Students, faculty and staff are teaming up to bring the Northwestern State University campus to the world of Minecraft.
Jayce Gentry, president of the NSU Gamer’s Guild, a student organization made of people who enjoy playing a variety of video and card games, explains that Minecraft is a PC game where you can build anything you want.
“Think of it like Legos but in a video game,” said Gentry, a junior computer information systems major with a concentration in cyber security from Belmont.
“The game got a huge spike in popularity around 2012 and is now one of the most popular games of all time. Tons of people play it to build anything from skyscrapers to pirate ships or anything else they can come up with.”
Gentry said there are two modes in Minecraft: survival, which is a more objective-driven experience where you beat the game by slaying a dragon, and creative, in which one can build as much as you want. The game set on NSU’s campus in creative mode for easy building.
Last year, Gentry started creating the Minecraft building of Roy Hall, which houses campus Information Technology Services offices. A lunch with a co-worker got the project going.
“I was telling one of my co-workers Josh Garner about what I was doing,” said Gentry. “He remarked that it would be a cool idea to get all of Gamers’ Guild involved and do the entire campus, and I just fell in love with the idea the moment I heard it.”
Gentry then spoke with the officers of the Gaming Guild.
“We all agreed this would be an amazing opportunity, especially with the COVID-19 Pandemic going on,” said Gentry. “It would be an easy way for any students, even ones off campus, to check out what NSU has to offer from anywhere in the world.”
According to Gentry, creating the campus fits into the game by giving NSU students a landscape to build their favorite parts of the campus.
“It’s a way for people to express themselves and let out their creativity in a fun way with their friends and other students,” said Gentry.
So far, four campus buildings have been created. Gentry hopes to have the entire campus done by the end of 2021. Anyone can sign on right now and check out the world by going to mc.nsula.edu in the Minecraft server address bar in the game. The world is only on Java Edition (PC) at the moment.
Gentry thanked NSU Chief Technology Officer Tracy Brown for providing the Gamer’s Guild with server space to host their world. He also thanked Associate Professor of Computer Information Systems Dr. Eddie Horton and Information Technology Services staff Shawn Parr, Thomas O’Rourke and Heath Fitts for helping with the security and server setup. Gentry said Gamer’s Guild officers James Stanfield and Evan White have been responsible for maintaining the server on Gamers’ Guild’s behalf and fellow Guild officers Tai Fletcher, Chloe Johnson, Ian Gentry and Jordan Mulsow were involved in the planning.
“The fact Information Technology Services was willing to help Gamers’ Guild with this is really cool, and just goes to show how much NSU’s faculty cares for student activities,” said Gentry. “Without them, this would’ve been way harder to accomplish.”
Building is coordinated in their discord server at https://nsula.gg/discord. Gentry encourages anyone who is interested to join in and reach out to him for how to assist.