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Labyrinth of Fables / Le Labyrinthe des Fables


The Labyrinthe de Versailles was a maze that was constructed in/around 1665 covering approximately 6.5 acres among the vast gardens of the Chateau de Versailles. Commissioned by Louis XIV and designed by the famed architect Andre Le Notre, the Labyrinthe included 39 elaborate fountains each of which illustrated an Aesop fable. It was destroyed in 1775 at the command of Louis XVI and was replaced by the Bosquet de la Reine (The Queen’s Grove) for Marie Antoinette. The Labyrinthe has been the subject of much scholarly study, is of historical significance, and was, simply, a very beautiful place.

The current app, “Labyrinth of Fables”, written in Unity3D software, provides both a “stroll” and a “game” option for wandering through the Labyrinthe. In game mode you are able to read each fable and attempt to deduce the moral; when you correctly deduce the morals the fountain will activate and as you read more fables the labyrinth will grow around you.

With a GPS-enabled, gyroscopic device such as an iPhone or iPad or corresponding Android device, the user can walk the physical site of the former Labyrinthe (i.e., now the Bosquet de la Reine) observing on the screen what he/she would have seen 250-350 years ago at that same site. A stationary user can explore the twisting walkways while seated at his/her Mac or PC.

Exploring possibilities for a more immersive experience, the app had to be adapted to optimize the interaction with immersive systems like the Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headset.