HSE Minecraft Helps Foster Virtual Community
HSE students came up with the idea of building HSE University’s Pokrovka Complex in Minecraft at the very beginning of the lockdown. In May, the opening ceremony was held, where HSE Rector delivered his welcome address, followed by lectures and a concert. HSE University now has a full-fledged virtual campus that brings HSE community closer together. Project organizer Olesya Yakovleva told HSE News Service more about the project.
What's It Like?
On the game server, everyone can walk around the Pokrovka building and play mini games. At the moment, we have activated PvP (Player versus player) mode, where students can fight each other with swords or bows!
While Pokrovka was being built, we often heard offers to re-create other HSE University buildings. In the future, we will be accepting construction proposals in our HSE Minecraft group on FB or VK (Russian social media site). International students are also welcome to join the project.
The Construction Process
On the first day, or rather during the night, we built the Central Atrium, having decided that it was the heart of Pokrovka. Then we erected the adjoining buildings. The second important step was the construction of the library. It required more resources due to its special shape and materials.
It was also difficult to adjust the height of all the buildings, as the Moscow terrain is considerably more complicated than the level surface in the game. Sometimes we moved a thousand cubic blocks at a time to glue all the passageways between the buildings. There have also been some difficulties with installing modes on elevators and screens and the construction of the Cultural Centre.
The HSE IT Office helped us get our own server. We moved the whole project there, built a single point of entry for all players, and landscaped the surroundings.
Overall, more than one hundred people had a hand in the construction.
However, they were not the only ones working on the project. We also have an SMM team and content-makers who manage HSE Minecraft accounts on social media.
The team first grew, then shrank, and then grew again. At the beginning, everyone had plenty of time and enthusiasm for the project. But gradually, the work began to slow down. Nevertheless, we pressed on, supported each other, and added the finishing touches to this large project.
New Venue for Virtual Events
Thanks to this new virtual replica of the university, the boundaries between students have disappeared.
It is now possible to meet at HSE regardless of time, location, or the epidemiological situation in the world.
In addition to serving as a communication and entertainment platform, HSE Minecraft is a wonderful new venue for events as there are many rooms, halls and other facilities that we know well from the real life. We hope to host exciting events in our virtual space
Events already hosted by HSE Minecraft:
Game Mechanics Conference, held on July 5
Lecture about the HSE Minecraft project as part of II Russia-China Summer School 'Technologies in Education'
Tanuki dream restaurant construction contest