The UNICORN is a video game set in a castle museum (The UNICORN) intended to address medievalism(s) in terms of human rights issues. There are NPCs based upon authentic medieval people and characters, and there are links to exhibits about both historical and literary events. The UNICORN castle is haunted by ghosts of medieval history and literature, and the quests are to solve the mysteries these ghosts present.
Beyond the Game?
Consider the image of the three individuals working together (right). One might imagine the young woman with the laptop computer and the young man with the video camera to be graduate students of some special field (media studies, medieval studies, modern studies, …), and the older gentleman might appear to be a rather eccentric archeology professor. Embodied as avatars, anyone may roam the halls to explore these exhibits and participate in special exhibitions and special tours (that may or may not be free of cost). Scholars and artists may work behind the public “halls” to further research or participate in creative endeavors.
Such a platform would allow for more frequent and constructive engagement on both formal (conference) and informal levels and on a global scale. Indeed, it was recently discussed that the focus of medievalism studies is mostly limited to Europe and North America; a venue such as what we are proposing would encourage and support a more global examination of this mostly geographically bound scholarship.
In short, we propose to build a virtual museum that is also a library, that has a Great Hall for special exhibits and conferences, that provides classrooms and workrooms, including a “kitchen” for creative working, and that even has a store. It would provide a three dimensional style environment for research, creative and pedagogical purposes.
This is the dream. This is the planned future reality.
The Current Reality
Until the 3d platform is built, exhibits are limited to more traditional digital web constructions. We are using both WordPress and Moodle to contain and organize content of the museum, as well as the collaborative work done in preparation for the exhibits. The first exhibits are a part of a joint venture with Hounding Productions, making use of video interviews collected on numerous topics relevant to the Deaf World, to Community Theatre, and Medievalism. There are plans, too for a Student Exhibit that will also feature a Student Merged Media Contest.
For a report on work done by The UNICORN in the past, please see the Progress Report.