Minecraft Tour of SF’s Chinatown Alleyways for Lunar New Year (2022)
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Let’s face it… most virtual tours on Zoom are kinda boooring. But since in–person tours are still on hold, the youth-led non-profit Chinatown Alleyway Tours decided to take online tours to the next level.
A group of ambitious students aged 14-20 spent nearly three months recreating San Francisco’s Chinatown block-by-block in the 3D video game Minecraft and then opened it up for monthly guided tours. (Don’t worry if you’ve never used Minecraft before, the guides screen share using Zoom). This month it’s a special Lunar New Year-themed virtual tour where you’ll not only learn the history of Chinatown and explore many of its hidden alleyways but you’ll also discover a virtual neighborhood filled with dragons, lanterns, parade floats, and other Chinese New Year surprises.
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Join us on an adventure through historic San Francisco’s Chinatown as we explore secrets behind five of its alleyways. The decorations will be #LunarNewYear themed!
Chinatown Alleyway Tours (CATs) is a non-profit youth-run, youth-led tour group that specializes in revealing stories and secrets hidden within Chinatown’s 43 alleyways.
Since we’ve transitioned to doing online tours, we’ve been trying to come with more creative and engaging ways to present our tours. We began with tours supplemented by a slideshow and virtual maps, but it often felt like a two-dimensional lecture that lacked the interest or participation we were used to. With inspiration and enthusiasm from our youth, we began creating a version of San Francisco’s Chinatown in Minecraft with the hopes to use the world to give tours more resembling our real life ones. After months of building, we constructed a world with immense attention to detail we are more than proud of.