Wish You Were Here
Far from the endless stacks of books sitting unread in Payson Library, the once-bustling courtyard of Mullin Town Square between classes, and the still sanctuary of Stauffer Chapel, five students yearning for the sights and sounds of the Malibu campus during a time of remote learning took matters into their own hands by recreating a virtual version of Pepperdine in Minecraft. In fact, four of the five students, part of Pepperdine’s esports team who created the computer-generated world, were transfer students or first-years who had begun their college experience during the pandemic and had never experienced the Malibu campus in person.
Over the course of several weeks, Cole Chuang, Julianna Wagner, Joseph Heinemann, Anastasia Condolon, and Grace Ramsey (’21)—the only student on the team who had spent an extended period of time on campus and served as the primary consultant to help design building interiors—brought Pepperdine to virtual life. They used the video game to get to know their new school, remind students studying abroad what awaited them back at home, give prospective students a different perspective in the absence of in-person tours, and create a virtual space to commemorate the power of a physical place—one that they looked forward to being a part of very soon.