The University of Santo Tomas‘ upcoming virtual tour via the Minecraft video game got freshmen and alumni stoked amid the resumption of classes.
Colleges and universities have started the new academic school year last Monday, August 24.
UST released a 42-second teaser of the virtual tour on social media on August 24. The animated video was created by Lyle Aldrich Ong.
“Take a peek at what the UST Minecraft has in store for our freshmen. The Freshmen Week will cap off with the virtual tour of the campus courtesy of the UST Minecraft team,” the caption read.
So far, on Facebook, the post was shared more than 15,000 times and gathered more than 24,000 reactions wherein 12,000 were heart reacts, 7,100 were “wow” reacts and 4,300 likes.
The short teaser featured the iconic landmarks within the campus, namely, the Arch of the Centuries, the Main Building, the UST Grandstand, the Benavides Park or Lover’s Lane, the UST chapel and the UST pool area.
The virtual replica of the UST campus was complete with trees and a moving clouded sky.
The comments section of its Facebook post was filled with sentiments of surprise and excitement from both freshmen and former students of the university.
A Facebook user expressed hope that there would be more simulations via the Minecraft game in the future.
Another quipped if there would be a flooded version of the university given its location being a flood-prone area.
In a separate post on August 26, the UST Minecraft Team congratulated the selected freshmen who will join the virtual tour on Friday.
“Hey there Thomasians! Congratulations to the selected freshmen participants to join us on the official release on August 28. Please check your emails if you have received an invitation from us,” the team said.
Hey there Thomasians! 👋Congratulations to the selected freshmen participants to join us on the official release at…
Due to the standing prohibition on on-site gathering, the UST Minecraft team, a group comprising around 80 students, re-created the university’s 21.5-hectare Manila campus through Minecraft.
This feature allows UST to push through with its annual Thomasian Welcome Walk tradition, where around 12,000 students will pass through the Arch of the Centuries to mark the start of the academic year at the safety of their homes.
In an interview with ABS-CBN, Charles Nobleza, a sophomore student who heads the project, shared that it took around two months to reconstruct virtual UST, including the buildings and the streets around the university.
Nobleza also said that they also wanted the welcome walk to be experienced by freshmen this year despite the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“We thought of creating a virtual campus tour for our freshmen to instill the tradition that UST holds every year,” he said.
The virtual world will launch on Friday and streamed on UST Tiger TV’s Facebook page.
The server, meanwhile, will be open for two hours on August 29 to 30 and September 5 to 6.