“UNICORN” stands for the following, and more:
~The Universal Neomedieval and Illustrative Cyberspace Opportunity for Realistic Needs
~The Unbounded Neverland and Infinite Collection of Online Retroactive Neomedievalism
Consider the image of the three individuals working together (left); it is an image that Medieval Electronic Multimedia Organization has used for its first book cover, among other items. One might imagine the young woman with the laptop computer and the young man with the video camera to be graduate students of contemporary medieval studies (including medievalism), and the older gentleman might appear to be a rather eccentric archeology professor.
We propose an approach that addresses the exciting scholastic opportunities provided by online technology while fighting to maintain the dignity and diligence established by more traditional scholarship. We propose to build a virtual museum that is also a library, that has a Great Hall for special exhibits and conferences, that provides classrooms and workrooms, and that even has a store. In short, it would provide a three dimensional style environment for both research and pedagogical purposes. And it has gaming elements for exploration and learning.
The advantages of a platform such as this include: instant updating of information, access to books and journals, access to video, images, and other digital multimedia, and a digital virtual space for conferences and meetings to hold discourse. Scholarship relies more and more upon audio-visual sources, and this museum-library-store could easily link scholars to film clips, musical passages, artwork, and artifacts, as well as to sites outside, such as Chaucer MetaPage or Google Scholar.
Such a platform, too, would allow for more frequent and constructive engagement on both formal (conference) and informal (gaming) levels and on a global scale.
Ultimately, this will become a 3-D virtual environment. Below is a map of introductory schematics for this environment. The Rotunda is not a circle; it is actually a sphere, with halls constantly being added, constantly under construction, to all sides of it. The Great Hall is intended for multiple special uses, including the annual Cloud Conference. Note that the inside of the museum (a castle) is much, much larger than the outside (“walls”) will suggest. This museum is as much a library of information as it is a display of artifacts (photgraphed, facimiled, and/or simulated). Its intention is to be supportive of other scholarly and pedagogical endeavors and to encourage collaborations. It is primarily intended for the “smart phone generation” with the goal of creating a diverse, accessible, and inclusive environment of neomedieval proportions. Most of the exhibits in each hall will be free and open to everyone.
The Current Reality
Until the 3d platform is built, exhibits are limited to more traditional digital web constructions. We are using both WordPress and Moodle to contain and organize content of the castle’s museum elements, as well as the collaborative work done in preparation for the exhibits.
All players and game masters retain copyright and have agreed that their character sheets and/or game building plans (sheets, maps, etc.) published by The UNICORN Castle will be made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. This means that players/game masters must: attribute the character sheet and/or building plans, may not use them for commercial purposes, and may not alter, transform, or build upon The UNICORN Castle game or materials (including the character sheet template), except to add information about a particular character.