For those who haven’t visited Beijing’s Forbidden City, there is now a fully immersive, 3D virtual world that recreates the imperial site originally built in 1420. “The Forbidden City: Beyond Space & Time,” created by IBM and the Forbidden City Palace Museum, took over three years to complete with meticulous recreation of the palace’s buildings and grounds.

Visitors can choose among various period characters — eunuchs, civil servants, etc.– to create their avatar and pick out an outfit from the the Qing Dynasty. Interactions take place between online users or with automated characters who can provide virtual tours of the major historical sites. User can also engage in a wide range of activities that reflect the culture of the period, including archery, cricket fighting, and ‘Weiqi’ (now popularized as GO).

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