Second Life: American Civil Rights Museum

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How do you recreate a recreation of a story of an event? That was the question our class wrestled with as we began the recreation of the International Civil Rights Center & Museum located in Greensboro, North Carolina. The museum opened on February 1, 2010 and we initially thought to recreate the actual museum and some of its key exhibits in Second Life.

We wrestled with the notion that the museum itself is a recreation of stories of civil rights events. How could we go beyond recreating the recreation and offer a different experience not only of this tumultuous time in our country’s history, but to begin to play with experiences. ..

How/could we recreate the experience of discrimination in the virtual world of Second Life?

Our project toyed with issues of identity, memory, history and historical recreation/preservation. Our goal for the project entailed extending the experience of a typical physical museum and provide an experience online that some visitors may not be able to experience in real life.

Thus, the American Civil Rights Museum was born on Elon University Island in Second Life. It borrows from its physical counterpart in Greensboro and mimics some of the exhibit spaces to recreate snippets of the museum experience. However, we’ve taken liberties with the concepts of museum and recreation, offering new spaces and new ways to engage around civil rights history and storytelling.

The project is in progress through the Spring 2010 and is being constructed by Elon University iMedia graduate students Maria Rojas and Melissa Spencer under the guidance of professors Dr. Michelle Ferrier and Dr. Tony Crider in the COM 563 Virtual Environments class.

Maria Rojas (aka Havana Rae)

Melissa Spencer (aka Devika Pavica)

Michelle Ferrier (aka Firenza Mavinelli)

Tony Crider (aka Chaac Amarula)

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