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Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

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Alum-owned Minecraft server looking for a fresh start

Alum-owned+Minecraft+server+looking+for+a+fresh+start

Have you heard of Knoxcraft? If you are an underclassman, the answer is probably no. The popularity of this Knox-based Minecraft server has dwindled over the years. The current owner, alum Maggie Garrett (‘22), is worried that the cost of running the server is not justified by the current user base. 

“I would love someone else to take it on at this point. If anyone is interested in that, please let me know,” Garrett said in a voice call through Discord. 

A build on the server. Image courtesy of user sundragonra.

Garrett is not the original owner of Knoxcraft. The server has a surprisingly rich history. Noam Florsheim started the server in 2018. They discussed their experience via Discord messages:

“I started a server with just my [Living-Learning Community] suite, and decided to open it up to the school at large to make more friends. If I was gonna be paying for server hosting, might as well get the most players out of it. I was in printmaking and graphic design classes and had a lot of fun postering for it. It was wild how many people showed up when I did,” Florsheim said.

It was at this time that Garrett joined the server. By the end of freshman year, they ended up taking ownership of the server address.

“By spring, Minecraft sort of took over my life,” Florsheim said. “Academia was a struggle, a sort of chicken-egg situation. I ended up dropping out at the end of freshman year, but love that Knoxcraft lives on.”

While Florsheim moved on, running the server became a great leadership opportunity for Garrett. They made decisions regarding server management, plug-ins and moderation. They built upon the community started by Florsheim and created a warm and welcoming environment for other players. 

“We’ve had some very minor issues with spam, but people are very compliant working with me to get rid of the problems, [we] solve everything pretty quickly,” Garrett said.

Junior Abigail King is a casual player on the server. She met with me in the Gizmo to discuss her experiences. 

“It’s a very collective server. One of the first things we did [after the last server reset] was we found a village right by spawn, and everything that everyone built was very much for the community,” King said. 

A town on the current server. Image courtesy of user sundragonra.

Another server player is alum Iris Berto (‘22). They are a close friend of Garrett, and have been involved with the server since 2020. They are representative of a number of alumni who have stayed engaged with the server since their graduations.

“I got onto Knoxcraft during quaran-term, when we were all at home,” Berto said. “I’m not really a gamer. But hey, ‘all my friends are there and they’re having adventures and they’re hanging out and we’re all quarantined’, so it’s a good way to do stuff with your friends.” 

Even the original creator of the server occasionally returns to his old stomping grounds. “’l’ll pop on every couple months or so to see what people have made,” Florsheim said.

Despite the current players, and remaining alumni, the average usage on the server is pretty low. According to Garrett, the peak was 30 players at the birthday party they threw on the server. Those who are involved in the server, however, have plenty of fun with each other. 

Garrett recounted the last moments of the server before it was reset to a new seed:

“Five minutes before the reset, I gave everyone god mode. You could see everyone in the server immediately levitating into the air, which was extremely beautiful. And then, it was like pure Hellfire raining down. Complete destruction of all the structures, TNT everywhere. Ridiculous lag.”

Final moments before a server reset. Image courtesy of Maggie Garrett.

Having built up such a wonderful community, Garrett and the other players only hope that the server can continue to survive, and perhaps have a resurgence  of interest. Garrett hopes to either pass off management of the server to someone else, or at least curate a large enough player-base to make the cost worth it. They currently pay approximately $100 every six months to keep it running. 

They have other ideas for the future of the server, too:

“I also know that within the CS department, some professors are aware of the server’s existence. I think it’d be really cool to have it be a part of studies in some way, like an opportunity for exploring how online gameplay works. I would love to see it integrated with academics more at Knox.”

The server is completely open to the public at knoxcraft.serverminer.com.

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