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Singapore's heritage goes virtual

Anushkar Mohinani | April 13, 2010
Heritage virtual worlds, cyber archives of exhibitions, interaction with 3D artworks and artefacts plus role-playing games.

SINGAPORE, 13 APRIL 2010 - The National Heritage Board (NHB) has launched a comprehensive package of e-engagement initiatives' to bring Singapore's heritage and culture to computer screens everywhere.

A slew of digital initiatives 3D virtual galleries and tours, and self-proclaimed first-of its-kind heritage virtual worlds appealing to gamers were rolled out by the NHB to pique interest in Singapore's cultural heritage. The cost of the initiatives was not disclosed.

The 9 April launch was pronounced by the acting minister for information, communication and the arts, Lui Tuck Yew, at the National Museum of Singapore.

In keeping with current and social trends, the NHB has sought innovative means to better connect with Singaporeans, said Lui.

Cultural heritage brought to cyberspace

An integration of the old and the new, the NHB unveiled a cyber archive' of exhibitions.

Past exhibitions have been digitised into virtual tours and launched online. This extends the lifespan of our exhibitions, archiving them digitally for posterity and allowing the public to view them from any convenient location, said Lui.

State-of-the-art 360-degree rotating panoramic photography captures vivid images from running exhibitions and showcases them on museum websites. Visitors to the individual websites can be virtually placed amid the exhibition and enabled to explore.

The NHB also launched Cybermuseum' an industry-driven project that enables users to explore virtual galleries and interact with 3D digital artworks and artefacts.

Developed by Singapore technology start-up Visual Factory, Cybermuseum uses its proprietary 3D immersive engine and is supported by digital media content. It provides a 'Lego-like system' which allows users to create 3D virtual museums without acquiring IT programming skills.

Historical gaming

The NHB is also partnering with home-based interactive media company Magma Studios to develop an online historic game, World of Temasek (WoT), by the end of 2010.

WoT is a virtual role-playing experience of 14th century Singapore borrowing features from Massive Multiplier Online Games.

The online game will feature avatars in ancient costumes, virtual artefacts counterparts and quests integrated within a non-fiction educational context.


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