Friday, June 20, 2014

Great Second Life Destinations: Learn History at the Cold War Museum

1970's-ear Soviet Mig-23 fighter in the Main Exhibit Room
I have only visited a handful of thought-provoking educational destinations in my seven and a half years as a Second Life Resident. Sure, they are many great art installations, and several destinations which do a great job in talking about the hard sciences. But history remains my passion -- I was an undergraduate major in history and loved every minute -- and there have only been a few destinations in Second Life over the years that I actually learned something about history or politics by visiting.

The Yalta Summit of the Allied Leaders in 1945.
Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin set the stage for the Cold War by failing to agree.

OtakuSempai Button's Cold War Museum now joins the ranks of one of the best in its genre. The Cold War is the period of time, from 1947 - 1991 when the world, after the horrors of the Second World War,  divided into two main military and economic blocks-  NATO and the West led by the U.S.A., and The Warsaw Pact led by the U.S.S.R. competed for world domination. The Cold War almost turned hot in 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis but didn't. The ability to destroy the world many times over with over 25,000 nuclear warheads served as a good damper on warlike actions for both sides.

The first atomic bomb, Little Boy, dropped on Hiroshima Japan in 1945
Although things are much more complicated than this, the U.S.A. represented free-market capitalism and multiparty democracies, and the U.S.S.R. represented Communism and the one-party totalitarian state. The U.S.A. and the Western Block would eventually prevail by 1991 when the U.S.S.R. split up into Russia and other nations, and dropped Communism as an economic system.

Soviet-era Propaganda Posters

Many feel the Cold War is now returning, with China taking the place of the old USSR in competition with the U.S.A, and Russia reviving nationalism in the invasion of Crimea in the Ukraine.  The Cold War Museum addresses this in a separate display.

A Soviet ICBM
The Cold War Museum does not take up much space or prims, and relies on simple textures to convey its lessons and message. There are a few models, including a Russian Mig Fighter and ICBM, and no complicated av displays (which I feel is a good thing). What the curator has done is construct a timeline of history using photographs, posters, and other displays -- in proper chronological order -- that takes you through the 44 years of The Cold War without preaching or giving a one-sided view of the conflict.

The Cold War ends with thebreakup of the USSR in 1991 

A tour would be great for any high school or college who needs to get an idea for  a term paper an aspect of this period in history. I highly recommend it for any history or military buff, and anyone who wants to see how to construct a great museum using a minimal amount of prims and space.

To vist:

To learn more about the Cold War:

Did the Cold War really end?
Is it starting up all over again in Europe?

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