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Queen’s in Minecraft: students collaborate online to create Oxford cityscape

21 April 2020

Graduate student Tristan Johnston-Wood (DPhil in Chemistry, 2019) tells us about a Minecraft project which is building a virtual version of some of Oxford’s most famous landmarks, including our College.

‘During the lockdown, a few of us thought it would be a great idea to start a community of Minecraft builders to work on a project hoping to recreate a large part of central Oxford. Since this has started we have gained a number of players who have helped us build Queen’s, Oriel, Brasenose, Lady Margaret Hall and All Souls as well as University buildings such as the University Church, Radcliffe Camera, Bodleian, Sheldonian and Clarendon buildings. Initially, building took quite some time but with the help of a group of us and more experience, we are now able to build a college in about three days. To aid us in building, we use a combination of Google Maps 3D view and street view, as well as people’s own knowledge of Oxford.

‘There are currently about six of us building on the server and a few others building on their own local maps, where we will add in their buildings once they are complete. We have students helping from Queen’s, Oriel, Brasenose and Lady Margaret Hall as well as others from Warwick. Our next aim is to build Hertford College which will complete Radcliffe Square, and then expand out the roads to University Parks and the High Street.

‘While it can be quite challenging building such an expanse, it’s also thoroughly enjoyable learning about every wall, window and walkway in central Oxford; I’ve definitely learnt about parts I never knew existed before. I think this is a great way to keep people in touch and focus on a fun but rewarding project through the lockdown. We’re also keen for more people to help build parts of Oxford, or just to have a look around. If people want to have a look at our progress they can visit our Facebook page, The Oxford Minecraft Project, and if Minecraft players are interesting in building their college or other parts of Oxford they can get in touch with me ( We’re really excited about where this project will go!’

Watch the video below for a fly-through tour around the Minecraft version of Queen's