The UK’s National Physical Laboratory has been developing a nanoscience and nanotechnology information and exhibits presence in Second Life in the SciLands area. One of their islands, Nanotechnology Island, is adjacent to Exploratorium Island. They’re good neighbors —no loud arguments about molecular structures and atomic forces amongst scientists! SL resident Troy McLuhan has been helping them develop exhibits and spaces and recently made these videos which show interesting juxtaposed views of real and virtual nanotechnology research spaces.
Archive for March, 2008
I have started to publish materials I am developing for the workshop on my website.Here is the start which gives links to videos which I have selected.I’ll add material on a regular basis.Museums in Virtual Worlds
NASA has had a long time interest in the application of virtual worlds technologies for space exploration research and mission planning. Over the past ten years, there have been many wonderful simulations and 3D virtual worlds which have been created by NASA and NASA partners and made publicly accessible via the Internet.
Recently, the NASA Learning Technologies Project office submitted an RFI for the creation of a Massively Multiplayer Online Learning Game (MMOG). This has stimulated a lot of interest in the commercial and education worlds. It will be interesting to watch this MMOG exploration and development process and see what kind of game engine and content platform NASA will get behind. However it works out, it may prove that a viable and scalable virtual world / game engine platform will emerge –one that the museums and educators can benefit from.
In late January 2008, a group of scientists at NASA Ames Research Center, along with 3D simulation industry visionaries, organized a weekend workshop called Virtual Worlds and Immersive Environments. Paul Doherty and I participated and I was invited to give a presentation about the Exploratorium’s recent work in Second Life. It was a really interesting workshop. There were great presentations by NASA, innovative technology companies, game content developers, educators, and researchers. The major themes of the workshop and discussions were “We all get to go,” “Remote Exploration,” and “Become the data.” We saw several new 3D game engines, got a good update on the state of open source platforms and applications, and saw Will Wright demo the latest developments for Spore, the much anticipated MMOG about the evolution of species.
One of the take-away points of the event was for the virtual worlds community to develop greater awareness of and partnerships with NASA CoLAB, a NASA program which supports online and offline communities collaborating with NASA. NASA CoLAB has a great presence in Second Life.
Presentations from the workshop are in the process of being archived on the NASA Virtual Worlds Workshop Wiki site that NASA Ames has developed.
The New Media Consortium, NMC, had a video made about its campus in Second Life (such a video is called a Machinima). This video provides a good introduction to the look and feel of a campus in a virtual world. Have a look at it to prepare for the Virtual Worlds Workshop.Paul Doherty