Have you graduated from Johns Hopkins? Or maybe you’ve decided to continue online education this semester? You might miss the place that you used to call home and wish you could visit it to walk around Homewood campus buildings again. It is possible now from the comfort and safety of your apartment! HopMC, a group of Johns Hopkins students came up with the grand plan: recreate the Homewood campus in a popular online videogame Minecraft.
Minecraft is an online videogame based on the idea of a sandbox: players do not have any specific goals to pursue while playing. In an open world of the game, players can find (or “mine”) resources or building blocks like stone or sand. With enough of these resources, they can create anything they want. Players in the past recreated existing famous buildings like Houses of Parliament in London or Machu Picchu – the 15th-century Incan citadel located in Peru. Some went even further recreating the entire fictional city of Minas Tirith from the Lords of the Rings fantasy saga. The international NGO Reporters Without Borders used Minecraft to build The Uncensored Library – a collection of press articles that were banned by governments around the world, which are now accessible for reading through Minecraft.
Now Minecraft helped JHU students to recreate their own campus in astonishing detail. Not only one can walk around familiar landscapes but also you can enter some of the buildings to revisit classrooms and common areas. A project like this requires more than just time and effort. Complicated Minecraft structures need knowledge and experience in 3D design, network protocols, plug-in development, and a lot more. This project has been going on with the support of Johns Hopkins Digital Media Center, multimedia lab space for creative, tech or any projects for audio, video, photography, graphics, animation, 3-D modeling and design, and so on.
“Building in Minecraft – or any other collaborative platform for innovation – holds so much potential for powerful storytelling! Imagine being able to describe how you worked with others and had to develop norms for building, a structure for organizing, and outlets for creative expression, all on a digital platform?” – says Lauren Barrett, Life Design Educator for Public Health Studies and Allied Health Professions.
Even though HopMC might not be a part of academic or professional progress, it can definitely be used to advance one’s career.
“I’d definitely link this to a LinkedIn “Projects” section and tag your fellow co-creators to expand and strengthen your LinkedIn network. On a resume which is less interactive, I’d still include it as a project and focus in on how communication and collaboration functioned as core skills to achieve the outcomes. I can’t wait to see it!” – continued Barrett.
If you’re a JHU student and want to contribute to this project, please visit the HopDMC page on the Digital Media Center portal, where you can fill out the application and request a correct version of the Minecraft license.