Cal supporter vandalizes Stanford’s campus in Minecraft

Nov. 20, 2021, 11:08 a.m.

An unknown individual vandalized a virtual version of Stanford’s campus on the “Stanford in Minecraft” multiplayer server just days before the annual Big Game. The culprit has not been identified as of Friday evening, reported Michael Byun ’23, one of the owners of the server.

The vandal replaced grass with blue and gold letters reading “Go Bears” and changed the grass making up the inside of the Stanford Oval to blue and gold blocks.

Blue and gold blocks replacing grass inside the Stanford Oval. (Screenshot courtesy of Michael Byun, Stanford in Minecraft)

The vandalism, known as “griefing” in the video game world, marks only the latest event in a long history of back-and-forth pranks between Cal and Stanford students. 

From changing Highway 280 and 101 signs to read “Stanfurd” to spilling water on Stanford marching band and members at Ming’s restaurant in Palo Alto, Cal has relentlessly attempted to sabotage Stanford ahead of the Big Game. Stanford students are, however, no stranger to pulling pranks themselves, as evidenced by dumping Kool-Aid in Cal’s fountains or painting one of the C’s in a Cal stadium red.

The Daily first identified the griefing Thursday afternoon, though it’s unclear when the act occurred. “They did a non-trivial amount of building,” said Byun, who added that he was surprised he did not notice the change sooner. “I was surprised they were able to do it so quickly.”

The letter “C” rendered on banners in Minecraft and placed outside Memorial Court, along Jane Stanford Way. (Screenshot courtesy of Michael Byun, Stanford in Minecraft)

Byun identified an Instagram user ‘milesgoodmxn’ as someone who may have had more information on the perpetrator. The user commented “post the oval tho” on a Stanford in Minecraft post advertising new “Beat Cal” banner additions the team had made to the server.

The Daily reached out to see if milesgoodmxn had any information about the vandalism, but they didn’t respond to the request for comment.

Asked what his reaction was when he found out, Byun said it was “one of amusement” and called the actions a “good, fun grief.”

Byun later said he believes the damage will be easily repairable. “They took care not to make changes that would be time-consuming to reverse,” he wrote. Byun added that he and the others on the server have no immediate plans to take revenge.

Aerial view of Jane Stanford Way, looking towards Memorial Court, with Cal’s vandalism in plain sight. (Screenshot courtesy of Michael Byun, Stanford in Minecraft)

Byun also invited the rest of the Stanford community to join the project and help build out more parts of campus.

“There’s a lot of campus that still isn’t built on the server,” Byun said. “If there’s a place that people want to see on there, they should come help build it.”

Vardhan Agrawal '25 is a writer for the Academics desk. Contact the News section at news 'at' stanforddaily.com.Sam Catania ’24 is the Volume 262 Editor in Chief of The Daily. Previously, he was Chief Technology Officer, the producer of the weekly video roundup, a news beat reporter covering COVID-19 on Stanford's campus and the assessment team leader of The Daily's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) team. Sam hails from Philadelphia and is studying Symbolic Systems. You can follow him on Twitter @sbcatania. Contact him at scatania 'at' stanforddaily.com

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