In the last post, I wrote about the two ends of Second Life, representation and escaping the material constraints of the real world. And having covered one end, I come across a sim that exemplifies the other.
It is a very compact site, hugely compressed. There are obvious viewlines and it Skylines and viewing angles are skilfully positioned to blend the foreground into the backscene. Levels of detail are greatest towards the centre. It is, in effect, an ampitheatre, with small areas to one side.
But most of all, it is atmospheric; a town that is busy at times, quiet at others, never rushed, as ships come and go. It contains the elements of nostaligic coastal holidays or vacations. There is a bright, coastal light (using the windlight settings that are set up). Things are old or old-fashioned, and while they are sometimes a bit weathered or roughly made, they are never derelict or run-down. The place is seemingly looked after – even the castle ruin is reasonably tidy. These elements place it somewhat outside of time, and somewhat behind the times. This is perhaps not too far off a description of what qualifies as vintage – an old-fashioned simplicity without feeling deprived. It’s a (knowingly) romanticised images of the past, viewed as it is through modern technology.
Well, that’s my impression before the game starts. But I glimpsed things behind doors that belie these surface appearances…