INTERNATIONAL HIV/AIDS GROUPS SET TO COLLABORATE ON MULTI-MEDIA, MIXED REALITY CELEBRATIONS OF LIFE
A "Virtual Story Tree" Dedicated to the Life of Ryan White among the Highlights of the Day
Los Angeles, CA November 9, 2009 --As more and more leaders in the fight against HIV/AIDS recognize the potential for outreach and education in Second Life® (SL), their focus has gone virtual. This year's World AIDS Day events promise to break new ground as a diverse group of international organizations join Karuna* (the NLM-funded HIV/AIDS sim in SL) and its SL partners to cross borders of time, space, and geography to celebrate the lives of those dealing with HIV/AIDS.
World AIDS Day 2009 events in SL will be focused on the healing power of stories and storytelling - a hallmark of the work being done by Karuna and its partners. "One of the mandates of the grant that funds Karuna is that we collect, preserve, and share stories," says Jena Ball, the Coordinator of Karuna. "It is among the reasons we chose to celebrate the courageous life and story of Ryan White and created a 'Virtual Story Tree' to honor his memory."
"Second Life® has allowed us to create an immersive, supportive, and collaborative environment in which information can be presented in ways that help de-stigmatize and personalize the subject of HIV/AIDS," Ball continues.
Partnering organizations for the World AIDS Day events with Karuna and SL are a broad range of organizations and individuals from universities, research organizations HIV/AIDS activists, corporations and foundations - HIV/AIDS NLM, RTI, RTP, STHLNY, CFAR, NIH, ALS, IBM, AIDS.gov, TVWSP. ROF, RTP, Four Bridges Project, Jokaydia, VHH, and SAM (list in formation).
"We all believe in the emerging use of virtual worlds that allow people to create content and to connect in ways that are more rich and experiential than historically possible through traditional media," says Brent Ward, Director of Commercialization for Research Triangle International (RTI), one of the world's leading independent, nonprofit research and development organizations.
Highlights WORLD AIDS DAY 2009:
* Formal Opening of "Ryan White Story Tree"
* Live streaming of activities at Research Triangle Park (RTP)
* Guided Tours of SL HIV/AIDS Sims and Activities
* Live music by SL musicians at Remember Our Friends (R.O.F)
* Guided Tours of "The Life and Times of Uncle D" (TVWSP)
* SL Exhibits by sculptors, photographers, painters and builders
* International Exhibits by Students at universities and colleges
* Presentations of original stories, songs, poems and letters by SL artists