Monday, May 4, 2015

Moving Ahead With EXPLORE

Our pilot project this winter with Tacoma Little Theatre was a success.  We are pleased to announce that we are moving forward with several interested organizations, and seeking support for more EXPLORE projects.

The focus of EXPLORE is to provide a visual framework around real-time, live activity - readings of source material or related literature, discussion forums, continuing education programs, etc.  EXPLORE creates a virtual environment which anyone can access from an average home computer with internet service.  The environment allows for the self-selected experience by the user: attending/listening/participating in live programs, exploring the environment and clicking on objects linked to online resources related to the featured work or project.  (Click About EXPLORE for more)

Students in the TLT Lobby using EXPLORE
Here's our wrap up of
EXPLORE The Great Gatsby:

"My daughter just came home from the theater and she was raving about this!" 
                 ~ Parent of a Student attending Tacoma Little Theater's opening night performance

"With a wealth of interactive elements throughout, including links to the Tacoma Little Theatre, resources that explore the story of the Great Gatsby in more detail, and the opportunity to really immerse yourself a a piece of truly great American literature, Explore the Great Gatsby is very much worth taking the time to visit – and if you haven’t already done so, I’d urge you to so"
                 ~  Inara Pey, Living In a Modem World -  "Of Mansions and motifs"

Wide shot of "EXPLORE GATSBY" Similation
"(Tacoma Little Theatre has) . . . teamed up with Seanchai to create a learning experience, which is perfect for people of any age. This is certainly not the first literary sim in the metaverse, not even in OpenSim; both OSGrid and Craft have had some lovely didactic builds. . . But while it may not be an original idea - if such a thing even exists- it is an exquisitely executed one. Caledonia Skytower and friends have put together the fabric of the story, the bricks and mortar if you like - in an original and beautiful way."

                   ~ Thirza Ember, pings from the afterlife - "Goodbye to Gatsby"

Audience members gather around the big screen at TLT during intermission

EXPLORE The Great Gatsby  was open from January 16 - March 1, 2015, and included:
  • Ten hours of live voice presentations from the novel.
  • Three tours to virtual world exploring groups with participants from all over the world
  • Exposure to over 1500 TLT patrons and guests through TLT performances - preshow and at intermission
  • Over 100 Hypergrid visitors nationally and internationally, including visitors from Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
  • A full region, custom built environment inspired by the places and events of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel: The Valley of Ashes; East Egg (The Buchanan mansion); West Egg (Gatsby's mansion and Nick Carraway's rental cottage).
  • A custom built interior replica of the the commissioning partner's (Tacoma Little Theater) lobby and theater, including links of relevance to their stage production and the company in general.
  • A gallery space linking to the text or information on the entire canon of written works by F. Scott Fitzgerald, in addition to links to a variety of biographical sources on the author
  • Curatorial links through out the build to social and economic issues, art deco, early jazz, major events, flappers, prohibition, and other information or significance to the story.
  • Additional information on the website as to characters, plot and other supporting information.
  • A welcome center and orientation area for those new to virtual worlds.
  • "How To" information via the tabs on this project website.
Check out these work sample videos we created to demonstrate the look and interactivity of EXPLORE

Look for announcements about new EXPLORE projects soon!

Friday, February 27, 2015

IT'S TIME FOR "FAREWELL" to "The Great Gatsby" (for now)

This will be the closing weekend at EXPLORESeanchai "The Great Gatsby" - and it has been a marvelous and successful pilot.  Thank you one and all for your support, your feedback and encouragement.  The region will stay accessible to all Kitely Residents and Hypergrid Explorers through Sunday.

In the mean time - we still have a few delights to share . . .

"And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby's wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy's dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night."
Also accessible from the Seanchai Library homeworld in #Kitely - from the main landing zone use the EXPLORE teleport gate. 

#seanchailibrary #tacomalittletheatre

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


Gatsby's Mansion, linked to Art, Music, and adaptations of the Novel

Yes, we've read the entirety of "The Great Gatsby" out loud and yes, Tacoma Little Theatre's production of the play has closed.  But things at EXPLORE The Great Gatsby are not quite over yet.  

With three scheduled tours between now and the end of the month, and a closing party on the afternoon of February 28th, there is still plenty of opportunity to explore and enjoy!

  • February 18th - Hypergrid Safari Visits (between Noon and 3pm ~ Time to be confirmed)
  • February 18th to 21st - TBA AACT Board Tour (pending confirmation)
  • February 28th - Hypergrid Tours & Closing Party (after 2pm - Time to be confirmed)
All times Pacific.  Stay tuned for more details.  Interested in a tour?  Contact Caledonia Skytower

The All-Night Restaurant in the Valley of Ashes - Flappers & Prohibition
The Buchanan Mansion in East Egg, features Tacoma Little Theatre - our partner 
The Fitzgerald Gallery features the canon of F. Scott Fitzgerald & Bio Info

The Iconic Sign in the Valley of Ashes greets all guest
Wilson's Garage in the Valley of Ashes - linked to social & economic issues

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


West Egg!

"I lived at West Egg, the--well, the less fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them. My house was at the very tip of the egg, only fifty yards from the Sound, and squeezed between two huge places that rented for twelve or fifteen thousand a season. The one on my right was a colossal affair by any standard--it was a factual imitation of some Hôtel de Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side, . . .
 ". . . It was Gatsby's mansion. Or rather, as I didn't know Mr. Gatsby it was a mansion inhabited by a gentleman of that name. My own house was an eye-sore, but it was a small eye-sore, and it had been overlooked, so I had a view of the water, a partial view of my neighbor's lawn, and the consoling proximity of millionaires--all for eighty dollars a month."

(Text from Chapter 1 of THE GREAT GATSBY. Nick introducing West Egg * Gatsby's house)

The Opening of West Egg is fast approaching!
Stay tuned for announcements, events, and more images as EXPLORE The Great Gatsby continues.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


East Egg in EXPLORE - containing information on Tacoma Little Theatre
"And so it happened that on a warm windy evening I drove over to East Egg to see two old friends whom I scarcely knew at all. Their house was even more elaborate than I expected, a cheerful red and white Georgian Colonial mansion overlooking the bay. The lawn started at the beach and ran toward the front door for a quarter of a mile, jumping over sun-dials and brick walks and burning gardens--finally when it reached the house drifting up the side in bright vines as though from the momentum of its run."                                    

(Text from Chapter 1 of THE GREAT GATSBY. Nick introducing his first visit to Tom & Daisy Buchanan's home in East Egg)

The eyes of Dr. T,J, Eckleburg over EXPLORE's Valley of Ashes
"...above the grey land and the spasms of bleak dust which drift endlessly over it, you perceive, after a moment, the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg. The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg are blue and gigantic--their retinas are one yard high. They look out of no face but, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a nonexistent nose. Evidently some wild wag of an oculist set them there to fatten his practice in the borough of Queens, and then sank down himself into eternal blindness or forgot them and moved away. But his eyes, dimmed a little by many paintless days under sun and rain, brood on over the solemn dumping ground."

(Text from Chapter 2 of THE GREAT GATSBY introducing The Valley of Ashes)

Friday, January 16, 2015

WE'RE OPEN: Welcome!

The virtual construction is still underway, with more features and functions being added every day!

So you might find us still creating and scripting doors, adding links, working on the Welcome Center.  Say "howdee" and go ahead and explore.  Then come back again and explore some more.  EXPLORE The Great Gatsby construction will continue through the first week of February and will be open to the virtual public through February 22nd. We feature progress right here, so you can get updated and then come and check it out for yourself.

FRIDAY, January 16th at 7pm (Pacific) we will pause the hammers and saws for a lovely hour of literature (imagine that!?) as live voice programming begins with Part 1 of The Great Gatsby presented by Kayden Oconnell in Gallery Park.  it will be the first of an entire series of readings at EXPLORE which will include Fitzgerald's great American novel, as well as other stories from the author's canon.

The iconic sign in the Valley of Ashes
For opening weekend, these sessions will all take place in Gallery Park: cross the bridge from the Welcome Center, turn right in the Valley of Ashes and walk towards the bridge to East Egg and the Fitzgerald Gallery.  Gallery Park is just around the bend, to your right, once you clear the ash heaps.

Miss our first session?  No problem!  There are more coming.

Join us Saturday, January 17th at 9am (Pacific) for Winter Dreams, an F. Scott Fitzgerald short story.

Gallery Park, just East of the ash heaps
At Noon on Saturday, Caledonia will repeat of Part 1 of The Great Gatsby.

Come along and listen to Fitzgerald's marvelous words, and then explore the nearby Fitzgerald Gallery, with EVENTS tab for updated schedule information.  Times and voice talent subject to change, and hey!  we might even add some discussions and other events!  So stay tuned!
links to the author's works and biographical information on his life.  There's much, much more to come, so take a landmark and mark your calendar.  Check back to the
And accessible from the Seanchai Library homeworld in Kitely - from the main landing zone use the EXPLORE teleport gate.

OR IF YOU ARE NEW TO VIRTUAL WORLDS, check out the HOW TO FIND EXPLORE tab for some options of how to find your way to this little corner of the grid.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


The Iconic sign rises over the "Valley of Ashes" section of EXPLORE

EXPLORE: The Great Gatsby will open officially at Noon on Thursday, January 15th (revised date).  We've been delving, researching, and construction is well underway.  Look forward to daily updates as all the things we have been collecting in piles (real & virtual) start manifesting for the big day.

Tacoma Little Theatre's production will open the next week on January 23rd, and by then we'll have presented a goodly portion of the novel live in voice.

We are pleased to announce that Kayden Oconnell will do the honors at the inaugural presentation, with many of the storytellers that Seanchai is known for following in subsequent sessions.

Here is the Preliminary Session Schedule (updated as of 1.12.15).  Please note that times and dates are subject to change, as are the voice performers.  we also may be adding some discussions and tours, so stay tuned!

Friday, January 16th at 7pm - The Great Gatsby, Part 1, with Kayden Oconnell
Saturday, January 17th at NoonThe Great Gatsby, Part 1 (repeat) with Caledonia Skytower

Monday, January 19th (MLK Day) at 1pm - The Great Gatsby, Part 2, with Corwyn Allen
TBA Monday, January 19th (MLK Day) at 8pm - Part 2 (repeat) with Caledonia Skytower

Saturday, January 24th at Noon The Great Gatsby, Part 3, with Shandon Loring

Saturday, January 31st at 3pm - Part 4 - TBA

Thursday, February 5th at 8pm - Conclusion with Caledonia Skytower
The Welcome Center mixes Seanchai styling with multiple uses
Sunday, February 8th at 11am - Conclusion (repeat)

Look for updates as New User Sessions on Saturday mornings will also be scheduled for people interested in The Great Gatsby, but new to moving about in virtual worlds.

There are also considerations on going for an in-world Q & A with folks from Tacoma Little Theatre about their production.  The fun is only just beginning!

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” 
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby