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Students create virtual campus to foster sense of community

A screenshot shows the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation students created in Minecraft.

The University of Windsor Engineering Students’ Society is bringing campus to the screens of students learning from home.

The society has created a replica of the University of Windsor campus on Minecraft — a video game that allows you to create a virtual world with Java programming. 

Students can explore each floor of the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation and take a stroll through UWindsor’s campus peppered with lush trees, flower beds and even its Promise campaign billboards. 

“Since we are all stuck inside on our computers for the remainder of the semester, it’s important to keep the sense of campus community,” says Theo Sancartier, president of the Engineering Students’ Society.

“With this Minecraft server, we hope to have students interacting in a way no one thought of before.”

Sancartier says the society’s executive committee and other volunteers spent the entire summer creating the server to ensure incoming students had a memorable experience and felt connected to campus. 

The server was built specifically for Orientation Week, but Sancartier says an overwhelming response from the university community encouraged the team to share the interactive server campus-wide.

Once in the server, participants have the opportunity to choose whether they would like to roam the creative world, which contains the replica of campus or join under a survival mode, where they can build their own homes and create an alternate, virtual community while interacting with other players.

Sancartier says new game features will continue to be added throughout the semester.  

How to play

The server is open to all UWindsor students and can be accessed through the Java Minecraft version available only for desktop platforms (Windows, MacOS or Linux). 

To join, students must complete a student verification form and are required to sign up with their UWindsor email address (alternate email addresses will not be permitted).

  1. Open Minecraft Java Edition or purchase and download from the Minecraft website
  2. Once signed in, run the game
  3. Click on the ‘Multiplayer’ button on the main screen
  4. In the bottom right of the interface, select ‘Add Server’
  5. On the next screen, select the ‘Server Address’ text box and type in engsoc.apexmc.co
  6. Now hit ‘Enter’ and you will be brought back to the Server List page, click on the EngSoc Server selection and log in.
  7. You should be logged in and free to explore!