One of the most difficult challenges in understanding history is being able to visualize what it might have been like to be present at a historic site at the time a great event was in the process of happening. Or even being present to see what a setting was like even in the absence of a great event. Fortunately, at East Carolina University we were able to call upon some talented colleagues who manage the university’s Second Life program who were able to take the findings of graduate researcher David Fictum to create a virtual tour of Fort Nooherooka on 20 March 1713. This was, of course, one day before the combined North Carolina/South Carolina forces of Indians and settlers began their siege and eventual destruction of the unique Tuscarora fortress.
The Fort Nooherooka 3D Virtual World Simulation was a cooperative project between Dr. Larry Tise and the East Carolina University’s ITCS Academic Technologies Second Life Development and Support Team. The challenge for this project was to visualize what Fort Nooherooka and the surrounding area may have looked like on March 20, 1713 based solely on scholarly data.
And Now Why not Take a Tour of Fort Nooherooka with Your Own Avatar
Second Life was selected for this project because it allows the creation and building of virtual objects. Also, and most relevant to this project, users can walk around the environment with an avatar to get a visual sense of the architecture of the Fort, the siege trenches built by the enemy forces, and the environment. During development everything down to the smallest detail had to be carefully considered and then created based upon historical data. Using the native building tools of Second Life, each object was built using simple building shapes that are scaled, moved, deformed and rotated into place. One of the challenges of this project was to create the many subterranean areas. Inside the Fort, there are trenches, tunnels and underground bunkers where the Fort’s inhabitants sought shelter from attack. Further, the attacking forces dug an elaborate siege trench network to approach the Fort and eventually take it by military force. Using Second Life’s terraforming tools, we were able to recreate the underground bunkers, trenches and tunnels inside the Fort as well as the siege trenches and batteries of the enemy forces. All trenches, tunnels and bunkers are accessible for visiting avatars to explore.
To create an avatar and explore the fort, go to: join.secondlife.com.
Enter the following SLURL:
Second Life Team:
Dr. Sharon Kibbe, PhD