Wednesday, March 21, 2007

What is ROMA?

ROMA is an ancient Roman themed land within the online world of Second Life® (SL). It was built by the avatar Torin Golding. Torin serves as the Prefect of the sim. The sim's Emperor is Julian Augustus.

ROMA is the original Roman land in SL. It has been open since the Ides of October 2006 and has a very active citizenry, with over a thousand members, over twenty associated groups, and over a hundred different attractions which are open to all visitors.

Torin used his extensive real-life training in Roman culture and archaeology to design the buildings one can visit. ROMA is not a reconstruction of any specific part of the ancient world, and no build in it is a 1:1 reconstruction of any ancient Roman building. Instead, Torin decided to create unique builds based on canonical Roman architectural forms while allowing for a great deal of reinterpretation. This created a hybrid build that is at once instantly recognizable as ancient Roman, but also fresh and absorbing. It took about two months of full-time work to complete.

One of the most important aspects of ROMA is its educational component. Virtually every building and structure in the sim sports a bright red ‘info button’. A visitor can touch this button and receive historical information about ancient Roman culture pertaining to the build (such as gladiatorial combat info at the Arena) and details about the original Roman structure it was based on. These are written as pages of a 'lost' work by Pausanias which can be collected all around the sim.

Flythrough Video of ROMA