Designing Worlds visits Cupids 400

In this episode of Designing Worlds, we discover a historic 1612 re-creation of early settlers to Newfoundland with creators Andrew Mercer and Marlene Brooks. Hosts Saffia & Elrik find out about the educational project and how artificial intelligence characters help teach visitors about the settlement.

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The settlement was established in 1610, the first official British settlement in Canada, at Cupids in Newfoundland and Labrador, right on the very eastern tip of Canada. The Second Life project was originally established in conjunction with the celebrations of the 400th anniversary. Indeed, the Legacy Centre in the sky, where the tours and explorations start, is modelled on the real Legacy Centre in Cupids Cove.

And for exploration we were joined by Andrew Mercer, who’s a specialist in Distance Learning with the Ministry of Education in this maritime Province, and part of the Distance Education and Learning Technologies department at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and by Marlene Brooks, who is Senior Instructional Designer and Virtual Technology Project Lead at Memorial University in St John’s, Newfoundland.

Marlene has been responsible for the realisation of Cupid’s in Second Life, and she and Andrew showed us not only the builds, but also some of the learning strategies that they have developed, including interactive tours, the use of sound and bots, as well as some fascination animations that allow you to see how life was lived in the original settlement.

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