The virtual villa is a recreation of the Pompeian Court, a life-size replica of a house in Pompeii that was built inside the Crystal Palace but destroyed by fire in 1936.
The virtual model of the court, built by Dr Shelley Hales and Dr Nic Earle, brings together a digitised collection of the paintings displayed in the court, as well as an archive of the guidebooks and press reviews that described it.
Working with researchers, community groups, and school and undergraduate students, Hales and Earle have designed ways of bringing the model alive for users.
Through their online avatars, visitors can explore the house alone, join guided tours, meet other visitors, take part in learning activities, or even interact with (virtual) Victorian and Pompeian inhabitants.
Dr Hales said: ‘The model helps us to compare the strategies the Victorians used to build, inhabit and engage audiences with their immersive Pompeian environment with the techniques made possible by the technology at our disposal today.’
To find out how to take part, please read the instructions at: http://sydenhamcrystalpalace.wordpress.com