When their school’s senior prom was canceled because of a pandemic, a pair of brothers from Trabuco Hills High School in Mission Viejo had a workaround.
They had already built their own school — virtually.
A few months back, as districts were shifting to distance learning, senior Jesse Van Norman and his sophomore brother Ryley enlisted friends to recreate the entire Trabuco Hills campus using the popular game Minecraft, which allows users to build digital worlds.
They didn’t know exactly where it would all lead, but now that it’s finished, they’ve invited the entire student body — “even the freshmen” — to attend a virtual prom on Saturday, May 30 using Minecraft Java Edition.
So far, more than 600 have signed up, and those who don’t have that version of Minecraft are encouraged to participate by calling friends.
Jesse said he and his friends weren’t sure if they could handle that many people, but a company called BisectHosting offered up a dedicated server for the occasion.
“We cannot believe how much support we have gotten for this project, and we are so grateful and could not have done it without everyone’s help,” he told the OCDE Newsroom. “In the end, we built every single room in our school, all to scale. We are super excited to bring everyone together in the game, and make senior year a memorable one.”
It sounds like there will be some fun easter eggs to find on the campus thanks to the Van Norman brothers and contributors Alex Nguyen, David Pitterle, Maxx Handal, Taichi Hayashi, Chris Balsells, Angel Dobles and Catherine Lee.
No word yet on who’s springing for virtual limos.
Take a look at their super cool video invite above.