Students have joined forces with Hampshire Cultural Trust and The Forest Arts Centre to help create a unique and immersive virtual experience of New Milton using Minecraft.
The New Milton in Minecraft: Block to Block project started on Tuesday (17th April) with students eager to discover more about the past and to find creative ways of making history even more exciting.
What is the Minecraft project and what will happen?
The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and is run in partnership with Hampshire Cultural Trust and Forest Arts Centre. The aim of the project is to help young people find fun ways to share the recent history of New Milton and create a new online museum using Minecraft.
Working with heritage partners at Chilcomb House (HCT) and Red House Museum, they will research and reflect on the history of New Milton by engaging with their social history collections, as well as work with a local historian to uncover the personal stories and memories from the town itself.
If you have any memories of New Milton that you would like to share with the Forest Arts Centre, you can add them to their Facebook page.
Students will take part in a research trip to help them begin to shape their ideas, work with museum professionals, artists and filmmakers and develop a range of new skills in filmmaking, research and interview techniques, exhibition design and event management.
Inspired by the London Museum, The Great Fire of 1666 in Minecraft project, the final outcome will be an online collection to include oral histories in the form of film, photography and music. This will be accessible to the local community and can be added to over time.
The final celebration event on Saturday 14 July will showcase elements of the collection through an exhibition, film screening and performances by the students and will be programmed and promoted by them.
Headteacher, Nigel Pressnell said, “This is an amazing opportunity for our students and is a very exciting project for them to be part of.”
“Not only are they learning so much about their home town but they are also finding out more about computer techniques.”
“We can’t wait to see New Milton’s history brought back to life.”
The students’ innovative work has so impressed bosses at software giant Microsoft that the teenagers have been invited to share their plans and learn more about Minecraft at its Reading HQ.
Jackie Goddard, community programme co-ordinator for Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: “Forest Arts is really proud to be part of this innovative project. By using Minecraft as the platform for this contemporary museum, the young people of New Milton are engaging with history and the arts in an exciting and creative way.”
What is Minecraft?
Minecraft is often described as a ‘sandbox game’. This means that it’s a virtual land where users can create their own worlds and experiences, using building blocks and resources discovered on the site and their own creativity. The game is available on multiple platforms and is increasing in popularity.