Monday, May 24, 2010

UWA in SL on Linden Prize Short List

University of Western Australia has been shortlisted for the prestigious Linden Prize. Also reported on The Science Network WA & on the main UWA Website

On finding out about the Linden Prize nomination Jay Jay Jegathesan (Manager School of Physics) AKA JayJay Zifanwe in SL said:
"None of this would be possible without the incredible support of all the 'Angels' who have dropped in at various points in the evolution of UWA within the Virtual world. From those in real life Professor Alan Robson, Professor Ted Snell, Professor Ian McArthur, Dr Chris Thorne, Paul Bourke to the wondrous avatars of Second Life, quadrapop Lane, Raphaella Nightfire, White Lebed and others from around the world too numerous to name. This has been an amazing journey and adventure, yet the journey has only truly just begun"

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
Begin it now.

Since mid 2009 efforts have been expended daily on this project with monumental support from an international team in both Real Life (RL) and in Second Life (SL). There has been tireless efforts to promote the UWA sims in both RL and in SL. The UWA sims are mix of RL recreations of some of the University's signature buildings and distinctly Second Life virtual builds (where in Real Life do buildings hang unsupported in the sky, or where they are made entirely of what appears to be solid light?)

Projects that have been instrumental in this nomination are:

Art & Design Challenge
The year long Imagine Challenge grew out of discussions between JayJay and Prof Ted Snell of UWA in August 2009 and has grown to become the largest art competition in Second Life with over 50 entries in each monthly round. In the process this Challenge has brought together various collaborations and unlikely unions of skill. It is co-hosted by Jayjay Zifanwe and quadrapop Lane in SL. There is an impressive list of judges for both the monthly rounds and grand final competition.

UWA 3d A&D Gallery on UWA sim in April 2010

THE IMAGINE CHALLENGE (Art & Design Challenge)
(Prize amounts in SL Linden Dollars)
Monthly Prizes:
L$5,000 + RL Custom Tshirt (1st Prize)
L$4,000 Casey Cultural prize (Best work displaying Western Australia)
L$1,250 + RL Custom TShirt (Best non-Scripted entry) ,
L$1,250 (2nd Prize)
L$500 People's Choice Award
Grand Prize:
L$75,000 (1st)
L$14,000 (2nd),
L$14,000 (Best non-Scripted entry)

Flagship Building Challenge

Patch Thibaud Flagship Design - winner of the December round of the Flagship Challenge

Run in conjunction with the Imagine Challenge the Flagship Challenge is to create a concept build/model for UWA's RL Cultural Precinct. This Challenge has attracted a small but loyal following of some of the best builders in SL, and given some non-architects the opportunity to display their ideas for a RL building.

FLAGSHIP PRIZES (Architectural competition)
(Prize amounts in SL Linden Dollars)
Monthly Prize:
L$5,000 (1st)
L$1,250 (2nd)
Grand Prize:
L$75,000 (1st)
L$14,000 (2nd)

Machinima Challenge

The Machinima Challenge (Machinima are videos made inside SL and shown both outside and inside SL) was open to all SL machinima makers. Their Challenge was to create a Machinima of up to 5 minutes in length that captured the 4 main elements that make up the heart of the University of Western Australia sims. These elements are: the RL architecture, the teaching, the research, and the arts. The purpose would be to show that UWA's presence in SL is comprehensive and covering all these areas, creating true bridges between SL & RL for prospective students, current students, staff, alumni & the community.

There was a lot of interest in this Challenge with the prize money more than doubling thanks to donations by interested parties within the first few weeks of the competition period. The final winning entries can be seen here.

L$65,000 (1st)
L$44,000 (2nd),
L$42,000 (3rd)


The Skytheatre - main lecture space in UWA in SL on the Uni of WA sim

Professor Wade Halvorson of the School of Business and Professor Mark Pegrum of the Graduate School of Education are already using the second life sims as part of their courses and will soon be joined by lecturers from several other schools including Law.


Tranguloid Trefoil (RL - Paul Bourke) is using the WASP Land sim as a base to explore the possibilities of 3D scientific visualisation using some 3d software to create the "sculpties" used to represent the data in SL where it can then be manipulated or discussed. John Goldsmith arranged an exhibition in both SL and RL Physics buildings of Starlight photographic exhibition which opened on 20 Aug 2009.

Image by Paul Burke of John Goldsmith's Starlight Exhibition Opening, Physics UWAinSL

Networking & RL/SL Partnerships
Memorandums of Understanding
University of Texas San Antonio and University of Massachusetts and University of Western Australia have MOUs for the SecondLife collaborative projects they are involved in - these are in effect in practice and going through RL legal process.

One of the projects UWA collaborated on with Uni of Massachesetts was the Through the Virtual Looking Glass, one part of which being the exhibition in both RL and SL of M Linden's art (Mark Kingdom - CEO of Linden labs) at UWA and in UWAinSL's Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery.

M Linden at the opening of his DoodleArt exhibition in the UWA in SL Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery

Also a part of the same exhibition was the collaboration between UWA's Len Zuks and SL resident Miso Susanowa - recreating 2 of Len's RL sculptures in SL.

Miso Susanowa's "Lil Eizenstein" and "MegaByte" on display in February 2010.

Also a wonderful mooting space created by Nyx Breen for the the Faculty of Law (UWA), led to a collaboration with the University of Western Sydney who sought to film an SL moot in the virtual world to display at an international conference.

UWA-BOSL Amphitheatre

The UWA-BOSL Amphitheatre, stage on one sim, seating on the three adjoining sims

Frolic Mills - SecondLife CEO of Best of Second Life (BOSL) combined forces with Jayjay Zifanwe and architect Patch Thibaud to create a huge 4 sim meeting place - the UWA-BOSL Amphitheatre which is capable of hosting up to 200 avatars across the 4 sims. The Amphitheatre was opened on 8 May 2010 by Frolic Mills, Jayjay Zifanwe and Patch Thibaud with entertainment by one of SL's leading live performers Mankind Tracer. The Amphitheatre is available free to any non-profit event that promotes the arts, sciences or education. Bookings to the Amphitheatre Director, Taralyn Gravois in SL.

Second Physics Italy

Scien&Art competition - UWA is hosting the nanotechnology entries on UWA Winthrop - as part of a collaboration with: Second Physics, SL Art (Marjorie Fargis) and Experience Italy. More information about this competition available in SL at the Second Physics sim


Kip Yellowjacket from SLEnglish is heading up a sim wide language teaching laboratory with language teachers from around the world using the sim to teach people across the globe various langauges. The UWA VIRTLANTIS sim was opened on Sunday 14 March 2010 and features the tallest sculpture in SL DanCoyote Antonelli's "Tower of Light."

There are many individuals and companies who help sponsor the activities of the University within SL. What follows is a list of the biggest contributors in time and/or money, other than the University itself, the list if far from exhaustive but indicates the large numbers of people who help make UWA what it is.

in no particular order:
Phillip Vought
MidnightRain Glas
FreeWee Ling
Taralyn Gravois
Raphaella Nightfire
quadrapop Lane
White Lebed
Nyx Breen
Lilli Field
Ourania Fizgig
CaptainCrunch hax
Sasun Steinbeck

Prof Ted Snell
Prof Alexandra Ludewig
Colin Campbell Fraser
Frank Roberts
John Barret-Lennard
Paul Bourke
Oron Catts
Prof Alan Robson
Prof Ian McArthur
Prof William Ford
Casey Family of Western Australia - sponsor
Prof Wade Halvorson
A/Prof Mark Pegrum
Evgeni Sergeev
Chris Thorne
David Gaze
Minh Tran
Bradley Curnow
Micheal Flynn
Greg Salotti
VR Shed Pty Ltd

and many, many more....

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