MINECRAFT, MODS, AND MATH

BEN SIEGEL (IM 2016) is at home in all of his worlds. In his summer job as a Counselor-in-Training at the SF Boys Chorus camp in Healdsburg, he supports the counselors with camp events (like the obstacle course during Camp Olympics) for campers ages 9-13. Ben plays hand bells during the year with the Bells Chorus, which also makes him the obvious choice to help out with the singing and bells chorus training at camp as well.

A voracious reader and a serious musician, Ben completed his reading assignments for Sophomore English before he and his alto saxophone left for Healdsburg. He LOVED "The Alchemist" (Paulo Coehlo) and also read "Homeland" (Cory Doctorow) and "Cryptonomicon" (Neal Stephenson). His summer academic responsibilities fulfilled, he’s focused on preparing for fall auditions for the SOTA WInd Ensemble and is practicing daily. Ben loves jazz and ‘70s funk, so it’s anyone’s guess what kind of piece he may be preparing for Matt Cmiel and Brad Hogarth. 

His non-musical passion is creating “mods” for Minecraft, a type of video game where a player can roam freely through a virtual world and can choose how or when to approach objectives. The creative and building aspects of Minecraft allow players to build constructions in a 3D procedurally generated world. Modifications of the Minecraft code called "mods" add a variety of gameplay changes. Other activities in the game include exploration, gathering resources, crafting, and combat. 

According to his father, Gary Siegel “I haven't got a clue what a mod is, but I think it means he designs specific scenarios, equipment and tools to use inside the Minecraft world.” 

At SOTA, Ben has found his perfect world, a place where his virtual and actual realities can happily co-exist. 

Sophomore Ben is also a math whiz and will be taking pre-calculus with the junior class in the fall.