Showing Brahma pride by digitalizing the school campus through Minecraft


Photo courtesy of JUSTIN CHEN

In his pixelated online world, Diamond Bar High School senior Justin Chen allocated countless hours recreating a 64-bit version of DBHS campus in the video game “Minecraft”. 

Starting in the game initially due to his brother’s influence, Chen launched his passion for the game at age seven. The senior said that by watching several Minecraft YouTube videos, he was inspired to create a miniature scale of DBHS. Chen built this model in creative mode, starting with a flat world. 

“I am the only builder working on it,” Chen said, “ I decided I need to do something for the school and make myself feel accomplished.” 

Chen began building his scale this summer in early June. Despite not having much time during the school year to play the game, he still finds time to dedicate to work on his model. 

“During the summer, [I spent] at least a couple hours a day, four to five hours on average working on buildings. On school weekends, I spend around six to eight hours in my world,” Chen said. 

Having a difficult time keeping up with the project, Chen nearly gave up. However, Chen pushed himself and eventually was motivated to make huge progress, hoping to turn it into a map—a world that players can download and explore for themselves. 

Building his project, Chen’s most challenging obstacle would be his schoolwork. Doing his best to balance out school and hustle on his Minecraft world, Chen gives it his best to find stability in both. 

“School work heavily impacted my school progress, however, summer was the best advantage and time,” Chen said. “[Another] struggle would be trying to make diagonal buildings, [and the] terrain was painful to make.” 

However, attending both school and working on his world isn’t the only challenge Chen faces. Creating the interior of classrooms and buildings is another struggle he encounters. 

“Trying to ask for pictures of a classroom is also quite a challenge due to the lack of time and the amount of classrooms around campus,” Chen said. 

Nonetheless, Chen’s favorite building process was the buildings, as he was able to scale it down quite accurately. Chen recently completed furnishing the interior of the buildings, completing his project later than he hoped. 

“I built all the buildings throughout the school, I have no other buildings left besides the interior and a bit of the parking lot,” Chen said. “I feel accomplished and this project really became a passion since Minecraft is a childhood game that I always played for hours. You can do whatever you want in the game.”

With his steadfast progress, Chen plans on releasing an early version of his design, then releasing an updated version with the interior when he is finished.