It's tough holding agency parties in the age of COVID-19—we'd hazard a guess that very few have happened this year anywhere in the world, thanks to social-distancing requirements and work-from-home orders.
But Toronto agency John St. celebrated its 20th anniversary last month and wanted to mark the occasion in a special way—it built an entire replica of its office in Minecraft and held a virtual party there.
The digital version was made by Gamefruitpulp, a Toronto gamer and YouTuber who spent several years creating the ambitious "Building Toronto Project," a 1:1 recreation of the city within Minecraft that includes instantly recognizable remakes of well-known buildings such as the Fairmont Royal York Hotel and the Flatiron Building.
Agency leaders kept the Minecraft version of John St. under wraps until July 23 (the agency’s official opening date), when it surprised employees during a Friday breakfast all-staff meeting. All were then given the day to explore the space and explore various quests in teams. As seen in the video here, these included putting out fires in the production department, picking up strategy department buzzwords, and finding hidden Easter eggs based on inside jokes and moments only someone who worked at the agency would know.
The culmination of the day brought the agency together to watch a Twitch live-casted walkthrough of the space. The building will remain in Gamefruitpulp’s Toronto cityscape, with the exterior exploration remaining open to anyone with a Minecraft Java account for several months.
“Our location has been very important to us—we’re named John St. after all,” said CEO Stephanie Hurst. “The experiences we’ve shared here—from sneaking chocolates from the reception desk to the random pigeons who like to visit the first floor—have helped form who we are over the past 20 years.”