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.
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 students' main goal was to have a completed campus 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."
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