The Japanese temple in Blue Mars depicted in a short machinima last weekend is just a small glimpse of a much larger Blue Mars project coming this month: Developed by Ball State University's Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts (or IDIA), an interdisciplinary studio, the school is recreating a number of historical landmarks in Blue Mars, with an unprecedented level of detail. The finished Byodo-in temple in the video, for example, will include a Buddha statue that's been laser-scanned from an existing figurine in Ball State's museum. The goal, IDIA’s developers tell us, is not just to create the artifacts from the museum, but the original historical context in which they first existed as well.
So for example, while IDIA is also laser scanning two sculptures made by Adolf Weinmam from the Panama World’s Fair, the studio will integrate them in a replica of the "Courtyard of the Universe", where they first existed in 1915. (Take a look at the video above.) This will be an immersive learning experience accessible to anyone in Blue Mars, from casual visitors to educators and students alike. IDIA is also developing a Blue Mars campus to help other educators interested in working in Blue Mars.
Image credit: IDIAlab.org