Fort Ross Virtual Warehouse
Fort Ross Virtual Warehouse project is a cultural communication initiative which seeks to transfer to park visitors and young students the significance of Fort Ross heritage in relation to North Pacific exploration and California History. Between 1812 and 1841 Fort Ross was a Russian fur trading outpost and multi-cultural colony located on a small bluff between the thunderous surf of Northern California’s scenic coast and the green rolling hills of California’s Coastal Mountains, just 145 km north of San Francisco. Current Fort Ross is a popular California State Historic Park visited every year by over 100,000 visitors from all over the world. The project started in March 2011 thanks to an agreement between California State Parks and the University of California Merced with the purpose of exploring novel ways for archiving, disseminating, and teaching cultural information related to historic parks. This project entails a vast reflection on novel tools for cultural visualization and education and presents to the general public a 3D real-time application – the Fort Ross Virtual Warehouse serious game – to be exhibited in the Fort Ross State Historic Park’s visitor center and played by students in formal education contexts. Specifically, this multiplatform serious game is meant to generate cultural awareness on the colonization of California engaging park visitors and students in a virtual discovery of the rich cultural landscape of the Ross colony where Russians, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Creoles peacefully lived side-by-side.