Monday, April 12, 2010

Twinity: Through the gates of time

Last year, before I started covering Twinity for the Koinup blog, I did an item on my own blog about the Berlin Wall. The Wall fell 25 years ago, and to commemorate this huge event, Metaversum rebuilt sections of the Wall and the Iron Curtain in Twinity, which could be accessed by special portals. I thought that was a temporary thing, but some of the entries to Cold War Berlin are still there (most notably one at the Brandenburger Tor, near the main landing point), so I am reprinting my earlier blog item here, in full.

Twinity: Berlin 1989

Once at the expo, find the Wall Tour billboard and click the 'teleport to next location' buttons to get a tour of the main locations of the Berlin Wall. Do yourself a favor, go take a look at what a totalitarian system once did to the city and people of Berlin.

I still remember it clearly. I was a teenager, sitting on the couch at home watching TV: a report from Berlin, where, much to my amazement, people were breaking through the infamous Berlin wall. Confused border guards, people hacking away at the wall with large hammers, a tremendous outpour of joy and tears. People hugging and crying, the Brandenburer Tor. Mass parties, freedom! I may have been young then, but I knew I was watching history unfold itself before my eyes. I had been behind the Iron Curtain one time and it frightened me; but now it was gone.

Today I'm looking back at the Berlin Wall, in Twinity Berlin. Throughout Twinity Berlin, there are gates through which you can step back in time, and enter the Berlin that still has a wall, where stern looking officers stand guard under flags with communist symbols. Now you're in Berlin 2009, the next moment you're back in 1989.. The gates are created of appropriately grim concrete, as you can see.

Here I am, standing near checkpoint Charlie, 2009:
Twinity: Berlin 2009 -1989

A few steps ahead, and suddenly..

Twinity: Berlin 1989 - 2009

I am very much impressed with what Metaversum has done here. Some of the images are familiar, and being born during the cold war, they still evoke emotions in me, even though I'm not German. Do yourself a favor, install Twinity and pay a visit to Twinity Berlin, even if it's only to take a look at the Wall - in a way you'll never be able to in real life. I have uploaded some pictures here at Koinup.

Apart from the whole Berlin Wall 20 years anniversary thing, this is a fantastic way of presenting history. Imagine stepping through a small gate somewhere in London, and ending up at exactly the same spot, but in Medieval times? Or a gate in Singapore, which brings you to the city as it was in World War II? What a great way to show and teach history! Athens in the time of Pericles; the Forum Romanum in Rome in the first century AD; or even Amsterdam during the Dutch Golden Age. Let's hope Metaversum gets to do some of these. What city or history would you like to see recreated?

Sered Woollahra blogs at Sered's lives and lives in Second Life, Twinity, Eve Online and OpenSim.


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