Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Virtual Worlds Story Project Launches “The Life and Times of Uncle D”

Groundbreaking Multi-media Approach Uses Machinima and Virtual Reality to Fight HIV/AIDS

The Virtual Worlds Story Project Launches "The Life and Times of Uncle D"

Thursday, October 1, 2009, 12 Noon (PST), Second Life

Los Angeles, CA [September 23, 2009] -- Second Life: At noon (PST) on October 1, 2009, The Virtual Worlds Story Project (TVWSP), a production company that specializes in using new media and storytelling to engage, educate, and create community, will tackle its biggest topic to date: HIV/AIDS.

TVWSP is a project of Martin Keltz and Jena Ball. Known throughout Second Life as creative, passionate educators, Ball and Keltz have developed a signature approach to storytelling. Known as "Story Quests." These one-of-a-kind, 3D environments draw participants into and encourage them to help create stories. In their latest Quest, participants will explore the life of an HIV-positive person known simply as "Uncle D."

"The only way to eradicate a pandemic like HIV/AIDS is through education," says Ball, co-founder of TVWSP and Coordinator of Karuna* the National Library of Medicine-funded island devoted to HIV/AIDS education in Second Life. "One of the biggest challenges we face is the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS. It's not enough to understand prevention. People must be helped to become passionate about saving lives. Stories are the way to do that."

"The power of story is undeniable," says Keltz, co-founder of TVWSP and producer of such well-known educational television programs as The Baby-Sitters Club, The Magic School Bus, and Goosebumps. "When combined with machinima and immersive, interactive environments in Second Life, stories come alive."

The Quest, entitled "Stories Without Borders: The Life and Times of Uncle D" and the compelling film made from its story line will premiere Thursday, October 1, 2009 at Noon (PST) in Second Life. In addition to the film's screening, attendees will be treated to live music, a Q and A session with the actors and producers, and guided tours of the Quest.

To see the film's trailer, visit the TVWSP YouTube Channel at:

*Karuna is a word from an ancient language in India that means to ease suffering. Karuna Island in Second Life is funded by a grant from the National Library of Medicine and written by Lori Bell of the Alliance Library System.

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