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Virtual Hadrian's Villa Walkthrough

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Published on Nov 8, 2013

IDIA Lab has designed a virtual simulation of the villa of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site located outside of Rome in Tivoli, Italy. This project has been produced in collaboration with the Virtual World Heritage Laboratory (VWHL) at the Indiana University (IU), directed by Dr. Bernard Frischer and funded by the National Science Foundation. This large-scale recreation virtually interprets the entire villa complex in consultation with the world's foremost villa scholars. The project has been authored in the game engine of Unity as a live virtual multi-user online learning environment that allows students and visitors to immerse themselves in all aspects of the simulated villa.

The project not only recreates the villa buildings but also includes a complete Roman avatar system, non-player characters with artificial intelligence, furniture, appropriate vegetation, dynamic atmospheric system and sophisticated user interface. The interface provides learning, navigation, reporting and assessment opportunities and also allows users to change the position of the sun to any date in 130 AD using data from the Horizons database at JPL NASA -- testing theses of astro-alignments of architectural features during solstices and equinoxes. Learning communities are briefed on the culture and history of the villa and learn the virtual environment prior to immersing themselves within it. The avatar system allows for visitors to enter the world selecting class and gender -- already being aware of the customs and behavior of the Roman aristocracy, soldier, slave or politician.

Link to the Digital Hadrian's Villa Project web site: http://vwhl.clas.virginia.edu/villa/

Khan Academy Walkthrough of Virtual Hadrian's Villa: http://youtu.be/Nu_6X04EGHk

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