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WA Museum project provides virtual field trip beneath the prehistoric Nullarbor ~ DCA
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WA Museum project provides virtual field trip beneath the prehistoric Nullarbor

16 Aug 2011

In a WA Museum first, people will be able to follow virtually the action of a real scientific field expedition into the many caves beneath the Nullarbor Plain.

Culture and the Arts Minister John Day said people will have unprecedented access to website streams of video footage, interviews and blogs allowing them to see a scientific field trip as it happens.

“This is a case of science and technology coming together to tell the story of prehistoric Australia,” Mr Day said.

“The caves beneath the Nullarbor are littered with the fossil bones of Australia’s unique megafauna that lived in our prehistoric past, including oversized kangaroos and wombats and ferocious marsupial lions.

“As well as capturing this footage and providing glimpses into the work of scientists, the expedition team - a documentary director, palaeontologist and a gaming expert - are undertaking the trip as the first step in the creation of an electronic game and transmedia world.

“The team will capture live footage and create a 3D scan of a cave to develop a game, video content, and an online experience that will put people in the role of palaeontologists investigating the life of Australia’s megafauna.

“The concept is to combine serious gaming with scientific research and discovery to interactively recreate Australia’s prehistoric world.”

The WA Museum has collaborated with local digital content creator, Inkubator and a game developer from letsmakegames.org to make this virtual world a reality.

The project secured $20,000 in April 2011 when it won an X|Media|Lab Development Award for outstanding digital media initiatives, following on from the inaugural Perth X|Media|Lab.

X|Media|Lab is an international think-tank for the digital and creative industry that aims to encourage and develop interactive storytelling to engage with audiences in new and exciting ways.

The field trip to the Nullarbor will include staff from the WA Museum, Flinders University in South Australia and letsmakegames.org.

Live streaming of the trip will be available to view from the WA Museum website at: http://www.museum.wa.gov.au/cave

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