RIT students celebrating commencement on Minecraft

Digital Exclusives

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) – It’s a testament to the hard work of students stuck at home.

In just about a month, students at RIT worked hard and long enough to recreate a virtual campus on the video game Minecraft good enough so they celebrate commencement on the game.

Here the details as provided by the school:

  • What: RIT’s Class of 2020 is getting a bonus opportunity to celebrate after last week’s virtual conferral of degrees — a ceremony in the video game Minecraft that will allow them to virtually walk across the graduation stage.
  • When: 8 p.m. Friday, May 15th
  • Where: Minecraft users can participate in the ceremony in-game, while any viewers who don’t have the game can livestream the event on TwitchYouTube and Mixer.

The event is hosted by the school’s student group Electronic Gaming Society (EGS).

“It feels great, it’s the one event everyone was looking forward to,” said LAN and Console Manager of the campus’ EGS, Alexa Amoriello. “Once we started getting Gordon Field House ready, and the area where the track is, we just started making the stage.”

“I’m looking forward to all the staff and alumni not involved in the project to see what we got done,” she said. “When people see the progress we’ve made, that they’ll want to help, and make events of their own.”

They’ve even made gowns for the players participating.

The ceremony itself will look strikingly similar to a normal commencement. There will be 250chairs — Amoriello recommends getting there early to get a front-row seat — and the commencement will feature remarks from Amoriello, some of the “mods” of the project, and even words from President Munson’s speech.

By joining their channel on an app called “Discord” (which you can find on the EGS website), you can even listen along, and there’s a Minecraft chat.

There will also be subtitles for the event.

And after commencement, players in the world can teleport to key areas in the world, and explore the whole campus.

More on the project

Minecraft is the best-selling game of all time, and in it, players can create vast worlds, complete objectives, and sometimes even save the world. All using digital blocks made of different materials that they have to harvest or mine in the game.

“In ‘creative mode,’ you have all the blocks available already,” said Amoriello. She’s a second-year student majoring in game design. “You can build whatever you want, in any space that you want, and in any capacity.”

Using many different kinds of those blocks — as Amoriello quips, RIT is more than just bricks — the students have made recreations of the Clark Gym, The Sentinel Statue, and even the student union.

Sometimes nearly 100 students worked on the project simultaneously.

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