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  • Welcome to the University of Georgia 2020 virtual graduation ceremony.

  • Turn you tassel again.

  • I know my kids one day will be like...

  • "Mom, you graduated during the pandemic?"

  • "What did you do?"

  • And so I just think that's going to be something that you're not going to forget.

  • [Japanese] We confer the master in business administration degree.

  • As schools around the world are trying to figure out what to do about graduation during the coronavirus pandemic, some have moved ahead with robots and avatars.

  • Here's how they seized the opportunity and got creative.

  • Ivan Campbell is a junior at the University of Georgia.

  • I know that if my graduation were to suddenly not exist anymore that I would be really really hurt by that.

  • Junior Ivan Campbell got creative.

  • So he came up with the idea of holding a graduation ceremony in the video game Minecraft.

  • It's where players can build 3D worlds with characters and experiences.

  • I think that to sort of physically be in a space with other people, even if it's not really physically.....

  • I think that that brings a lot to the experience.

  • We have this really really big stadium called Sanford Stadium.

  • It's huge.

  • You know, it can hold 50,000 people or so.

  • It's where we have our graduations.

  • He knew he couldn't build the entire stadium alone, and so Campbell teamed up with other students.

  • We referenced a lot of our school schematics that they had laid out, and we also used Googlemaps, Google Streetview to get an idea of what the spacial dimensions need to look like within the game.

  • Campbell says there were lots of late nights with the team over the three weeks it took to build the stadium virtually.

  • And I've also become a little bit closer with a lot of the other people.

  • It sort of brings us together as a community.

  • Good job, Ivan.

  • Though the school is holding the official ceremony in October, the administration gave Campbell the blessing to move ahead.

  • So on the big day more than a dozen students got ready at home and showed up on the virtual campus.

  • Hey, that's me!

  • Astrophysics!

  • Girl go!

  • Ah!

  • Hello!

  • Let's give a jump.

  • Ha!

  • Oh, she gave me a jump.

  • You are part of history.

  • This is a year no one will ever forget.

  • Let's go!♪

  • Woo, you got to see the--

  • Making you run boy!

  • Oh, that's so good.

  • So it really blew all my expectations out of the water.

  • Class of 2020 is going to be very memorable.

  • I do not think we are going to be forgotten.

  • (Japanese) Congratulations.

  • Some universities have not wanted to postpone or cancel ceremonies altogether.

  • So this school came up with the idea of using robots.

  • Our BBT University is 100% online...

  • Shugo Yanaka is a professor at the Business Breakthrough University in Tokyo.

  • Our university have the graduation ceremony once a year.

  • It's in person.

  • But this time the coronavirus situation, students couldn't come together.

  • This truly online graduation ceremony took place with the professor actually present at the venue.

  • Just watching video is kind of boring, but the avatars a physical presence and making it seems like human were actually there.

  • About a 100 graduates attended the virtual ceremony via video conference.

  • Four of them were chosen to represent the class and have their faces screened onto the robot's heads.

  • I want to thank my teachers for guiding us.

  • I never thought I could have graduated this way.

  • Yanaka said he's gotten phone calls from other schools about tips for holding a graduation with robots.

  • We are facing with difficult situation.

  • But I think it's a good opportunity for us to discover the possibilities around us.

  • Campbell has noticed other students holding their own graduation ceremonies in Minecraft.

  • So many people in the comments supported us.

  • It's really really nice to have people getting together in a time when people are apart.

  • To Georgia

  • It's kind of a joke right?

  • We're graduating...

  • Yay '20.

  • That's right, baby!

Welcome to the University of Georgia 2020 virtual graduation ceremony.

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Robots and Minecraft: How the Class of 2020 Is Graduating | WSJ

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    Estelle posted on 2020/06/10
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