Race in the (ice) Grand Prix and see virtual Long Beach in our Minecraft finale!

The time has come: As the weirdest summer we’ve all ever collectively experienced comes to an end, so does our Virtual Office Hours, where our reporters live-streamed playing video games and our readers built Downtown Long Beach together in Minecraft.

We laughed, we cried (when I broke stuff on accident) and we built something cool when we had to be apart because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A view of Ocean Boulevard at night.

The Post launched a Minecraft server because we wanted to continue a virtual version of our Office Hours, where we met with readers face-to-face to answer questions and chat. We had to figure out a way to make it more fun than yet another Zoom meeting and still keep it productive.

Since late May, nearly 400 people have signed up to join the server and build. With that sign up came a weekly newsletter where you got a summary of the latest news from the week as we highlighted the newest builds

We got to see the Convention Center and historic buildings come to life, our favorite burger and taco joints get built, crazy creations like rollercoasters and waterslides inside buildings, beautiful murals and (FINALLY) see the Queen Mary finished.

Now we’re going to go out with a bang! Minecrafter RobThePiMaster built a Grand Prix race track in our server out of ice and we’re going to race boats on it!

Part of the Grand Prix racetrack made out of ice. Grab a wooden boat and let’s race!

We’re also going to see some old friends we had on the show together (we’re even breaking out special sound effects). So join us Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. for our series finale show!

As for our server, don’t fret, it’ll still be up for the foreseeable future! You can even sign up and start building:

After months of seeing her with only one smokestack, we finally have a finished Queen Mary! (Thanks RobThePiMaster!)

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Valerie Osier is the Social Media & Newsletter Manager for the Long Beach Post. She started at the Post in 2018 as a breaking news reporter. She’s a Riverside native who found her love for journalism while at community college. She graduated from the Cal State Long Beach journalism program in 2017 and covered the Palos Verdes Peninsula for the Daily Breeze prior to coming to the Post. She lives in Long Beach with her husband and two cats.