ITS Surabaya holds graduation ceremony in Minecraft

Even with months of experience of living through the pandemic, adapting to life in a health crisis hasn’t always been easy. We’ve all had to contend with doing almost everything over the Internet, including university graduation ceremonies.

There’s just no replacing that feeling of standing in your school’s auditorium in full regalia together with your fellow graduates. But, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS), a university in Surabaya, hoped to replicate that feeling by holding their graduation ceremony inside the popular video game Minecraft.

Graduates walk through a faithful recreation of the school’s auditorium

graha its in minecraft
Walking through the virtual auditorium
Image adapted from: ITS TV

In a livestream of the ceremony held on 2nd August 2020, graduates got to walk inside a blocky yet faithful recreation of Graha ITS, the university auditorium where graduation ceremonies are traditionally held.

virtual degrees given in minecraft
A virtual degree given to graduates in the ceremony
Image credit: @needhealing121

With the school’s official anthem playing in the background, graduates received their virtual degrees and even got to chat with the university’s rector, presented here in Minecraft’s blocky, voxel aesthetic, up on the stage. It’s far from an ideal replacement for an in-person graduation, but the school’s creativity in these trying times deserves a round of applause.

ITS showing off their gaming credentials

The university’s auditorium, Graha Sepuluh Nopember ITS Surabaya, in 2019
Image adapted from: Yustina Lupitasari

As one of the few universities in Indonesia offering a master’s degree in video games, ITS is no stranger to Minecraft. The virtual auditorium was actually designed from scratch by a team from the university’s Department of Informational Technology using Minecraft Education Edition as a base.

mage event from its
Discussion panel held during ITS’ MAGE 5 event in 2019
Image credit: @mille.fu

Additionally, the school is also well-known for their annual Multimedia and Game Event (MAGE) focusing on university and high school students. The event holds panels and competitions on game and app development and regularly offers cash prizes and full-ride scholarships for winners.

Higher educations getting creative during the pandemic

Following on the footsteps of Semarang’s Diponegoro University, which uses robots as stand-ins for graduates, ITS is just another example of an educational institution having to get creative when giving its students meaningful experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the saying goes, through adversity comes opportunity. With Indonesia still grappling with the effects of the pandemic, we can probably expect to see more educational institutions showing their creative mettle for the foreseeable future.

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Cover image adapted from ITS TV

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