The online arm of the San
Francisco Jose based "The Tech" museum has been announced as the winner of this year's second annual humanitarian Linden Prize. The Tech Virtual museum will collect the US$10,000 prize for projects that "[elevate] the human condition through using Second Life," and "improve the way people work, learn, and communicate in their daily lives outside of the virtual world."
The Tech Virtual (which has been open now since 2008) acts as a center for the creation of reusable (and frequently interactive) science and innovation based concepts and exhibits, and offers US$ design prizes for exhibits which demonstrate fundamental principles in a variety of areas. Even the museum design itself is a collaborative effort, and the museum is providing prototypes for the construction of physical museum spaces.
That The Tech Virtual won this year doesn't come as much of a surprise to us. Last year, just a couple weeks prior to the announcement of the 2009 winners, a Linden Lab Web-site briefly updated indicating that The Tech Virtual was to be the 2009 winner. The update was yanked pretty much immediately thereafter, lasting only minutes. The 2009 joint winners were Virtual Ability and Studio Wikitecture instead.
Nevertheless, that minor glitch stuck in our heads, and we're not astonished to see The Tech Virtual pick up the win this year.
The Tech Virtual is funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and can be found at The Tech island in Second Life. It's well worth the visit and some time exploring. The Tech Virtual's exhibits are designed to be interacted with and there's just too much ingenuity on display for still images or videos to do it justice.
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