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Austrian State Prize for Gulliver’s Multimedial World
2005 State Prize in Multimedia & e-Business goes to the Ars Electronica Futurelab for its “Gulliver’s World” Edutainment Installation

(Vienna, September 21, 2005) A jury has selected the recipient of the 2005 State Prize in Multimedia & e-Business from among a record 275 nominees. This year’s winner is “Gulliver’s World,” a creation of the Ars Electronica Futurelab in Linz. This edutainment installation has also been nominated for the World Summit Award (WSA) as one of the world’s 40 best new media products. The WSA prizewinners will be announced on November 16.

Multi-User Mixed-Reality

This outstanding mixed-reality project has been singled out for recognition as a visionary achievement with great future promise, one that “inspires, fascinates and stimulates the user through a blend of interactive theater, cinema and installation,” according to the State Prize jury’s statement. Not only does it succeed in blurring the boundaries between the real world and the virtual one; this installation also displays excellence in the way it “combines cultural, technological and social aspects” and is thus a “trendsetter in the media-cultural exhibition field.”

“Our objective in designing this game was to develop settings for new forms of interaction, which, of course, can also be used in business applications,” said Gerfried Stocker, director of the Ars Electronica Center. This “multi-user mixed-reality system” constitutes a highly innovative, multi-strata, interactive edutainment platform. The users are kids, young people and adults in equal measure. The application gets by very nicely without mouse or keyboard. In it, each player can explore his/her own individual world or several players can embark together on a joint, simultaneous journey of discovery. “‘Gulliver’s World’ is thus a true trendsetter in the media-cultural exhibition field,” the jury concluded.

From its very inception, Gulliver’s World has been conceived by Ars Electronica Futurelab engineers as an experimental setup in which new interfaces and approaches to interaction could be tested in both a laboratory situation as well as in actual use by the general public. The project is both a prototype of an exhibit installation with an emphasis on edutainment and an expandable mixed-reality environment conducive to technological innovation and creativity in media art.

© Ars Electronica Linz GmbH, info@aec.at