Singapore 2010 Odyssey

Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee (SYOGOC) launched the Singapore 2010 Odyssey last Saturday at Orchard Cineleisure. The Odyssey is the first virtual world developed based on an Olympic event. Users will be able to create their own avatars, compete in games, learn more about the Olympic Games and socialize with other users.

I had the opportunity to roam around Odyssey few days before the official launch. The place sort of reminds me of Second Life. When I first heard of the project, I was wondering why didn’t they just use Second Life which is a tried and tested platform. But after looking at the targeted age group and the things they are doing, it make sense for them to have their own controlled platform instead of using the open Second Life. Like Second Life, users can walk around the 3D world using your arrow control. If you are tired of walking, you can fly by pressing the F key. But unlike Second Life, you can’t choose how high to fly. Users can also perform some actions like Dance, Wave, Sit, Lie Down, Laugh by right clicking on yourself. Basic avatar customization is also available.

There are several mini-games which users can compete with each other and earn points. Currently, only Archery, Swimming, Shooting, Hurdle and Basketball is available. More games will be rolled out before the start of the Youth Olympic Games. The games involve just a few buttons are very easy to play. Wish that it could be more challenging. But then, maybe it’s more suited for the targeted age group. There are also quest which users can try to complete. Like the mini-games, the quest are also very easy to complete.

Perhaps the best part of the Odyssey is the social networking element. The Odyssey provides an excellent platform for YOG participants and supporters to meet each other virtually. Users can communicate via public or private chat. They can also explore the 3D virtual landmarks in Odyssey. Venue like Youth Olympic Village, Singapore Sport School, Marina Barrage and The Float @ Marina Bay are carefully modeled in 3D. More venues will be roll out before the start of Youth Olympic Games.

Odyssey is not a web apps. You need to download the application to run on your PC. The only problem with Odyssey is that it does not support MacOS. Or rather, only Windows is supported. With MacOS growing in popularity among the youth, the MacOS users will be left out.

As a whole, the Odyssey is a great platform. But the platform is nothing without users. Let’s hope that as we approach YOG, more and more users will sign up and join Odyssey. Register at www.singapore2010.sg/o now.
Look me up when you are there. My nick is DeeKay.

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