Friday, July 25, 2008

Part XXVII: The Seven Wonders Of 2nd Life, Parts 1 and 2

PART ONE

We're bored. So bored, Torchy suggests I type in "boring" into the teleport guide to see what pops up. I get three hits. We check out D's Yacht Club Rentals first. Oh yeah. It's boring. I see no indication of why this site would pop up, though. The word "boring" is not in the description, only in the location.

We're still bored. So extremely bored, Torchy suggests we visit the first hit on list. It's a Christian dance club called "The Joint" of all things where apparently I can rock out with Jesus. I see they made the mistake of adding "Jesus isn't dead or boring!!" in their description. Now, ironically, they come up first when you search for boring. All right. Let's go!

We're even more bored. So terminally bored, Torchy suggests we actually go in the place. No. This is where I draw the line. There's not a single Jesus rocking out in there. That description lied. We can't rock out by ourselves. We need something better to do. Something not boring.

From time to time I peruse the internets in search of other 2nd Life blogs such as mine or things relating to 2nd Life that I might use as fuel for quests. I came across a techlearning blog called The Seven Wonders of Second Life. In it the writer, a one Existential Paine, lists his submissions for the seven most wondrous places to visit in 2nd Life.

The criteria in his own words: "The criteria is really quite simple (and, yes, subjective). The Seven Wonders of Second Life are the most creative and unique builds in SL that are well done and mind blowing. Not asking to much, eh? They don't have to be educational but let's keep it clean ;-)"

Coincidentally, this blog was published exactly one year ago. It's an omen, Torchy. We should go check out his submissions and see If we concur. We could also ask some of the locals if they agree with Existential's assessments. Sounds like a cure for the bottom-belly blues to me. Let's go!

#1 on his list, Greenie's Home Rezzable, I cannot find. Maybe I didn't look hard enough. There are direct links on the tech blog to the specified locations but I was leery of using them at first. Plus, the blog was a year old so I chalked it up to maybe the zone going under in the last year. Oh well. Maybe I'll try again later, but let's move on to the next.

#2 on the list is a place called The Pot Healer Adventure. Smitten with the name already, my imagination gave me visions of a benevolent wizard who wonders high and low dispensing enchanted marijuana from his magic satchel to all the country folk in need. I actually find this site in the guide. What are we waiting for? Let's go!

Man, this place has gone to pot. There's wreckage spilled out all over the harbor. Those sailors must have been dipping into the wizard's satchel pretty heavy. Not so impressed and awed yet, I decided to trudge up the hill to get a better view of the place. I hope there's less garbage.

OK. I'm getting mildly impressed. When I get to the top of the hill, a rugged beauty smacks me in the face and I start to get the picture of why this place was on the list. There are no people here, though. Being a "seven wonder" doesn't necessarily mean you'll get a lot of traffic through your land. Maybe they should install some camping for money spots. Better yet, maybe they shouldn't.

I'm suspicious of any tulip that's larger than myself. Each time I walk by one I expect it to try and snack on me. Luckily these flowers seem to be vegetarians. Does that mean they're cannibals? All in all, this area smells of a hobbit's wet dream. It's got adorable little domiciles, large flora and quaint little paths.

Time to see if we can get into that castle.

It was a bit tricky getting in here. I had to jump in the moat and find a secret ladder. What we see is your standard deserted Medieval market place complete with huts and furs for trade. I started to get a feeling like I was being followed and that's when I had noticed someone else had jumped into the site.

I took refuge in the castle gate house and prepared to volley many insults at the person trying to invade. Luckily for us, they weren't as diligent at trying to break into the place. They never did find the secret ladder, thus their castle siege was unsuccessful. Another victory for Huygens and Torchy!

Time to check out #3 on the list. It's a Harry Potter themed zone called The Wizard's Alley. Yay! More mirth and magic!

But again, I was having trouble locating the damn place in my guide. Not scoring a good average with my guide, I decided to use the direct links Existential provided in his blog.

This is what came up, though. Unless the wizards decided to take up surfing, I think the Wizard's Alley might not be around anymore. But not wanting to waste a perfectly good link, I decided to head on over to Oahu Hawaii, possibly formerly known as The Wizard's Alley. Maybe the locals can tell me where all the Gryffindors went to.

Well. I wouldn't put this place on the Wonders list but as far as tourist traps go, it's alright. Torchy wants to check out the two skyscrapers in the distance. Thankfully this zone allows you to fly, because it's just not interesting enough to take the time to walk there.

We coast on up to one of the apartment buildings to find a lone occupant dancing around her bedroom in her underwear. Her name is Amber Tauber and she seems unaware of my presence. I shout hello to her but she does not respond. I try again and state I would like to ask her a question. She dances a little more but then stops and heads for her living room.

By now I'm starting to feel the cold shoulder. I know she can hear me but chooses to ignore me. She heads out to her balcony on the other side of the building. I fly around only to see her take flight.

The chase is on.

We circle the buildings for a couple of times and then Amber finally stops and faces me and says, "What are you doing dude?" I feel bad already for scaring this pretty bird out of her cage so I try and play it cool. I say, "I did not mean to disturb you, milady. I was just wondering if you consider this place one of the Seven Wonders of Second Life?"

She replies, "Well I'm sure wondering right now." Laughing, I asked, "So, you don't have any idea where all the Slitherens went?" And she says, "Dude, you are messed up."

I say, "I swear I'm not most of the time. Sorry for disturbing you. Thanks for your time." She replied, "No problem. Good luck with whatever." And then she flew off.

We didn't learn much from Amber about the fate of Wizard's Alley so we decided to move on to #4 on the list: The S.S. Galaxy Boarding Gangway. A cruise ship? C'mon, you got to be kidding. How is a cheesy luxury liner going to compare with enchanted landscapes? I guess we're going to find out.

The thing is big, I'll give it that. So big that the whole thing can't rasterize on the screen. On the outside, it's not much to look at. It's just your average commercial vwessel and not looking very wondrous to me. But before we discount it, we should probably take a look inside.

OK, that's a little better. The place is pretty plush and decorated nicely. I kind of wish Herschel was around so I could borrow his tux.

We head to a lower level and come across a movie theater with someone in it. The screen is still so I am at a loss as to what she's doing in there. I decide to head on in and solve this minor mystery.

I take the seat across the aisle from her and say "Howdy." I see that her name is Scarlett Qi.

Looking at the unmoving screen and back to Scarlett, I ask, "What's playing today?" She responds with, "Hi. Right at the end of a movie." At first I am confused. The screen still looks unmoving to me, but then I realize that you probably have to activate the screen somehow or else it will look blank while everyone else is watching the movie. So I say, "Sorry. I didn't mean to disturb."

I sat there for a second not knowing what to do. I wondered what movie she was watching but wanted to limit my inquiries so as to not piss her off. I took a gamble and said, "Someone told me this was one of the Seven Wonders of 2nd Life. Do you think that's true?"

She simply replied, "Yes."

I said, "Thanks. Sorry to disturb you again. Enjoy the movie." And then I walked out. It would seem, from Scarlett's opinion, that this should indeed be on the list of wonders. Go figure.

On my way out, I decided to see what's playing. Rocky Horror, Harry Potter and Indy for the younger crowd and Dracula, Wizard of Oz and Casablanca for the older. I make up my mind that Scarlett was watching The Wizard of Oz. I don't know why.

Reflecting on it, Scarlett is a pretty dedicated SIM. Think about it. Say you want to watch Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix. Most likely you would go to your DVD rack, or rent it, put it in the player and watch it. Now "Scarlett", she logs on to SL to become avatar Scarlett Qi, travels to this luxury cruise ship only to sit down in a simulated movie theater and watch it on her computer as someone else watching it somewhere else. I'm still amazed how many people actually live the 2nd Life.

I'm just not that dedicated...

...

PART 2



And we're back. And on to #5. A western flavored Sim, called Tomestone. The description says it can't tell me anything about the place because that access is restricted. Another mystery. Excellent. But I do think I detect the smell of a role-play site.

My suspicions, confirmed. Everybody is in western garb and talking the ye olden talk. I think people carried lanterns and not torches in the 1800s so I keep my head low as I pass through the reception area.

Sure enough, this is where my access ends. Only people who are members can get in. Those damn racka-fracks. I guess I'll never get the low-down on Tomestone. The "No Random Shooting" sign is a nice touch. And I'd love to get me hands on some of that Mad Thunder HUD.

But wait a minute! It would appear that I do have access to the Tomestone Mall. Maybe this'll be western enough, in a free market kind of way, for me to judge the place. Maybe some of the shopkeepers can voice their opinion as well.

We mosey down streets, uncharacteristically devoid of spittoons. I amble up to one of the local shopkeeps. He's looking less western and more metro-sexual to me and it's kind of killing my cowboy buzz. If I were in another mood, Wrister Wylie might have some explaining to do.

But, we give him the benefit of the doubt since his name is rather silly and old-westernish. I tell him about someone considering this one of the seven wonders and asked if he shared the sentiment.

He said, "Yes. I will. It is 8 SIMs large and a lot to explorer." I wasn't sure if he was attempting an old west accent and I wasn't going to ask him about it. I thanked him for his time and left.

Torchy thought we should ask the local gun shop owner what his opinion was. I walked in on Mr. Rom Giha pulling hig gun out and back in. He turned to me and drew his weapon again. I exclaimed, "Dont shoot me."

He said, "Don't worry. Not today." I asked him, "What about tomorrow?" He replied, "I'll tell you tomorrow."

Then I asked him if he agreed with a certain tech blogger that this would classify as a seven wonder of 2nd Life.

He laughed good and hard but then said that he was relatively new here so he might not be the best judge. I told him good luck with the shop and we said our goodbyes. I'm not sure if I'd keep this one on the list since I've only been to the mall. But as I stated before, I'm not dedicated enough join their happy-fun-no-random-shooting club.

I decide to jump ahead to #7, Treasure Island. #6 is a Shakespeare amphitheater, and if a play is being performed, that would make a nice last stop.

Already, I think this was a good choice for the list. The place has a nice vibe going. A little touch of mystical, a pinch of pirate and a whole lot of no people around. My kind of place.

And I'm digging the tree house.

Looks like it's raining to the southeast.

Ahhhh, a refreshing and much needed shower.

No treasure in the ship's cargo hold. Thar be pirates and scoundrels afoot.

Someone else enters the site. I fly over to introduce myself. It's a young samurai warrior in the process of changing clothes so I treded lightly. I say, "Howdy."

Ilymshan replies, "Hello, Huygens."

I get right to it and ask him if he thinks the place is deserving of the title of one of the Seven Wonders. He quickly responds, "Yes, I agree." With nothing left to say, we parted ways.

Don't worry my four-legged, fury mountain friend. You spot is secure in the Great Hall of Places to Visit in 2nd Life. Now stop eating my hair.

For last, it's time to backtrack and head to #6 to get some much needed culture at the Globe Theatre. When I look for it in the guide, I get nothing, not found and nadda. So, I give Existential's direct link a try. The place it wants to send me to has no description and a generic name of "Communication arts".

I see no theatre yet. I see no people in Shakespeare dress either. It's looking like a bust. Maybe an ariel view with shed some light, but I'm starting to think the Globe Theatre tanked.

There you are. The theatre was just a little west of my beam-in point. Not much looks to be happening down there. Even the name of the place has been converted to a bland "Greek Venue". Sorry, Globe, it looks like you're off the list.

What else was there to do than boo at a nonexistent show.

I think Torchy and I can agree that we partly agree with Mr. Existential on his choices. We've been to a lot of strange places in our short time in Second Life. Most have been wonderous in their own way.

I think my opinion would be, pound for pound, that you're going to need a much longer list than just seven with all the fantastic realms in Second Life. Nice effort though, Existential. At least you added 1 to the traffic of each one of the places on your list, if anything.

Oh, Torchy says 1.25 if we include him.

...

BONUS:

No adventure is complete without discovering a pyramid of beer.

...

4 comments:

Cowboy the Cat said...

This is a great weblog.

I haven't done anything but attempted to change my character's clothes, and I feel pretty comfortable with the place. Thanks!

Oh, and you mean flora, not fauna. Fauna is animals.

you knew that, though.

Manx said...

You're too kind, CTC.

And thanks for the edit. We need more scientists like you reading so I don't make those kind of mistakes.

RaR said...

Greenies is still the best and we even have a new area attached to it--the Lawn. We keep (sorta) a good list of places here:

http://rezzable.com/virtual-worlds

Check 'em and also check the events calendar and maybe you won't travel the empty grid!

http://rezzable.com/calendar

Manx said...

Hey, rar. Thanks for stopping by. I was going to go back and search for Greenies for the next installment.

Thanks for the links too!

Although, if you read enough of this blog, you'll find I prefer the empty grid.