Sunday, February 17, 2008

Creators of 99rooms: Virtual worlds await you

A little over two weeks ago, the Not Possible in Real Life (NPIRL) group in Second Life began an initiative to identify and extend invitations to people whom we believe would derive pleasure in discovering the creation tools available to them in this environment. There is certainly a very appreciative - and growing - audience waiting for them here. It is our hope that they will take us up on our shout out and make the pilgrimage to check it out. Today, I welcome this introduction to the creators of by guest blogger and NPIRLer Amalthea Blanc. Amalthea has often reviewed the arts in Second Life, and it was through her that I discovered such notables as Keystone Bouchard and DanCoyote Antonelli.

By Amalthea Blanc

Back in 2004, a handful of very talented artists got together and created, an On-line interactive experience that is still considered innovative and groundbreaking four years after its launch. is a type of new age, Renaissance project that blends together visual art with brilliant sound design and on top of all that, adds a third dimension of interactivity through meaningful flash animation. The result is an emotionally compelling world that keeps you at the edge of your seat and may occasionally give you goosebumps.

The 99 rooms are individual experiences, through which you may pass only after clicking various elements until you "unlock" the puzzle and proceed to another location. The element of game play engages what would otherwise be a typical passer-by into becoming involved in the sequence of rooms. With every page you explore, you head deeper into the strange environment and are curious to learn more.

Words can only go so far in explaining the kind of immersion one can achieve, especially since our vision is now affected by all the 3D possibilites of Second Life. Still, 99rooms is one of the projects that demonstrate how a powerful mix of pixels and technology can prompt people to perceive a new and exciting universe.

Per their website: 99rooms stemmed from the mystical, often apolocalyptically charming pictures created by Berlin artist Kim Köster within the countless vacated premises of East Berlin‘s industrial sector. Photos of these paintings were initially produced in digital form and then animated through a cooperative effort between Richard Schumann & Stephan Schulz and then subsequently complemented through a personal sound design from Johannes Buenemann. The final product of this year long effort is a scintillating intermediary world which invites the observer into an journey through its morbidly-beautiful rooms.