It’s been a bit quiet lately on this blog, I know, but there were so many things to be done. So many things have happened and I was working late so much that I never got around to blogging anymore. I was too tired or too busy. I’ll give you one of the reasons why: I’ve been part of a great team around Microsoft’s Imagine Cup, the world’s premier student technology competition. The Imagine Cup is one way Microsoft is encouraging young people to apply their imagination, their passion and their creativity to technology innovations that can make a difference in the world – today. Now in its fifth year, the Imagine Cup has grown to be a truly global competition focused on finding solutions to real world issues. I’ve been assigned the very cool role to launch the Imagine Cup into Second Life, the virtual world.
The island I’ve used is the one of on10.net. I terra-shaped it and together with the guys of 3D agency Nazooka, it’s been turned into a little paradise. Before you start nagging about Microsoft buying its way into Second Life: no we didn’t. One of the most precious things I’ve looked out for is that we didn’t hire a super deluxe building agency that would design everything custom from the plants you see to the chairs you sit on. Being part of this community for over a year now, I thought it would be very not-done to build just another island without contributing to the community. So every tree you see, every piece of furniture… we bought it all at in-world merchants and stores so we’d support them. For our launch event, I booked Natalie Moody, one of SL’s most precious live singers, for three performances. The concerts will be accessible to all citizens, obviously free of charge. Afterwards, if all goes well, live DJ’s will take the stage and party with those who’re there until deep into the night. The launch event will run from 8.30 PM the 28th until evening the 29th, to cover most of the timezones.
The walkthrough is pretty simple, the island is shaped up like a clock. Every zone hosts 2 teams and in every zone you get some information about which team is being featured and you can see a clip about their project on the video players. There’s a pebble path between the trees that goes around the entire island and if you follow that you visit each zone. But because we’re dealing with a ‘younger’ audience, we’ve put a skydive drop zone in every section as well, and a launch pad in the middle of the island. This way you can explore the things differently and pick random zones to experience the project.
Nazooka scripted a lot of things for us, they did some cool building as well and I’m glad we opted for them as a partner. We’ll get a lot of stats and things will run pretty smooth too. When the campaign is over, I’ll share some stats as soon as I get them.
The Xbox team if offering 3 consoles and 30 games as prizes, and on the island is a note about how you can sign up to try and win one. If everything goes right, the Visual Studio team will be hiding some easter eggs too, but I’m not so well informed about this part of the campaign, so I can’t really say much more about it. I had a great time setting this up, and to me it was a very cool experience. If you want to visit the island too, look for it in the search under ‘places’ with ‘on10′ as a keyword. Until the official launch, we won’t brand it Imagine Cup yet.
Here are some snapshots of the location:
So, right now I’m off to Barcelona for an offsite and on the way home I have to stop in Paris to help out on the launch event the 28th. Don’t know if I can make it to blog, but I’ll try.