Lancaster University is aiming to become the first UK university to be accurately recreated in the computer game Minecraft.
Under the goals of Digital Communities and Digital Engagement, a team of enthusiastic students are working together using official building plans to faithfully recreate the top-10 ranked institution’s Bailrigg Campus, which is set in parkland on the edge of the city of Lancaster.
More than 500 hours have been spent on the build so far – which is at an accurate scale of two bricks per metre. Buildings so far recreated include Alexandra Square, the hub of Lancaster’s campus, the Ruskin Library, and the university’s newly completed Engineering building.
When completed, the build will allow prospective students to tour the campus even from the other side of the world.
The ‘virtual’ build is expected to take between six and 12 months to complete, however one of the main purposes of the project is to raise awareness of the potential of digital skills for young people.
A special digital skills event, held on June 17 in partnership with Lancaster university Students’ Union, saw pupils from secondary schools across North West England come up to Lancaster University to try their hand at Minecraft – with some given the chance to help build part of the campus within the game.
Rob Ellis, from Lancaster University’s Innovation Hub, which is running the Minecraft campus build, said: “When the build is complete the university could use it for virtual tours, for example for international students looking to study at Lancaster, or for students studying at our campus in Ghana. However, we also really want to use the build as an educational tool that will raise the awareness of digital skills in young people.”