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UClub2.0 to explore the world of Minecraft

By MARCENE ROBINSON

Published February 17, 2017

“We chose to feature Minecraft at this event because it offers faculty and staff the opportunity to learn more about a gaming platform so many kids are attracted to, and it demonstrates UB’s commitment to providing educational opportunities to faculty and staff children.”
Teresa Miller, vice provost for equity and inclusion

The blocky world of Minecraft, a popular game that tasks players with building just about anything you can imagine — from farms to waterfalls to worlds — one block at a time, will take center stage at UB’s upcoming UClub2.0.

The free event, an extension of the University Club networking group, will welcome faculty and staff and their families to the Student Union on March 4 to have fun, meet new friends and become immersed in the world’s best-selling video game.

It will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Union. Participants are encouraged to arrive promptly at 9 a.m. for check-in and setup. Refreshments, Minecraft-themed shirts and door prizes will be available.

The event will feature workshops to help novices through to advanced gamers improve their skills and enhance their enjoyment of this sandbox adventure game. There will be areas for casual play and stations for kids to try their hand at building a futuristic, inclusive classroom. While the children are absorbed in Minecraft coaching, instruction and play led by UB computer science students, faculty and staff are free to mix and meet colleagues outside of their department or unit. And they are, of course, welcome to join in on the gaming, too.

Faculty and staff may bring family members of all ages to the event, although gamers should be at least 6 years old. Players are asked to bring their own laptop with Minecraft pre-installed; however, computers with the game installed will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Participation is limited to the first 100 registrants. The deadline to sign up is Feb. 22. Click here to register.

UClub2.0 is hosted by the Office of the Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion, the Faculty Senate, Professional Staff Senate and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

“We chose to feature Minecraft at this event because it offers faculty and staff the opportunity to learn more about a gaming platform so many kids are attracted to, and it demonstrates UB’s commitment to providing educational opportunities to faculty and staff children,” says Teresa A. Miller, professor of law and vice provost for equity and inclusion.

Miller adds that introducing young girls to the world of computer science and coding is especially critical.

“We know that girls tend not to see themselves as scientists and engineers to the same degree that boys do,” she says.

“UB is committed to making the field of engineering and computer science accessible to everyone, including girls. We see this day as an opportunity to cultivate an interest in Minecraft that may become an interest in coding and, hopefully, continues through college and their careers.”

Specific activities for the day include:

  • Redstone workshop: A workshop to guide advanced Minecraft players through the Redstone module, which allows players to introduce electricity into the worlds that they create.
  • Survival and creative modes: Players are free to explore the traditional modes of the game with help if needed. Creative mode allows players to focus on building structures with unlimited resources, while survival mode adds challenges that must be overcome in order to survive in the Minecraft world, among them hunger, the elements, angry mobs, etc.
  • Scavenger hunt: Another mode of Minecraft that involves exploring the playable environment in search of specific objects.
  • Board games: Children who aren’t Minecraft fans, but still want to join in on the fun can play a variety of board games.