Why did you choose to create campus in Minecraft?
Minecraft is a sandbox video game that was officially released in 2011, during a time when most current college students were in middle school or started high school. Many current students have experience playing the game during their teenage years. Minecraft is now the best-selling video game to date and has achieved critical acclaim, with some citing Minecraft as one of the most influential and greatest video games of all time. Also, Minecraft's multiplayer server functionality is highly versatile and customizable with user-created Java mods and plugins.
All this makes Minecraft the perfect choice for developing a virtual space that the most number of people would be able to access! Check out our full story here. Students from many other universities have also organized Minecraft campus build projects!
Can I connect to the Minecraft server right now?
Is VirtualUW a registered student organization of UW-Madison?
No, this is not an official project of the University of Wisconsin. This is a newly-created independent student project. However, we are very grateful for the huge amount of support we have received from the UW-Madison Office of Admissions, as well as the encouragement of many students, staff, faculty, and administrators of UW-Madison.
Next academic year, we plan to apply for Registered Student Organization status through the UW-Madison Center for Leadership & Involvement!
What other organizations are you affiliated with?
We have partnered with many other groups that have similar goals, such as Minecraft build teams from other universities. Here are a few of the other organizations we work with:
Build the Earth (BTE) Project: This is a global project with the goal of recreating the entire planet in Minecraft.
Wisconsin 1:1 Community Build Team: We are officially apart of this build team. Most members are building the Green Bay area, and we are responsible for the Madison downtown area. After we complete the campus, our builds will be added to the BTE project via this build team.
HippOut Wisconsin Build Team: This is another BTE team working on creating Milwaukee that we work with closely as well.
ScholarsMC Minecraft server: This is a new Towny server for college students that we have a town on. This is a fun way to relax and connect with project team members outside of our server.
Can I be a builder for the VirtualUW Project?
Yes! We are now accepting new builders to help with the project. There are no time requirements, and you are free to help out at whatever times work best for you. You also do not have to be a current student, but it definitely helps if you have seen the facilities we are creating in-person. Please sign-up via this Google Form and indicate which buildings you would be interested in constructing. We will then email you with more details!
What are the project costs and how is it funded?
Our project costs include monthly Minecraft server hosting charges, as well as annual fees for our two domain names (virtualuw.net and virtualuw.org).
The UW-Madison student chapter of IEEE has graciously agreed to fund all of our monthly server hosting costs. IEEE is a professional student organization for students interested in the fields of electronics and computer sciences. They offer events and resources in four areas: industry, technical student projects, networking, and outreach. Learn more on the IEEE website here.
Do you plan to host events, like a virtual commencement, on the server?
Yes, one of our long-term goals is to partner with different university groups to host events on the VirtualUW server. However, not enough of campus has been developed at this time to make this possible. We have no events scheduled within the foreseeable future. Please contact us if you would like to talk about event options for later in the summer or next academic year.
For a virtual Minecraft commencement ceremony, check out the Quaranteen University project. This is a group of students from many different universities who are planning on hosting the largest Minecraft commencement ceremony ever. Sign up on their website to be a part of the graduating class or audience for the ceremony on May 22, 2020!