IDIA Lab is the Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts at Ball State University, a public coeducational research university in Muncie, Indiana. In 2011, IDIA Lab built a large-scale recreation of the 1915 Panama – Pacific Exposition in San Francisco, within the virtual world called Blue Mars. Unfortunately, Blue Mars never took off as a successful virtual world, and in 2017 IDIA Lab was granted rights to Blue Mars’ virtual world technology from Avatar Reality, the company behind Blue Mars. IDIA Lab then decided to move its stunning historical recreation of the San Francisco Panama – Pacific Exposition over to Sansar, where you can visit it here.
Expect to do a lot of walking (or teleporting)…. it’s a delightful summer day and the birds are chirping…. and the experience is HUGE! There are teleporters scattered around the site that promise to take you quickly to various areas, but I discovered that they did not work. I tried several times to use one and failed each time. Oh well.
However, there is still much to see here. The architecture is on a monumental scale, befitting the world’s fair celebration of the opening of the Panama Canal, but also San Francisco’s recovery from the devastating earthquake of 1906. I understand that some of the architecture you see here was later torn down, so it now only exists in its virtual state.
IDIA Lab: 1915 San Francisco World’s Fair is an example of how a virtual experience can be repurposed and republished as the technology of virtual worlds evolves. I originally enjoyed it tremendously when it was in Blue Mars, and I’m so glad it’s here in Sansar.
Bryn Oh is a Canadian artist who is already well-known for her artwork installations in Second Life. She is a master of the use of darkness and light. This picture is just a small part of her Sansar experience An Evening at the Ballet, set to the haunting string music of Luca D’Alberto.
This afternoon’s weekly Office Hours (at 4:00 p.m. PST/Sansar time) were held in a side room off the main room of the Voyage Live: Egypt experience. From the main artefacts room, you take the middle one of the three doors off to the side of the main room, and you land up in a very detailed recreation of an archaeological excavation on the banks of the Nile river, the Cenotaph at Gebel es Silsileh, dating from 1450 B.C. Jason Gholston (the avatar in the middle of the picture above, standing in front of the large grey sign and wearing the red and cream shirt) is Director Of Product for Sansar, and he spent much of our time together answering some of the more technical questions about the software project.
Here are some more pictures for you to enjoy. As you can see, we had quite a good turnout! Some very innovative uses of avatar attachments are already on display.
Lead Community Manager for Sansar, Jenn, stated that she would be announcing the winners of the Creator Challenge Contest (which ended July 24th) very soon, so watch for a blog post! I’m very excited to see who the winners are!
Linden Lab has gotten into the habit of holding weekly Office Hours on Fridays at 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. PST/Sansar time at various experiences in Sansar. This morning’s meeting was held at the beautifully done Voyage Live: Egypt experience. (You can see the Lead Community Manager for Sansar, Jenn, in the centre of the above picture, standing next to the unfolded map in the bright red kerchief hair-do, acting as our very capable emcee for the meeting and fielding questions.)
Weekly Office Hours are one of the best ways of obtaining and exchanging information about the Sansar product as it evolves. Everyone is welcome, so come on out and join us!
The bottom picture is courtesy of Mark Gibson (Snow), thanks Mark!