Since the very beginning of the lockdown, HSE Minecraft has only gotten bigger and bigger. The Minecraft team has managed to design and built a virtual Pokrovka complex, participate in the international Geek Picnic festival, host a conference on game mechanics in cooperation with the HSE Higher School of Business Informatics, and give a lecture about the project at the Russia-China Summer School ‘Technologies in Education’. The HSE News Service spoke with Roman Kurochkin, one of the project leaders, about the team’s plans to build a virtual version of the Tsaritsyno Museum-Reserve, Gorky Park, and more.
We’ve already done a lot, but there’s still a lot more that we want to do. In September, we are launching a Minecraft Club for students at Moscow Lyceum No. 1310. We will meet once a week during the coming year and give lessons on how to reconstruct buildings from real life in Minecraft as well as how to design your own projects. We’ll help them start building a virtual version of their lyceum, so that they, too, can have their very own school on Minecraft. This, by the way, is great for developing spatial-thinking skills, which are useful for, say, future engineers.
In addition, we plan to launch a project with the Schrödinger's Cat Summer School, construct a copy of Gorky Park for HSE Day, host another conference with the HSE Higher School of Business Informatics, and build a copy of the Tsaritsyno Museum. We have already made a model of the Grand Palace in the game. (By the way, you can join the project by filling out a registration form).
We decided to do a joint project with the Tsaritsyno Museum so that we could conduct excursions there in the future. The project speaks to the issue of inclusiveness, because now it is more relevant than ever. In the game, people with disabilities will be able to conduct excursions for anyone interested, including people who cannot come to Moscow. You may ask, ‘Why Minecraft, and not some other platform?’ Minecraft allows you to recreate and visualize any building. Participants can immerse themselves in a virtual world right from home.
Representatives of the museum contacted us themselves and invited us to the museum to discuss a possible future project. They then proposed the idea of building the museum in Minecraft. I think they were inspired by the creations built by the students who participated in the Tanuki competition as well as, of course, our virtual Pokrovka.
Our job is to oversee the construction process. We recruit volunteers and participate alongside them.
Our team consists of 13 people. Each plays a different but very important role. We have a Social Media Marketing department and teams that work with the game server system and create structures of beauty in Minecraft. We also provide training for anyone interested in working as a project manager. For example, after the construction of Pokrovka, Anastasia Artyushina joined us, and she has now already managed the organization of our game mechanics conference and given a lecture at the Russia-China Summer School. Everyone has the opportunity to get involved and challenge themselves in all aspects of our work.
We do not plan to end the project after quarantine—we plan only to keep expanding it! There is interest for it, both among companies and guests of our events. It seems to me that Minecraft is back in vogue.
The team invites anyone interested in joining the organizing team to fill out the registration form.