Japanese elementary schoolchildren under lockdown host their own graduation ceremony - on Minecraft
Coronavirus closed Iytori Kashiwara's school, but that didn't stop the 10-year-old from graduating on Minecraft.
Last February, the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, launched a directive in February which ordered the nation's schools to close in response to the coronavirus. Lockdown soon followed, and since Japanese school years typically begins in April and ends in March. This means, life under quarantine deprives thousands of school children of celebrating an essential milestone: their graduation ceremonies. Yet instead of taking this setback on the chin, one group of elementary school held their graduation ceremony on Minecraft - without adult intervention or guidance.
According to SoraNews24, Twitter user@backyennew sent a series of tweets showing the virtual graduation that his 10-year-old son, Iytori Kashiwara, organised.
The graduation, captured in the video below, took place in a virtual auditorium with a stage, diplomas and speeches.
Kashiwara's father, who watched the event take place, decided to showcase a series of photos and videos to "open up the way games are perceived" and deliver "bright news that shines in a gloomy, social situation."
“[Dad]: ‘What are you doing?’ [Son]: ‘We all decided to have a graduation ceremony together!’ Oh? Awesome. The elementary students gathered to start graduation themselves.” (Credit: Backyennew)
Kashiwara's father said: "They spent all day online together, playing games and laughing.
"I am glad they all had fun."
The graduation became a viral sensation overnight, capturing the attention and acclaim of local Japanese press.
The ceremony was promptly posted on Youtube, where Japanese netizens made comments about the situation. Youtube user, MidnightFire, had this to say:
"Looks like the kids are doing okay throughout all this. Parents may be doing 'telework' right now, but the kids are carrying on as usual with their studies, and doing 'telegraduations'.
"It just shows their resilence. They're keeping their spirits up and not letting the situation get them down - it is the best thing to do, and this will probably be an even better memory than a regular graduation for them. "
Miakun, who uploaded the footage to their YouTube channel, said: "On the day of the graduation ceremony event, smiles and laughter overflowed, and each person deepened their bonds, I am delighted to have made my best memories.
"Once again, graduates, congratulations on your graduation!"
Minecraft is a universally-acclaimed sandbox videogame created by Mojang, where players are encouraged to 'create their own world'.
The platform was released in 2009, and to this day attracts a monthly average of 112 million players.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, numerous groups, societies and "worlds" have been created to help deal with home isolation, such as hosting virtual sports days and learning ancient languages.
As the situation continues in Japan, with no indication of a lockdown on the horizon, the quarantine will no doubt prevent graduation ceremonies for countless students.
Yet as players continue to innovate and adapt to the situation, perhaps living in isolation may not be such a lonely experience.
You can watch the graduation ceremony below: