Torin Golding’s outstanding sim called simply "Roma" (teleport SLURL) is a feast for the senses and a powerful demonstration of the potential for virtual environments to immerse you in historic places.
Rome is perhaps my second favorite city in the world, next to New York. Walking around the mass of ruins in the Roman Forum (Fori Romani) always transports me to another time, imagining the rich history of this great empire and the lives of the people of who lived, worked and died there. So I was very excited to discover this virtual re-creation of many of the ancient places of Rome, from the Roman Baths to Caligula’s Palace to the open marketplace.
Upon arrival at the Roma "customs house", you are presented with a number of orientation materials as well as a free toga to help you fit in better, and get into the spirit of the locale.
Roma is a no-fly zone, so bring your walking sandals and a good map or be prepared to get lost. There are handy "magic fountains" everywhere, which when touched rez fancy litters that transport you to various spots on the sim. You can also wear a free HUD map of the city, that helped me in my meanderings.
The sim is dominated by a giant legion fortress and official structures that rise high atop the Palatine Hill. There’s also a wharf area, marketplace, museum, and lush gardens.
Lots of nice accents add to the immersiveness and context of what you are experiencing. Clicking on the red markers on various sites brings up notecards that give you historical background on the structures around you. Legionaires, Roman citizens and gladiators walking around greet you with a hearty "Ave!" as you pass by. I learned more than I thought I would at the museum on Palatine Hill, which features an exhibition on sexual mores in Roman times.
It’s always good to pay respects to the Emperor Julius Augustus upon arrival. As you can see ,the Emperor was out when I arrived at the Curia.
You can do things you only imagined doing in the real life Rome, like climbing Trajan’s column!
There’s a free "play" you can watch in the amphitheater, which is quite cleverly done using text, images and sound.
The temple to Zeus, high atop Palatine Hill, is awe-inspiring.
If you are found worthy, Zeus might even bequeth you with your own thunderbolts that you can hurl!
There’s action afoot in the chariot races. You can also enter the gladiator pit and duke it out with other would-be warriors. Or sit in the stands and render judgement with a thumbs up or down.
All-in-all, Roma is well worth a visit. And if you find kindred spirits there, you can even purchase a home or a storefront there.
Slatenight also has a nice tour and interview with the creator Torin Golding that’s worth a read.