Immersive Technology for Heritage & Culture Preservation in Yangon, Myanmar
Centre for Immersive Technology and Creativity (CITC) Chairperson Dr Aloysius Yapp and CITC member Lim Chai Kim visited the University of Computer Studies Yangon (UCSY) Myanmar from 1 to 15 December 2019 to share their knowledge in immersive technology, creative media and new media with the USCY community.
During the visit, Dr Yapp and Lim participated in several activities such as joint advisory board members for collaboration project proposal preparation, Myanmar Universities’ Student Game Camp Competition, Heritage and religious site visit & fieldwork, Seminars and workshops for UCSY’s undergraduate and postgraduate students and UCSY Game Camp Exhibition.
As joint advisory board members for proposal preparation for the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture, Yapp and Lim visited UCSY Rector Dr Mie Mie Thet Thwin to discuss the proposal for a project using immersive technology in heritage and culture preservation with local content.
Dr Yapp and Lim were invited to share their knowledge in game design and game development by taking the role of organising committee members and judges in an inter-varsity game development competition known as UCSY MWC Lab Game Camp Competition 2019, organised by Mobile and Web Computing (MWC) Lab Chairperson Prof Dr Yadana Thein. In the competition, Dr Yapp assisted in constructing the competition rules and games assessment rubrics.
As part of the research fieldwork, Dr Yapp and Lim visited several religious and cultural sites, namely Sule Pagoda, Dala Island (Tsunami victim island), Shwedagon Pagoda and The Karaweik. The fieldwork was completed with a meeting with the President of Mahasi Sasana Monastery to seek collaboration in terms of using translation and immersive technologies to introduce, preserve and promote the heritage and culture of Myanmar.
The CITC members conducted a seminar titled “Immersive Technology for Creative Industries” where they presented their work on the Iban Longhouse Virtual Guided Walkthrough (VGW) and Game: Ngasu (which means “Hunting” in the Iban language). The seminar aimed to share and assist MWC lab in structuring and building a proper pipeline in the development of local games and immersive technology products. Through the seminars and workshops, the participants were able to create creative products based on their own local content using the CITC’s pipeline. Aside from that, another seminar was also conducted for the postgraduate students who were about to decide on the title for their research projects. Furthermore, Dr Yapp conducted two drone flying workshops for the UCSY students.
UCSY Game Camp Exhibition was organised to feature all game camp students’ hard work through an exhibition. The event started with a keynote speech titled “Gamification and Immersive Technology for Heritage and Cultural Preservation” from Dr Yapp and Lim. In the presentation, they presented CITC’s research which focused specifically on the creative process of developing the Iban Longhouse; followed by a demo of the VGW supported by the game artificial intelligence (AI) developed by UTAR University Research Students (URS). At the exhibition, visitors were invited to test the games developed by the game camp students and vote their favourite games.
Dr Yapp and Lim said, “We are grateful to be able to share our knowledge in immersive technology for heritage and culture preservation with the community in UCSY, Myanmar through discussions, seminars and workshops. As an advisor for the game camp competition, we hope the research lab (MWC) will be taking the main role in Myanmar to organise the game competition annually so that more collaborations can be established from this event. In future, we hope to provide and share more knowledge in this area of research with the community in the ASEAN region.”