Around Town | June 12, 2020 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - June 12, 2020

Around Town

OHLONE'S VIRTUAL DOUBLE ... Most parents tend to limit how much time their children spend playing video games, but for Kenneth and Rebecca Lui, the opposite couldn't be more true. Their 11-year-old son, Conrad, merged his love for Minecraft and knowledge of Ohlone Elementary School into "MineOhlone2020," a virtual adaptation of the campus where he has reported to class for the past six years until students were ordered to stay at home in March. He was inspired by "Blockeley," a project by students at the University of California at Berkeley who reconstructed their campus on Minecraft. Conrad teamed up with classmates Noah Cheng, Charlotte Liu, Zeke Phillips and Kai Bunger-Tang to recreate their school by utilizing building materials, known in the game as blocks, over the course of three weeks. They brought every campus detail to life based on pictures, Google Maps, Google Earth and their recollections. The group also consulted over Zoom with their teacher, Yineng Lu, who offered advice as they tackled the project, which was initially hosted on the family's private server, then transferred to a public server to allow the rest of Lui's class to view the project at their end-of-the-year party online. While "MineOhlone" is as close the students can get to "being" on campus while staying apart, nothing can replace spending time together in person. "I miss being able to play catch with my friends, being able to learn with them," Conrad said. Minecraft users interested in viewing the project, which will be online through the summer, can do so through the Minecraft Java edition program with the address To view a video of the project, visit

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