The VICE Guide to Right Now

Amid School Closures, Japanese Students Held Their Own Graduation Ceremony on 'Minecraft'

Complete with a stage, proper seats, and even decorative plants.
19 March 2020, 7:21am
japan minecraft graduation coronavirus
(L) For illustrative purposes only. Photo by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay. (R) Minecraft graduation. Photo from Twitter.

After a directive from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, all elementary schools, high schools, and special-needs schools in Japan were closed in February, as part of the country’s attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19.

A Japanese school year typically begins in April and ends in March, which means that it should be time for graduation ceremonies. However, continued school closures spell the cancellation of these events.

Without the symbolic ceremony to mark the milestone, this month may seem like an anti-climactic epilogue to the school year. Some students have found a way to make the best out of the situation, though. Stuck at home due to the coronavirus, they created their own graduation ceremony online.

A Twitter user shared about a virtual graduation ceremony that his son organised with his elementary school classmates on the video game Minecraft, SoraNews24 reported.

Judging from the pictures posted on Twitter, the graduation hall that they designed looked pretty legit, complete with a stage, proper seats, and even decorative plants.

Minecraft has garnered a cult following since its release in 2009 and now attracts a monthly average of 112 million players.

On Minecraft, players can explore and build their own worlds using the materials provided in the game. The creative freedom offered by Minecraft has seen players using the platform to do a bunch of crazy and amazing things, such as designing shooter games, revealing their darkest secrets, and even preserving an ancient Scandinavian language. In the Philippines, musicians built an exclusive club where people can actually socialise, party, and listen to music, all in the world of Minecraft.

For these kids, however, a graduation ceremony was enough. According to SoraNews24, the kids “spent all day online together playing games and laughing.”

The coronavirus outbreak may have disrupted social life for many, but people are now coming up with creative ways to deal with home isolation, such as hosting a virtual sports day and “cloud clubbing.”

Find Koh Ewe on Instagram.