Student recreates North Campus in Minecraft

    Technological Institute modeled in Minecraft

    Photo courtesy of Ben Rothman.

    Look familiar? This 3-D reconstruction of the Technological Institute was created entirely in the world of Minecraft by McCormick sophomore Ben Rothman.

    In fact, over the last two months, Rothman has recreated all of Northwestern’s north campus in Minecraft, an independent sandbox-style video game that gives the player free rein to create 3-D buildings and landscapes. His creation can be seen in its current state in a video he posted to YouTube on Friday.

    According to Rothman, this project began as a way to spend Winter Break. After seeing other users’ projects in the Minecraft reddit, Rothman was inspired to start one himself.

    “I started by building Slivka when I was bored, and then I just started expanding from there,” Rothman said. “I didn’t really know how far it was going to go.”

    The project now includes buildings as far north as Patten Gymnasium and stretches from Lake Michigan to Sheridan Road. Rothman has completed replicas of over a dozen north campus buildings and has even included the interior of a few buildings like Tech, Ford and Ayers CCI. The map goes as far south as Garrett, which Rothman said is his next build.

    “Garrett, I think, will be a lot of fun to make,” Rothman said. “Minecraft has had a lot of work done in building castles and church-type things, so there’d be a lot of prior work I can work with.”

    The building process has become much faster for Rothman, who has been playing Minecraft for almost a year. Smaller, simpler buildings can take as little time as an hour, he said. Still, Rothman has begun reaching out to residents of south campus on reddit, trying to recruit other builders to extend the map southward.

    “I’m hoping to have this be a group project,” Rothman said.

    Rothman said that his ultimate goal, however, is to make a 3-D model of north campus using his Minecraft grid and a special 3-D printing process. After that, Rothman said that the project will continue as long as he has free time.

    “It will probably just start crawling south after the 3-D print happens.”


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