Tuesday, September 13, 2016

University of Western Australia Retiring Four of Five Sims

While there have been many colleges and universities which have had a presence in Second Life, perhaps the best known has been the University of Western Australia. Over the years since their begining in 2004, they have sponsored and held a number of art and video contests on their sims. But Jayjay Zifanwe and , the manager of the sims, had some bad news on Sunday September 11. Due to budget cutbacks, the number of sims held by the UWA will be "restructured" from five to only one.

UWA Virlantis will be taken over by Dr Phylis Johnson (Sonicity Fitzroy). The UWA, UWA Winthrop, and WASP Land, barring a last minute handover, will vanish on October 9. only the University of WA sim will remain, "Everything on All Sims will remain as is for the next 2 weeks... do come back for a visit as many of the artworks going back 7 years are still at various locations. Once those 2 weeks are up, our curator, Freewee Ling will start to rationalise what is on the UWA sims, so that some items from all sims are brought onto the one remaining sim."

Curator Freewee Ling had the following to say, "I am saddened by the restructuring that is happening at UWA and that the university's presence in SL will be so drastically curtailed. JayJay has done a remarkable job establishing the virtual campus, maintaining the sims and, more significantly, building a worldwide reputation for UWA's virtual presence. He has worked tirelessly to promote UWA in SL for the last seven years. There is no one at UWA who didn't know about it, and tours of the rl campus by everything from local school kids to international delegations were routinely given a tour of the virtual campus as well. Our reputation for inspiring the creation of literally thousands of virtual artworks and machinima by hundreds of artists from around the globe has helped to raise awareness of what creative people in virtual worlds are capable of achieving. Our programs have served to elevate and legitimize the work we do here. We had an inclusive open entry policy that allowed newbies and veterans to exhibit and compete on equal footing. I am very proud of all the work you submitted to our programs. I will share more of my personal thoughts in a separate post."

More details can be read in their blog post (here). Ironically enough, the exhibit mentioned in the post is "The Last Ocean," the theme being the death of a virtual world. You can check out the exhibit at UWA Winthrop (32/28/27).

Bixyl Shuftan

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