The Coronavirus pandemic has changed everything in our lives, from our ability to congregate with friends and families, to the Thursday night bar nights, to youth sports, and schools all being shut down and cancelled for the time being. For kids of graduating age, whether they be high school seniors or college seniors, the pandemic has also had the unintended effect of cancelling all end-of-year, graduation pomp and circumstance.
No graduation ceremonies, no parties, no Senior pranks. It’s all entirely depressing for the kids of those ages. But at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, college students who just graduated actually managed to have a somewhat fun, and official, way of commemorating the occasion. How did they do it? They basically created Sims of themselves and “walked” across the stage virtually.
Proud moment for our family!
My nephew @BohemianMohit was awarded @iitbombay Silver Medal for academic excellence in MTech (specialization in Energy Systems Engg). It was presented in the 58th ‘virtual’ Convocation today by Dr Duncan Haldane @NobelPrize Laureate in Physics(2016). pic.twitter.com/b7Z9GRMQo2
— Arabinda K Padhee (@arvindpadhee) August 23, 2020
The “virtual reality” convocation ceremony, which celebrated 2,000 graduates, was unlike anything anyone has ever seen before. The university created avatars for each student, faculty member, and speaker, and after the avatars of the students got to walk across the stage and receive their diplomas, they even got to hang out virtually in their avatar form.
IIT Bombay holds its 58th convocation ceremony;
— All India Radio News (@airnewsalerts) August 23, 2020
The undertaking was fairly massive for the university, who recruited their professors and faculty members to help create the avatars. But it’s also really, really sweet — and for a whole year of young adults and teenagers across the country who won’t be able to have that classic photo of them receiving their diploma, it’s an opportunity that simply can’t be recreated.