Cal students create virtual UC Berkeley campus for online graduation

BERKELEY, Calif. — The UC Berkeley Class of 2020 will still have the option to graduate amid the COVID-19 crisis through the online gaming platform, Minecraft.

Over the past month, Cal students around the world have been building realistic renderings of campus spaces using digital blocks of different colors and textures. “Blockeley University” includes nearly all buildings and landmarks on campus, including Memorial Stadium, Campanile, and the Greek Theater.

Project creator Bjorn Lustic said: “Especially for seniors graduating this year, they’re not getting that closure. So it really gives them the kind of outlet to say, okay, that’s it. is my last stop here.”

The virtual graduation event will take place on May 16, the same day the debut was originally scheduled to take place.

Nick Pickett, senior student from California and Minecraft builder, said, “It will be an open house for everyone to explore campus, relive memories, take photos.”

Senior graduates should receive digitized caps, gowns and diplomas. For those without a Minecraft account, the ceremony will be streamed online.

Elliot Choi, a UCB senior and Minecraft builder, believes the project demonstrates the perseverance of the Cal class of 2020.

“We’ve been through protests, we’ve been through power outages, we’ve been through fires, but I think this whole project in itself shows our resilience and our ability to keep going,” Choi said.

Click on the video above to hear from project creator, Bjorn Lustic, as well as senior student builders, Elliot Choi and Nick Pickett.