Knowledge Paradise 1
The Knowledge Kingdom
Cosma, Pyra, Gaia, Hydra, Aria, 327,680 sq. m. (2008-2014)
Knowledge Paradise (K-Paradise, K-Places 1.0) was the most comprehensive version of the Knowledge Places (K-Places) project. The project used the virtual world named Second Life to create a 3D interface to the inventory of Knowledge Resources hosted on the Cosma Web site. You can find out more about the project on the K-Places page.
Development of the five island estate began in 2008, and it was done in parallel to the later phases of the Alpha version of K-Places called Knowledge Gates (K-Gates) and the Beta version called Knowledge Palace (K-Palace).
As was the case with the K-Gates and K-Palace, the core of K-Paradise was the 3D hyperlinks dubbed Knowledge Objects (K-Objects). These included Magic Windows which were 3D links to Cosma, Magic Doors which were 3D links to locations in Second Life, and other K-objects which linked to Web sites besides Cosma.
Hundreds of content specific versions of these objects were generated and distributed across content specific “spaces” in K-Palace to create a thematic approach for exploring Cosma, SecondLife and other Web sites.
There was also an extensive collection of “talented” objects such as vehicles, animals, games and rides that were used to signal the subject of spaces as well as add some fun and value for visitors. Many objects were free to copy and modify (freebies). Others were examples of the best things available for sale in Second Life and were positioned next to Magic Doors that linked to sites where they could be purchased.
All of the content specific virtual objects were systematically distributed to corresponding thematic “spaces” with content specific decor.
The development of the K-Paradise involved reorganizing and revamping hundreds of objects from the K-Gates and K-Palace sites and then weaving them together into larger and far more elaborate, contiguous thematic spaces.
Here is a summary and showcase of the spaces.
Knowledge Navigation Nexus
Cosma Aether, 65,536 sq. m. (2008-2014)
The center island of K-Paradise was Cosma Aether, and it was laid out in a grid with concentric squares of “roads” aligned with the Cosma’s Contents.
Visitors would begin exploring K-Paradise at the Welcome Area and the immediately adjacent Knowledge Gardens which provided an orientation to the K-Objects.
The Welcome Area and Knowledge Gardens were near the center of the island, so visitors would be drawn inward. Just as in K-Palace, Systems content was in the center of the island.
On the way to explore the Systems Center, visitors would pass the Media Courtyard. It featured the Media content that had been absent from the K-Places since it was replaced by Transportation at Knowledge Port in 2006.
Visitors would also see a sign inviting them to wander the Philosophy Path that was situated just outside the Media Courtyard. The path was a concentric square with six gardens that were coordinated by both color and theme with those introduced in the Systems Center. This was the first time in the K-Places project that Philosophy content was included.
Visitors could also see a sign inviting them to stroll around Knowledge Square to find out about the types of knowledge accessed throughout K-Paradise. These were the Knowledge Forms which were featured in dedicated spaces arranged around Knowledge Square. These content areas were far more elaborate than they had been in the K-Gates and K-Palace sites, and the structures associated with them were the tallest, most prominent features on the island (Gatehouse, Treehouse, Lighthouse and Bubblehouse).
The Innovation Center at the Gatehouse was where visitors could learn about Innovation and STEM subjects (Science, Technology etc.). There was also a playground for exploring Math between the Innovation Center and the area dedicated to Physics.
The Preservation Center at the Treehouse had Preservation content (Libraries, Museums etc.).
Further around Knowledge Square was the Participation Center at the Lighthouse with content related to Participation (Education, Community etc.). There was also a direct path to a public commons for hosting meetings and an Education Center with a classroom.
The final structure on Knowledge Square was the whimsical Bubblehouse that housed the Expression Center with content focused on Expression (Arts, Entertainment etc.).
Eventually visitors would wander to the outer most areas of the central island. There they would find Realm Road. As the name implied, the road around the outside of the island had spaces dedicated to the Knowledge Realms. Realm Road was also the way to access the four outer islands of K-Paradise. The islands featured content related to the Realms as well as areas that were parallel in theme and content to the most popular spaces in the K-Gates sites in Linden Village and the grounds of the K-Palaces (Port, Park, Plaza and Pier).
The Clock Tower was a visible starting point for exploring the Realms and outer islands. When visitors approached it, the would encounter Cosmos Cafe where they could begin their journey of the Realms with an introduction to Cosmology and the Cosmos. They could also learn about things like time, clocks, geography, maps and Navigation in this area.
Cosmos Cafe was also conveniently located next to Knowledge Port (K-Port) and Knowledge Pier (K-Pier) so that visitors could grab a couple of vehicles before continuing their explorations of the Realms and outer islands.
Cosma Pyra, Physical Realm, 65,536 sq. m. (2008-2014)
The popularity of K-Port in Linden Village and K-Pier at the two K-Palace sites led to the decision to also include a site dedicated to Transportation at K-Paradise. It was behind the Clock Tower and Cosmos Cafe at the corner where two of the outer islands came together, and it was actually comprised of two different areas in two different islands. K-Port was located in the “red” Pyra Island while K-Pier was located in the “violet” Aria Island.
Like its predecessors, this area provided structured access to the array of transportation available in Second Life. The boat dock, train station car lot, air field and space port all had free starter vehicles that were easy for newbies to claim, boxes with more free vehicles presorted by type, and Magic Doors to places to buy the best vehicles available in Second Life!
There is no video walk-through of this site, but there is one of K-Port in Linden Village that will give you a sense of what it was like to visit.
A bit down Realm Road past K-Port was an area dedicated to the Physical Realm. This was where visitors could play with fun “physical” objects and learn about the branches of Physics. They could also find out about Astronomy and Astronomical Instruments.
Further along Realm Road, at the corner between Pyra Island and Gaia Island, was Sol Square. This is where you could visit Sol’s Temple and learn about the Sun. Beyond Sol Square there was an area called the Earth Spot with content about Earth, its Spheres, Ecosystems and Life.
The Earth Spot was right next to the Terrestrial Realm and the entrance to Gaia Island.
Cosma Gaia, Terrestrial Realm, 65,536 sq. m. (2008-2014)
Knowledge Park (K-Park) had a Botanical Garden with content about plants, trees and flowers and a zoo with cute, interactive, and sometimes even “free to adopt” animals. You could see and learn about bees and butterflies, play with some ants, touch some fish, frogs and turtles, see birds, rabbits, a giraffe, an elephant, a bear and a lion. You could even pet a woolly mammoth, ride a horse and adopt a cat or dog! There was also a Pub and Beer Garden with Magic Doors to the best “nature” oriented things to do in Second Life.
After leaving K-Park at Gaia Island and continuing around Realm Road, at the corner between Gaia Island and Hydra Island, there was the Sentience Hut where visitors could visit with a chatty parrot, watch a dolphin and play with a clever little monkey.
Cosma Hydra, Anthropological Realm, 65,536 sq. m. (2008-2014)
Just down the road from Sentience Hut was the Anthropological Realm at the entrance to Knowledge Plaza (K-Plaza). This area had content about humans and their many endeavors (societies, cultures, homes, as well as state and world governance, etc.).
There was also a Freebie Village next to the entrance to K-Plaza that had free to copy/modify homes and furniture as well as Magic Doors to the best home and furniture sites in Second Life.
K-Plaza on Hydra Island had a public common and a variety of meeting areas that anyone could use for free as well as a pool where groups could gather and hang out.
As visitors rounded the final bend on their journey around Realm Road, they would be drawn into the entrance to the Mystical Realm. The area held beloved science fiction objects, a magic carpet ride, and some mythical tidbits. There was an Elven village, and if visitors looked carefully, they might earn their wings!
Cosma Aria, Mystical Realm, 65,536 sq. m. (2008-2014)
Down Realm Road, past the entrance to the Mythical Realm, was K-Pier. It was a hop, skip and a jump from the Expression Center at the whimsical Bubblehouse on Knowledge Square. It was based upon a circus metaphor and had a carnival like atmosphere. The content was focused on Entertainment and the Arts, there were amusement park rides that worked and Magic Doors to the most entertaining things to see, do and buy in Second Life.
When visitors left K-Pier, they would see a sign to the Space Port where there were some free spaceships. Of course, this area was also adjacent to K-Port with its fun, distracting modes of functioning transportation.
Finally, there was a diagonal path back to the Welcome Area inviting visitors to (re)visit the things that they may have missed during their journey through K-Paradise. The invitation was also on the Welcome Card that visitors received when they first arrived.
There is something for everybody, new and experienced users alike. There is more to see and do than you can experience in a single visit, and more are added all of the time, so visit often and wander the web!
Knowledge Port & Knowledge Park
Navigation & Exploration Center
Maryport, 24,048 sq. m. (2015-Present)
After the discontinuation K-Paradise and most of the other K-Places sites in 2014, their contents were consolidated into a very scaled back version to be an archive of the K-Places project. The archival sites are in Linden Village and only hold a small sample of the spaces and objects that made up K-Paradise and the other K-Places sites between 2006 and 2014.
The largest archival site is K-Park — it has some of the objects from the Knowledge Realms.
There is also a “sky-space” situated above the ground-level sites. It reflects the contents of the Knowledge Square and some of the popular spaces located on the outer islands of K-Paradise (K-Port, K-Park, K-Plaza and K-Pier). Like those spaces, it showcases the Knowledge Forms.
Here is a video of an extended walk-through of the K-Places archival sites.
This map shows where the archival sites are in Linden Village. If you have a Second Life account and the software installed, then you can click the map to teleport there and explore the sites.
1. Much of the content on this page was originally developed for a presentation at MIT in 2009.
Hopper, M. E. (2009, April). Cosma: Constructing a Kingdom of Knowledge. Media in Transition 6 Conference: Stone and Papyrus, Storage and Transmission, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.