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Students Develop Online NKUCraft Game

From Northern Kentucky University:

Imagine a place where students can build anything they want, a place where they can show off their work to the world, a place where everyone can join in and have fun.
 
Welcome to NKUCraft.
 
In 2011, a Swedish game inventor created a world where participants could drop in, mine blocks and build anything with the blocks they’d gathered. It was called Minecraft. More than 40 million people worldwide have registered to play.
 
Last semester, Spencer Shefchik, James Lloyd and their friends (all students in the College of Informatics) decided it would be fun to create a similar world on NKU’s servers. That way, NKU students could build whatever they wanted. Dan Koabel, NKU’s Director of Creative Technology, was already thinking that way, and got the students set up.
 
“Anyone can build anything their imagination can think of,” Shefchik says. “It really is both a stress relief and tinker toy.”
 
NKUCraft was born.
 
Now, 33 people are playing NKUCraft. The group enjoys a forum where they discuss projects, post pictures, post coordinates, and get to know each other as a student community. Many are exploring ways to recreate Griffin Hall in NKUCraft.
 
“This is a great opportunity to have some of our structural engineers who can read the floorplans better than Media Informatics majors and Computer Information Systems majors to literally lay the groundwork for re-creation of Griffin Hall,” Shefchik says. “And if student groups get involved they can even have Greek houses built in the game.”
 
Build anything,from the Taj Mahal to New York City.
 
“Technically this is just showcasing what you can do if you have spare time, imagination, andMinecraft,” Shefchik says. “The reason we feel this is significant to NKU is because students will be able to play the game with each other. They either get to make connections within the game or out of it. They will be able to chat with each other, get to know each other and play with the people around them.”
 
NKUCraft players hope the game leads to interdisciplinary cooperation, which then leads to those students creating projects together in the real world.
 
“While this sounds like a longshot, gaming can provide an interesting way for people to network on projects not even related to their major that can influence social and professional relationships in the long term,” Shefchik says.
 
To play, visit http://nkucraft.nku.edu, and to share your work, visit http://canvas.nku.edu.

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