The Nether Realm : A Live Interactive Virtual World

Published on Thu 24 Jul 2014

The Nether Realm is a live interactive virtual world inspired by Jennifer Haley’s new play, The Nether.

The realm is linked in real time to the Twitter hashtag #TheNether. Every time the hashtag is used on Twitter, new life is breathed into the virtual environment. When the hashtag is not in use the world slowly starts to decay.

The Nether Realm explores the relationship between real and virtual worlds. It highlights the ways in which virtual worlds are the product of our activities in real life and considers the idea that the moral character of virtual worlds is ultimately dependent on how we create and interact with them. It’s up to the audience how beautiful or how dark the world becomes.

The realm can be viewed through a series of digital portals installed throughout the Royal Court Theatre during the run of The Nether. Audience members can explore the world as an avatar using an interactive kiosk located in the building. They can also create instant change in the world by tweeting the word ‘sunlight’ and other similar words along with the hashtag #TheNether.

The Nether Realm can also be entered online. The world is located in the public virtual space OSgrid. Using a virtual worlds browser such as Firestorm, users can access and explore the world as an avatar. Simple instructions for how to do this can be found on Headlong’s website.

The Nether Realm was created by the visual artist Michael Takeo Magruder, who works with digital and new media including real-time data, immersive environments, mobile devices and virtual worlds.

The Nether Realm was commissioned by Headlong, with support from the Royal Court Theatre and the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London.

Useful Links

The details of how to interact with the Nether Realm are on the Headlong website here

The guide to entering the world online can be accessed directly toPersonaliseYourAvatar_1.pdf”>here