Have you wanted to travel across your country or the world but never had the opportunity? Have you dreamed about venturing into the past and seeing an ancient site as it stood centuries ago? Do you want the ability to sit in a virtual café, have a discussion with a colleague, browse a webpage, and view a video clip all in the same virtual environment? Step into the Arts Metaverse, a three - dimensional virtual learning environment (3D VLE) and visit places that you thought were impossible or, simply, inconvenient.

Purpose & Goals

For years, students have learned about far away places or ancient cultures from books, images, and videos. They have had to imagine how it would feel to be in a particular city, country, or community. Having a class field trip to distant places has been a dream for many teachers and students for centuries. Arts Metaverse provides students with the authentic and meaningful learning experience of visiting 3 -D buildings, communities, and cultures without leaving their home or school. Digitally interacting with peers and thinking crticially as they wander and explore a virtual envrionment helps students better construct their own understanding of the architecture, culture, or society they are studying. They can walk on streets they never could before and go inside buildings that they could only dream of visiting. The ability to collaboratively explore a 3D virtual learning space increases students' interest and curiousity in a particular subject area, which leads to more engaging and effective academic discourse and experiences.

About the Platform

Arts Metaverse, an immersive 3-D virtual learning environment, provides an opportunity for scholars, teachers, students, and interested individuals to create and share their own virtual space with others. Developed by the University of British Columbia’s Arts Instructional Support & Information Technology unit, Arts Metaverse is based on the open-source Croquet platform.

The Croquet platform allows users to integrate high-end graphics with sound, simulations, collaborative technologies, and other tools, enhancing virtual interactions and communication with others. Within the Arts Metaverse, users will be able to create 3-D environments that could include buildings or spaces developed alongside their related video and audio clips, websites, and Microsoft PowerPoint presentations.

The dynamic peer-to-peer architecture of the Croquet platform, and hence Arts Metaverse, allows users to have full administrative control over their own virtual environments, and the ability to continuously update and modify their environment, showing any changes instantaneously to peers. Additionaly, the peer-to-peer structure allows users to share or shift their computational load across a network of peer computers at any time. Arts Metaverse runs identically on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. For more information please contact: arts_metaverse@mail.arts.ubc.ca

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