The long-anticipated UC Berkeley virtual graduation took place on Saturday. And it took place on Minecraft.
An enterprising group of Cal students and alumni came together to rebuild the UC Berkeley campus to give the class of 2020 a place to congregate and celebrate. Developed by Bjorn Lustic and coordinated by Nick Pickett, they and many other Minecrafters built out California Memorial Stadium for commencement festivities.
They built a giant Memorial Stadium (where graduation has been held for the last decade), then placed a giant bear looking over it, which should be part of Phase 4 of Memorial renovations.
Pickett, a Cal band member, helped perfect the final implementation of Memorial due to his familiarity with running through that North Tunnel!
Pickett got involved with Blockeley early on after perusing photos of the replica stadium and spotting a few inaccuracies in the North Tunnel — the landmark at the northern end zone where Cal band members meet to march onto the field at football games. Pickett plays tuba in the band and feels a connection to the tunnel.
Here’s a half-hour walkthrough of the entire new campus, UC Blockeley!
Get a virtual tour of Cal’s campus with CalTV.
They even made a fully-fleshed out Haas Pavilion!
In classic Cal fashion, it did not start on time.
The graduates came out of the Memorial Stadium tunnel in the same way Joe Kapp, Russell White, Marshawn Lynch, and Evan Weaver have trudged out many a fall Saturday in Berkeley.
There were a host of speakers, including Chancellor Christ quoting Proust with that giant bear looming in the background.
Many students downloaded Minecraft for the first time.
The energy was kicking.
The Cal student groups came together with OS Studios to complete the entire production.
Some even got trapped. Not the worst place to be virtually quarantined.
After that, a literal block party that proceeded for the rest of the weekend!
You should be able to watch replays of the graduation and the block party on Twitch. There are plans to continue to Twitch stream from the UC Berkeley Minecraft campus to raise awareness for COVID efforts all summer.
Congrats to the Cal class of 2020!