The virtual learning environment of VRoma is based on the MOO platform. The acronym MOO stands for Multi-User Dimension Object Oriented. MOOs, originally adapted from online games, enable people in disparate locations to communicate in real time in the manner of chatrooms, but the conversations in MOOs take place in an “online place” with different spatial locations and many interactive features such as talkings bots, objects which can be manipulated, and extensibility (i.e., users can add to the environment by building new rooms and creating new objects). Our design and programming goals for the VRoma virtual environment were twofold:

This simplicity means, of course, that virtual Rome is not a three-dimensional, full-virtual-reality simulation; it will not impress those looking for film-quality special effects or elaborate computer-generated reconstructions. However, we believe that our design has pedagogical advantages, since it encourages users to focus on the content rather than surface appearance and to draw actively on their own imaginations to knit together the images, the textual cues and information, and the digital objects into a virtual world of their own creation (see article explaining “The Nature of VRoma's Virtual Environment”).

VRoma Help Files

The platform of the VRoma MUVE has recently been upgraded to version 5 of the enCore Learning Environment, and we have not yet completed the internal Help content (context-specific help that can be accessed from within the MUVE). However, there are three online Help Files that explain in detail how to use the most important features of VRoma. These can be read on the web or downloaded for printing in Acrobat files.

Ancient Rome was certainly not built in a day, and VRoma's virtual simulation of the ancient city has taken years to construct and reflects the expertise and labor of many contributors. Classicists interested in helping us expand the virtual city should consult the VRoma Building Plan, which lists constructed or projected sites in the historical section of VRoma according to region and identifies builders.

Project Co-Directors: Barbara F. McManus (The College of New Rochelle) and Suzanne Bonefas (Rhodes College)
Web Design: Barbara F. McManus and Daniel Jung (University of Bergen)