South Dakota student recreates university campus in ‘Minecraft’

A computer engineering major at South Dakota Mines is offering virtual tours of the university after building a digital model of the campus in popular video game Minecraft.

South Dakota Mines said in a news release that Jaxxen Cheney started the project after graduating high school as a means of familiarizing himself with the university he was about to attend.

Cheney used Google Earth as a guide while recreating the scale model of the campus and its buildings. He then set out to make the interiors of the buildings accurate to real life.

“I didn’t know the campus very well before I became a student. When I first arrived, I got lost all the time,” Cheney said in the news release. “Once you get yourself familiar with campus, it’s easy to navigate. I think this could be a great tool for incoming freshmen to explore the campus before they come to school.”

Cheney’s Minecraft model of the school became a project for one of his humanities classes, and he has now opened up the project for other students to add their own details.

“Campus is constantly changing and so this will always be open for users to update and collaborate on the build,” Cheney said. “People can customize their own dorm or update changes in a building they may frequent. I also love it when people correct my mistakes and make improvements.”

Minecraft players can access the model via the server address Cheney created a YouTube video with instructions for how Minecraft newcomers can access the virtual campus.