When UC Berkeley cancelled all on-campus events this spring due to the spread of Covid-19, a small group of students embarked on a quest to build a virtual version of the campus at 1:1 scale inside Minecraft. As KQED’s Jasmine Garnett reports:
On March 15, UC Berkeley senior Bjorn Lustic got the idea to recreate his graduation in Minecraft, a video game where the objective is to build structures by placing blocks around a 3D environment. He cites a sarcastic Facebook comment as the source of inspiration. A month, a few more Facebook posts and several thousand likes later, the project has grown into a full-scale recreation of the UC Berkeley campus with a waiting list of students trying to get in on the fun of construction.
When IRL events started to disappear around campus, students, like everyone else, turned to the internet. “It’s kind of a natural thing at this point to look online and look to virtual communities to hang out, that’s what we’re used to,” Lustic says.
As someone who has spent hundreds of hours at California Memorial Stadium, I can attest to what a great job they’ve gone modeling it. And the work continues.