Now this may look like an ordinary Minecraft world.
But if you look really closely, you'll see it's a faithful recreation of the real world specifically San Francisco Chinatown.
So why recreate it at all?
Well, first, a little backstory.
The Chinatown Community Development Center, or CCDC, has several youth-run, youth-led organizations.
One of the program's CATs is devoted to giving in person guided tours of San Francisco Chinatown by students.
CATs stands for Chinatown Alleyway Tours, first of all.
And we try to differentiate ourselves by focusing on the alleyways and In turn, kinda the deeper stories behind Chinatown, when you think of alleyways, you think ofntall buildings, dark shadows that don't go there.
But people have a similar idea of like, what Chinatown is in their mind.
Chinatown, it's all Chinese people, color red, firecrackers, stuff like that.
The goal of CATS is both to educate youth in terms of work experience, as well as educate the general public and people with misconceptions like this, on what Chinatown is really like, and kind of let them into stories behind the community.
But the pandemic changed all that.
So the students and alumni from CATS and the other programs.
Decided to come up with a unique way to keep the tour's going.
There it is for Minecraft started around March or like around the springtime when we initially got put in shelter in place and everything was trying virtuals students at Berkeley created a version of the campus in Minecraft, where they held their graduation And we took inspiration from that and created our youth center in Minecraft.
And we decided to use the same idea to creating the entire Chinatown in Minecraft.
So we started building sometime in mid August to late August 1.
We enlisted our alumni who part of the program to do it because We didn't want to text your students and also to engage back our alumni first and then engage our younger younger ones had happened lead.
So one of the long is a engineer and and he did the scaling so that we were able to do that.
Chinatown is known for having several murals and it's alleyways and In streets, something that took time to build in Minecraft.
Usually, these murals are I guess, they're painstakingly hard to make.
So this one is a man shooting with a bow and arrow, and then and see, you can slowly see how it formed.
One with a specialist that has a lot of murals and then public art.
So we have a couple of those up.
So we have this one here, I think called the home.
Supposedly there was a poll here but the power of Photoshop we managed to not make it seem like there was a poll inside.
You'll see the archer that Jackie was showing you earlier.
So that's where that would sit over here.
There's supposed to be a
But in the picture we took this from I think off Google Maps.
There's like a truck in the way.
So I'm pretty sure that's why we couldn't pull it off.
Now, one of the first things that the students alumni and faculty began to realize is that if you've never played Minecraft there is a steep learning curve.
You know, initially like right when we were playing to get started, you know, we sent out emails with like accounts and codes and we're about to start the tour and some people, you know, they just don't want to get on Minecraft.
A lot of people did Didn't really know how to move or where they're looking or anything like that which is fine, which is one of the reason why we were sort of screen sharing.
We're still learning, so we're like every tour we add, first tour we have no map.
People say I don't know where we're standing [INAUDIBLE]
Didn't, haven't been sourced to scout.
It's cool to see the image and how the world is created and able to see the amazing work, but then they can't follow.
So then the second tour, we added smack here that actually kind of have a route that you can follow as well.
Now having done the tours in real life, in person before the pandemic.
I can honestly say that the students do a magnificent job of telling the all history of Chinatown and its alleyways.
But as I took the virtual tour, what I began to realise, is that the students and alumni had put their heart and soul into recreating Chinatown in Minecraft.
The cool thing about this is, this is a mural like I helped build in real life.
We built this in the summer of 2018.
And yeah, it's a mine craft article.
> They conceptualize the design with the artist.
The concept is that, this brick wall, when you smash it, you see the actual about the community.
The idea that came from the youth was really connecting with their grandparents.
And then just breaking barriers at debunking.
So this really smashing it,
��Did you see another universe and then what's the story behind Chinatown?.�� The hope is that at some point in person tours will begin again.
But for now the Chinatown Minecraft tours continue as for For the future, that's uncertain.
But the one takeaway from all this is that the students and alumni were empowered to take this project on themselves.
That's the cool thing about digital, right, is that what you envision, you can bring it to life.
So this the My Craft World has really given that 3D conceptualization experience and also the things that can go into making it possible.
Like New Year right now, we make dragons appear, flying lanterns and all that kind of stuff.
So a lot of that is really about bringing perspective and And I think that's part of what we also as a youth program, wanting to empower our youth and let them own it.
Jackie, Brandon, and other youth, we've been working on this.
It's really about that.