Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Harvard, MFA Unveil Virtual 3D Tour Of Ancient Egyptian Pyramids

Now you will be able to fly around and into pyramids. Fabulous, and educationally potentially wonderful! It would be interesting to know though whether the revenues that one can imagine could and will be generated by selling the trip to Giza to virtual tourists -- and the much larger revenues one imagines lie down the road once this academic tool gets turned into Sim Pyramid or Grand Theft Chariot or the obvious Raiders-of-the-Lost Ark videogame -- are going to be shared with the Egyptian SCA to help it better protect the actual sites, or whether the software company is going to pocket the profits. At a meeting I attended a few years ago in Alexandria I suggested that the SCA could raise quite a lot of money by licensing image capture rights to the videogame industry, and got blank stares. Let's hope they haven't gotten snookered.


Peter Manuelian said...

There are no profits generated from Giza3D, Larry. It is free and accessible to all (, so this is much more a project of "digital repatriation" than of robbing the Egyptians of cultural patrimony or royalty checks.

Peter Der Manuelian 
Philip J. King Professor of Egyptology 
Harvard University 
6 Divinity Avenue 
Cambridge, MA 02138 

Founding Director, The Giza Archives 
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Larry Rothfield said...

Thanks for clearing that up, and kudos on a great project.

I should add, though, that I think it would be wonderful if Dassault Systemes were able to make a deal with a videogame maker to license the imagery to be exploited as the background for a commercial game (so long as the educational site remains free of course), in order to make some money off the imagery, if at least some of the profits went to provide royalty checks to the Egyptian SCA to help them pay for more site protection.