heaven & hell - live
Inhabited TV experiment - live, broadcast TV from within a virtual world (1997)
BT, Illuminations, Channel 4, Sony
Heaven & Hell - Live was a game show that was staged inside a shared virtual world and simultaneously broadcast live on Channel 4 TV in August 1997. Inhabitants of the virtual world could help or hinder two celebrity contestants in a series of games played out in three levels; Heaven, Hell and Purgatory.
Heaven & Hell - Live was an experiment in 'Inhabited TV' , which extended traditional broadcast TV with new forms of participation by audiences from within shared virtual worlds.
In Heaven & Hell - Live performers tried to win points ( Lost Souls) in series of games within an hour long show. The performers; a host, two contestants and three roving reporters, were all physically located in a TV studio along with the TV production team. Feeds from the performers' viewpoints in the virtual world were mixed live for broadcast. A live audio stream from the performers was added to the final TV broadcast.
Inhabitants accessed the shared virtual world from their home pc and communicated with the performers and each other via text chat. Inhabitants had themed avatars which could be customised by scaling body parts and changing their colours. They also had animated 'emotions' which could be triggered from the browser interface.
Heaven & Hell - Live was built in VRML and Java, and deployed in Sony's Community Place browser. The browser supported online social interaction via text chat in a 3D graphical environment and could be accessed using a standard PC and modem.
Winner: 'Best Animation', Avatar Awards, Avatars '97, USA 1997
Winner: ''Best Bang for the Buck', Avatar Awards, Avatars '97, USA 1997