Student Crafts Mines University Campus In Minecraft

Published: December 20, 2022 11:32 AM /


The South Dakota Mines university campus as rendered in Minecraft

A student at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, commonly known as South Dakota Mines, has rendered his entire university campus in Minecraft. The project is a communal one, so students can add embellishments like interiors and other details to this already-impressive undertaking.

According to a press release, computer engineering student Jaxxen Cheney, who has been playing Minecraft since he was young, used Google Earth as a reference to build the outside of the university's campus in the game. He also constructed various interiors, all of which have been built to scale. I can't even complete basic writing projects, so Cheney's achievement is jaw-dropping to me.

Impressively, Cheney's already identified a potential use for his project: helping new South Dakota Mines students to acquaint themselves with the campus. He says that when he joined, he got lost easily, but that he thinks his Minecraft campus "could be a great tool for incoming freshmen" to explore their new environment before they arrive.

A campus interior in Jaxxen Cheney's Minecraft rendering of the South Dakota Mines campus
Jaxxen Cheney's Minecraft project is a real labor of love.

Cheney says that other students have begun to add their own details to this collaborative project, including more accurate interiors, adding details to the Museum of Geology, and more. The Minecraft rendition of the campus will, according to Cheney, "always be open for users to update and collaborate on the build". Makes you all misty-eyed, doesn't it?

Minecraft is a pretty common platform for users to show off their breathtakingly detailed creations. Whether it's smaller-scale recreations of Stardew Valley's Pelican Town Square or, uh, the entirety of Breath of the Wild's Hyrule mapMinecraft players are always finding ways to go the extra mile to make something truly special.

It doesn't stop there, either. The educational potential of Minecraft is also something that's been demonstrated plenty of times before, like Reporters Without Borders' creation of an anti-censorship library within the game, or the Education Edition's BuildAbility world designed to teach kids about accessibility. It's fair to say Minecraft is as much of a tool for learning as it is a game in its own right.

If you're a South Dakota Mines student and you want to contribute to Cheney's vision, you can do so by joining his official Discord channel. You can also check out the description for Cheney's YouTube video showing off his project, which will tell you how to access the Minecraft campus creation from both major versions of the game.

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