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THE TECH MUSEUM OF INNOVATION'S SECOND LIFE INITIATIVE: REVOLUTIONIZING THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW MUSEUM EXHIBITIONS

Press Release Date 
Tuesday, 11 December, 2007
The Tech Museum of Innovation (The Tech), one of the nation's premier science and technology museums, today announced the convergence of technology and art in the virtual world with the launch of The Tech in Second Life®. This integration of The Tech in Linden Lab's® Second Life has the potential to revolutionize the development of new museum exhibitions. The Tech has built a replica of its San Jose facility in Second Life. The virtual Tech has been left empty to provide space for the development of new, virtual exhibits and educational programming through an exhibit design competition hosted by The Tech Museum. The virtual exhibits, contributed by talented individuals around the world, will be shared under a Creative Commons license and displayed in the virtual Tech. The Tech is especially interested in reaching out to exhibition builders, craftspeople, museum curators and artists who seek to extend their creativity in new ways and formats. As exhibit contributors, designers have the opportunity to team up with other experts who share similar interests and complementary skills via an online collaboration platform created by The Tech, www.thetechvirtual.org. This online collaboration platform will enable participants to find and work with others, access tools, participate in forums and view guidelines and tutorials. "This is a unique and exciting use of Second Life and we are excited to lead this new initiative to revolutionize the way museums create exhibits," said Peter Friess, President of The Tech Museum. "The Tech is using Second Life as an open source platform for content development, tapping into creative talent worldwide. I am looking forward to seeing the ideas and contributions that exhibition builders, craftspeople, and museum curators create during the course of this challenge." The virtual Tech, which can be found by searching for "The Tech" island from within Second Life, will begin accepting exhibits immediately as part of an exhibition design competition around the theme of "Art, Film, and Music." The Tech plans to replicate a number of the winning exhibits in its real-world museum in San Jose. A world-class panel of experts will review the virtual exhibits in Second Life, awarding prizes to winning projects for the physical museum. Winners will be announced in connection with the 01SJ Global Festival of Art on the Edge, produced by ZER01: The Art and Technology Network, in June 2008. "The Second Life virtual world is an innovative forum for users to interact online and we applaud The Tech for utilizing Second Life's platform to enhance the museum experience," said Philip Rosedale, Founder and CEO of Linden Lab, creators of Second Life. "The Tech has captured the essence of Second Life with this initiative: leveraging the ideas of an entire community to build and create an experience for others to enjoy. I am confident that it will bring curators and developers together in an exciting blend of creativity, talent and interactive, online collaboration." Tours, general meetings, Q&A sessions, "Learn to Build" and "Learn to Script" sessions will be offered by The Tech in Second Life on a regular basis starting today at 11:00 a.m. PST. The complete schedule of events can be found on the collaboration web site at www.thetechvirtual.org, and everyone interested is welcome to attend. The Tech's use of Second Life's platform to build, test and launch new exhibition content serves as a model and a hands-on opportunity for other museums interested in experimenting with new methods for creating content. The Tech's experience with Second Life will be shared and open to all to participate in and learn from. To join thetechvirtual.org community or to find out more about this initiative, please visit www.thetech.org. The Tech worked with Involve, Inc. of Woburn, Mass., a leading developer of virtual worlds and interactive experience design, to build its island and create a replica of the physical museum in Second Life. The Tech's virtual exhibition creation initiative in Second Life is funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. About The Tech Museum of Innovation The Tech Museum of Innovation is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. Located in San Jose, California - the Capital of Silicon Valley - its mission, as a public-benefit corporation, is to inspire the innovator in everyone. Through hands-on exhibits, educational programs, the annual Tech Challenge team competition for youth, and the internationally recognized Tech Museum Awards, presented by Applied Materials, Inc., The Tech Museum of Innovation honors the past, celebrates the present, and encourages the development of innovative ideas for a more promising future. For more information about The Tech Museum of Innovation, visit www.thetech.org. CONTACTS: Lisa Croel The Tech Museum of Innovation (408) 795-6219 lcroel@thetech.org Analisa Schelle Ogilvy PR (415) 677-2721 analisa.schelle@ogilvypr.com