Monday, December 18, 2006

Alzheimer's Exhibit in Second Life

I just got back from visiting the new exhibit in Second Life put up by the Alzheimer's organization in Ontario. Like Camp Darfur, there is a lot going on here - this is a wonderful example of how you can build a "cross-border" (those borders being the real and the virtual) exhibit.

Alzheimer's Exhibit in Second Life - Entrance

The entrance is what you'd normally see in the real world - a physical building with a doorway. It's interesting to me that most everything we've seen so far in SL is a direct copy of the real world. The oddest of those is classrooms/seminar areas that have seats... why would my avatar need to sit? In any case, once you go into the exhibit, you'll learn about the organization and read some very sad stories of those affected by the disease.

Alzheimer's Exhibit in Second Life - Intro

The builder's did a good job in building displays that are engaging by having wonderful photos (all of them have attached notecards for more information).

Alzheimer's Exhibit in Second Life - Game

I think however, what I loved the most was "The Memory Board" game. There's nothing special about the game itself - what I loved was that it existed as part of this exhibit. It would have been too easy to throw up some photos and info and call it a day... but they went that extra step to build interactivity in. It's a huge bonus that the game ties so nicely into the message/mission. I'm only mad that I didn't get the high score!

Given all the recent yay/nay sayers floating around (Clay Shirkey's piece started a firestorm of blog posts and comments here, here, here and here) I think that this exhibit gives us a very small glimpse into the vast potential of virtual worlds.

For the record, I'm a huge proponent and believer in virtual worlds - but am just as curious to see if Linden Labs can survive being a pioneer as there seems to be some new players on the scene.

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