World’s Largest Winter Wonderland experience opens virtually to families for free
The world’s largest winter festival opens its virtual doors to the public to experience Christmas festivities – all in a Minecraft world.
Covering an area with a representative size of over 155,000 square metres or 38 acres, the virtual wonderland is 4 times the size of the biggest real-world seasonal event in Austria and took specialist artist Ushio Tokura over 300 hours and more than 30 million individual blocks to complete.
Commissioned by NVIDIA, the NVIDIA RTX Winter World will give families across the globe a free festive immersive experience to explore, which exceeds its real-world counterparts in scale, that visitors can enjoy from the comfort of their own homes. It will also offer an opportunity to raise funds for NVIDIA’s charity partner, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH Charity).
Utilising NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX GPU’s (Graphics Processing Unit), real-time ray tracing stunningly simulates the physical behaviour of light, enabling reflections, shadows and other realistic lighting effects, as visitors are transported to a world offering a full winter wonderland and Santa’s grotto experience.
The world includes roller coasters, a Christmas village, frozen ice-skating lake, penguin postal service and petting zoo tent, with playable storylines and quests. Christmas film aficionados should also keep a lookout for Easter Egg homages to famous festive flicks such as Elf, It’s A Wonderful Life and The Polar Express.
The world also features a full recreation of the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) building and visitors will be able to donate via an in-game QR code to contribute to the charity’s ‘Home for Christmas’ fundraising campaign, which seeks to bring seriously ill children one step closer to home. This includes, through funding state-of-the-art medical technology, pioneering research programmes into treatments and cures for rare conditions and patient and family support services. Money raised will also help bring Christmas to the hospital for children from across the UK whose treatment needs to continue over the festive season, as well as funding important services for GOSH staff working to care for patients and their families. Visitors can also donate directly via this link.
NVIDIA spokesperson said: “With the power utilised from our RTX GPU, we are thrilled to bring families across the globe a truly unique, virtual Christmas experience. We wanted to bring an accessible and free event for all families this Christmas, whatever their circumstances, while supporting the vital work our friends at Great Ormond Street do. We hope to raise as much as possible to help their efforts this Christmas.”
Liz Tait, Director of Fundraising at GOSH Charity said: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with NVIDIA who have created this amazing experience for families across the world. We are so grateful for any donation’s visitors to this incredibly festive winter wonderland, and those joining the charity stream, are able to make. Every child should have the chance to be at home with their families for Christmas Day, by donating to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity this Christmas, you’ll be helping fund vital resources that can help get seriously ill children one step closer to home as well as helping to bring that special Christmas magic to children at GOSH whose treatment needs to continue over the festive season. Thank you.”