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posted by janrinok on Wednesday August 05 2015, @04:44PM   Printer-friendly
from the a-different-view dept.

The British Museum is running a trial of virtual reality technology with a view to offering it as a permanent tool to explore its collection.

Families will be invited to navigate a virtual reality Bronze Age roundhouse and interact with 3D scans of objects. In June, London's Natural History Museum also started using VR technology. Both museums are using Samsung Gear VR headsets.

Only visitors aged 13 or over will be allowed to use the headsets in the British Museum. Families with younger children can use a Samsung Galaxy tablet or enter a dome with an interactive screen.

Visitors will be able to explore different interpretations of how the objects might have been used in the past. Among those on display will be two gold bracelets, discovered at a site in Gloucestershire, and treasures that the museum has not yet acquired. Other objects include a bronze dagger that was not intended for practical use because the blade was never sharpened and a bronze loop - believed to be a bracelet.

Chris Michaels, head of digital and publishing at the British Museum, said: "It gives us the chance to create an amazing new context for objects in our collection, exploring new interpretations for our Bronze Age objects."
Emily Smith, Head of Audience Development at the Natural History Museum, told the BBC: "The VR experience has been hugely popular with visitors. "We've increased the number of slots and are now running the experience daily in response to demand. Visitors have even been bursting into spontaneous applause at the end of the showings."

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  • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday August 05 2015, @06:21PM

    by VLM (445) on Wednesday August 05 2015, @06:21PM (#218695)

    So you get to experience Bronze Age VR? What did the headsets look like back then?

    A minecraft mod called TerraFirmaCraft. Still available in the FTB launcher, AFAIK.

    From memory about one or two years ago it worked great under linux (never used minecraft under anything but linux, well, freebsd now) although gameplay needed work, I got pretty sick of starving to death and also completely tired of running out of clay to make pots and stuff. Another annoyance was if you ran it on a server it mapped the 24 hour day to the calendar year so given my bizarre working schedule I spent most of my server gameplay starving to death in the winter aka early morning.

    Gameplay is weird for minecraft... you can't really dig until you're in the metalworking era, the effort to make a simple pick is immense, but once you get it you can build an entire (small) base with one pick, its not like wood picks in vanilla. Its crafting was sort of a slightly more realistic TC.

    For years TFC has been the butt of jokes about modpack design, like what could possibly work better with TFC than AE, for example. A non-snarky answer about TFC in a modpack would probably be something like botania or thaumcraft. Or if you want to go all Aztec on some poor zombies, maybe Blood Magic.

    Anyway not kidding around: some archeologist should totally "science up" something like TFC to reflect reality and release it. The real bronze simulator may somehow be even less fun than TFC, but at least it would be realistic and possibly interesting.

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