from the Germans in the Far East dept.
THIS National Day, Orchard Road may be a hive of activity – both in the real and virtual worlds.
Twinity’s maker, a virtual world developer, is launching an online realisation of Singapore’s iconic shopping strip on Aug 9, where users can make virtual friends, visit online galleries, go shopping and even set up online businesses.
As part of the launch, and in conjunction with the Republic’s 44th National Day, the virtual area will host several events. These include:
A live video stream of the parade from the Marina Bay floating platform. A virtual performance by home-grown band Electrico of this year’s theme song, which it will perform at the parade too. The Pledge Moment, where users can congregate to take the national pledge together at precisely 8.22pm, alongside people in the physical world.
Twinity’s maker, German company Metaversum, has already put out a virtual replica of Berlin. Virtual Singapore is the second location to be launched, while London is on the cards.
The difference between Twinity and other virtual worlds, such as Second Life, is that it represents real places. For instance, virtual Orchard Road, which has been in development for over a year, features the Marriott Hotel with its green pagoda roof and even the Electronic Road Pricing gantry in front of it.
Its creation was supported by a grant from the multi-agency Interactive Digital Media Research and Development Programme Office (IDMPO), hosted by the Media Development Authority of Singapore.
IDMPO’s programme director Dennis Sng said: ‘Singaporeans will have a whole new experience of National Day celebrations this year. Singaporeans living overseas can also participate in the celebrations through the virtual world.’ While still in its beta testing phase, Twinity has 130,000 users and Singaporean membership has recently doubled, a spokesman for the company said.
More over at the Straits Times.