate the interiors.
Now there's a national effort afoot to set up a virtual world in Minecraft for both high school and college graduating seniors all over the country. Quaranteen Commencement 2020, hosted by Quaranteen University, is scheduled to take place in Minecraft on May 22.
The project was kicked off by two BU students who "were bored." As they noted on their website, "Being quarantined in a dorm for a week makes you crazy."
According to the organizers, "Once enough people express interest, we'll select graduation times for everyone .... You'll connect to the world, get dressed into robes dyed in your school's color, have your name called, and walk up to receive your diploma in front of everyone." That ceremony will be live-streamed on twitch.tv. Parents and friends will be invited to take seats in the audience.
As of April 2, 2020, the "QU Class of 2020" had 827 graduates signed on to participate from 291 schools.
Participation is free, though people who want to join in on building the commencement area will need to install a free trial or paid version of Minecraft (Java edition). A signup for high school seniors is available here.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.