Imperial College London

Imperial College students collaborate to create 3D virtual campus

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The Queens Tower rebuilt in Minecraft

Imperial Virtual World is a 3D online platform that aims to connect students impacted by COVID-19.

With the move to virtual teaching, there were concerns that student engagement and interaction would suffer. Therefore, Imperial College students pitched an idea for a 3D virtual campus in the Colleges Student Shapers programme as unique opportunity to study how student social engagement can be fostered and maintained without physical presence, under the expectations of physical campus study.

The Student Shapers programme offers students the opportunity to undertake projects in partnership with staff to improve curricula, develop innovative teaching practices and make positive change to the student experience.

In this article, we interview our Imperial College students who collaborated to create the 3D virtual campus. Read about the students involved in the project, their experiences, and how to visit the virtual world below.

Jirui Wu, third-year EEE

Jirui Wu Jirui said: "I joined this project as I find it is exciting to create a virtual world and this project would positively impact many students.

Together with teammates we made design decisions and built a virtual campus on Minecraft Java with mods.

I believe this project is important as it gives students, especially those who cannot come to the campus in person, a sense of engagement to Imperial College.

It’s brilliant to interact with each other safely and interestingly on a virtual campus during this pandemic. Our virtual world has been used in EESoc’s freshers’ event and we get great feedback from students. I hope this virtual world can be known by more people and be an active platform where people interact and have fun.

We are proud of this project and are excited to see it goes live. I find that it’s exciting to build the virtual campus together with friends and it’s great to have more people joining us in this virtual world."


Alex Liu, third-year Computing

Alex Liu Alex said: "I’ve had a great time working on this project and have learned a lot from technical to teamwork skills. I’m very happy to see people coming together to build the Imperial Campus. I can’t wait until it’s finished!.

I wanted to participate in this project because I believe that the social interaction between students is a very important part of the university. I sympathize with the first-year students in this current situation, so I wanted to help deliver a project to make their year more enjoyable and bring together people who would not have normally met."


Jaafar Rammal, third-year EIE

Jaafar Rammal Jaafar said: "This project will hopefully be one of many milestones as a community-powered platform for students to interact and socialize.

I believe it is important partially because of the community-based progress, where collaborations can be made by students to improve the design of the campus and build their image of Imperial.

Students can request to be a designer in the world and will be given the corresponding accesses to add their own buildings for campus."


Mimi Reyburn - third-year Design Engineering

Mimi ReyburnMimi said: "It’s been so much fun to be a part of and I’m excited for people to see it and find community in it. It's a project to bring people together at a time when it’s hard to feel connected to friends and to Imperial.

I hope that people find something positive, creative, and fun and that they enjoy exploring the platform."


Cornel Micu - third-year Computing

Cornel Micu Cornel said: "I am amazed by the achievements of the team and by the current result – and I am excited to see what it will become with the contribution of even more students!, socializing is an important part of student life.

I believe offering College members the opportunity to meet in a familiar-looking place is a good way of keeping their sense of belonging to the College community."


How can students access the Virtual World?

Students can access the virtual world by getting a Minecraft Java account, then input the IP address and port of the server that they wish to join in the multiplayer mode.

Detailed set-up guides are available at http://www.virtualimperial.com/.

Reporter

Ahmed Abdullahi Idle

Ahmed Abdullahi Idle
Department of Computing