Week 2–Activity–Virtual:World

Jimena Gutierrez
5 min readSep 6, 2020


Me and my friend beginning a new house project based off of the architecture of my favorite museum!

Looking back at my University, I got to enjoy coffee while studying my archaeology and political science notes and textbooks within their cafes and their underground study room. They were the best places as I would focus more. Back there, of course, it was all in one campus! Classes are nearby, but I can always ask someone to join me at these study rooms and on campus restaurants afterwards! I could join the Recreation and Wellness Center (gym) with them. I remember meeting with Academic Advisors face-to-face figuring out options together about the right major, hence, the next course of action. I was a Classics major wanting to get into Nutrition and Dietetics or Biology, so taking the necessary classes was a huge leap, concluding to taking educational leave for one semester. I took courses at a closer community college to help me fulfill my chemistry requirements easily. I loved studying in their cafeteria and the restaurants outside of their campus. I had a chance at practicing in a lab!

However, as COVID-19 began reaching Los Angeles, everything quickly switched to online. People needed time to adjust besides my professors, but it felt like it happened overnight. I had a hard time focusing at home and getting things done because everything was distracting. I had no Starbucks or Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf to go to. The Long Beach campus isn’t an option for refuge anymore. Nevertheless, I adapted and I feel myself to have my head at the game at the moment. I also wonder how many opportunities about clubs and programs I miss because their stands aren’t there to catch my eye anymore. I even lost the privilege to experience labs. The biggest benefit, however, is the fact that I save time on commute, thus, the convenience of class and services. Still, I miss the opportunity of making friends and the exercise it comes with it as I move around more. Even in place for a video chat, we try being as we were before: Some of us buying PDF textbooks when possible (at least me), professors requiring people to be present in zoom meetings, and one-to-one meetings for essential services!

The first house that me and my friend built! I got carried away and built multiple floors on this wintery headquarters of ours. I’m still a relative beginner designer, so please go easy on me!

With more time on the screen trying to connect, the sense of place is redefined. We join class to interact in many ways as possible besides talking such as polls and lab demonstrations by using objects we have at home! We look at each other’s posts on social media and see what we’re up to. While staying at home to flatten the curve, we still want to do things together. Virtual worlds are an aid for some of us. Unlike the restraints of real life, I can build, design, and explore with others conveniently. Whether these people are long distance friends or not, virtual worlds such as Minecraft has gotten all of us to be creative and adventurous together–doing something as we move freely. We easily bond over things we like, such as our favorite material to use (Cobblestone, Sandstone, Wood, etc.), what to engineer next, or simply to search for villages and biomes! At the end of the day, I can “bake” my bud or buds a cake in the game to give thanks for helping and doing this with me! I can express my imagination in a way that literal places and reality makes difficult or nearly impossible. There’s no conflict of commute stopping anyone, despite the joys of seeing face to face. Though social media (My main is Instagram) and Minecraft gives a chance to chat, my friends’ characters on my screen are more effective in telling me that they’re with me at the present moment.

We had some unexpected guests! How rare it is to see a pillager and a creeper riding together. We took them down. They should have thought twice before giving the stink eye!

These new routines truly contribute to my sense of place. In the way I see it, different applications are the new locations. Want to call later? Sure thing! Want to start a zoom meeting? Nah. There’s nothing much to do there! Want to achieve a certain class on Adventure Quest Worlds (A childhood MMORPG of mine.)? Heck yeah! At a moderate level, I can say that there’s a Place Experience there. It’s pretty much similar to asking someone to go to Starbucks with me, but I can reach longer distance friends virtually.

Selecting a style for the walls! Just sampling!

Despite both social media and virtual words having an obvious feature of communication, Instagram–nor texting–could be qualified as a MMORPG. Yes, there are wide networks in between these types of platforms, but Snapchat and Instagram is more of a “sit back and see how everyone is doing while also showing your real life” type of thing. There isn’t much entertaining challenge welcome, let alone having a place to play games (That’s asking too much of Instagram and Snapchat!), though they are essential and amazing in keeping touch amid this pandemic!

A friend joined us during the progress! ❤

At first glance, real life can be considered a MMORPG. There are no restraint’s to how many people can join an activity. Sports exist! A day to cook together as a group sounds amazing! Still, real life can’t be fully MMORPG as the possibilities to do things are limited. We can’t meet people from afar. We can’t express our inner desires for becoming a paladin or a battle mage as we defeat enemies and bosses like Adventure Quest Worlds can. We can’t commonly downright express our creativities in building or engineering exceptional structures nor exploring rarities on our own like Minecraft does. It can be said that real life can be around half way of being a MMORPG.