10th October 2005




An online garden which allows computer users to control the virtual weather could win a major award for four University of Lincoln students.


The Virtual Garden, which was produced by Hull-based students Nick Goward (27), Linze Holt (22), Lisa Gray (22) and Graham Musk (23), has been shortlisted for a British Interactive Media Association (BIMA) Student Award.


All four have been invited to attend the awards ceremony on Friday 25th November at the Royal Hospital Gardens in Chelsea, where they will be up against two teams from Bournemouth University and one from Plymouth University.


“The idea of the project was to choose a real-life space and produce an interactive interpretation of it which conveyed the activities, feelings and emotions associated with that space,” says Nick Goward, who studies Interactive Multimedia at the Hull School of Art and Design.


“It was a piece of work for our university course.  Some people chose busy places like airports but we decided to create a virtual garden.


“The garden works in real time, so at night it’s dark and there are stars in the sky and during the day the sun shines or it’s cloudy.


“As an experiment the garden is controlled either through a webcam or through a microphone. You interact with it not by using the keyboard or mouse but by making movements or making noise.


“You can control the weather, alter conditions, cause reactions within the garden and entice plants to grow. The main plant is a tree, which rewards the user by sprouting coins entitling the user to leave a lasting mark in the space in the form of a wish.


“Wishes are only visible during the night as stars in the sky which move across the screen and, thanks to local time differences, around the globe in real time.”


You can visit The Virtual Garden for yourself at http://www.webdesignhull.lincoln.ac.uk/ngoward/virtualspace/


For more information contact: Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

01522 886042                         jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk

Visit our news web pages:      www.lincoln.ac.uk/news/latestnews.htm