At the Inside Social Apps conference in San Francisco today,Ā Gaia CEOĀ Mike Sego (pictured) introduced attendees to Gaia Online, a popular community and social game site.
Here’s more about the site: “Founded in 2003, Gaia Online has grown into one of the biggest forum communities in the world. Today, Gaia is the best place on the web to discuss anime, games, comics, sci-fi, fantasy and anything else you can imagine. Plus, there are tons of other free features to keep Gaia members permanently amused.”
Below, we’ve collected five ways writers can explore this community site where users operate digital avatars.
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Streetmuseum: Dickens’ Dark London
Platform and first installment free; four subsequent installments $1.99 each
An enriched graphic novel, this app explodes stories drawn from Charles Dickens’Sketches by Boz: illustrative of every-day life and every-day people, to create a real sense of place from a combination of striking monochromatic art and theatrical narration.
The first installment looks at the nineteenth century slums surrounding London’s now-tony shopping area known as the Seven Dials. Faithful to the source text, the narrative describes its warren of streets and the gin shop habitues and the nuanced distinctions in dress which Victorians would have used as class signifiers. Future installments will look at the infamous Newgate Prison, gin shops, the streets, and pawnbrokers.
The app, produced by the Museum of London to coincide with the first major exhibition in the U.K. devoted to Dickens in more than 40 years, embeds rich historical details which are layered into page layout, as well as a map which enables you to toggle between contemporary and historical topographies of the city.
This iOS app is sure to appeal to teens who are celebrating the bicentennial of Dickens’ birth February 7th and graphic novel enthusiasts. It also provides a wonderfully visual explanation for teachers introducing the desuetude and debauchery of Victorian London. Some iTunes reviewers express dissatisfaction with the navigation, but the embedded instructions are helpful.
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