Sunday, February 15, 2009

Public Roads in Second Life

Location: Logging off in Frontenac

In light of my recent post about zoning, I thought it high time to speak up for an often overlooked bit of SL geography: the public roads.

Earlier this month, Prokofy Neva waxed poetic about these highways in "The Road Taken," and I must concur. In SL, I did not get my kicks on Route 66. I found them on the public highways.

In real life, Route 66 symbolizes a freedom from restraint and the call of the open road that existed before Interstates came, with their bland get-there-quickly aesthetic. So I tried to hit "Route 66" in SL.

My road-trip began on my motorcycle and not my Dominus Shadow because, on SL's Route 66, cars are sneered at. They are also not permitted into the neighboring regions (one, called Sunset Crater, requires a 250L membership fee, in fact). I found the Route 66 sim to be overcrowded with less-than-stellar riders, and though I'm not Evel Knievel, I easily dodged a few head-ons with bikers while others plowed into each other.

Despite a few wonderful riding shots, I found the confines of these motorcycle-gang regions stifling: just the opposite of what one wants on an open road. So with Prokofy Neva in mind, I returned to my old home, Neva's Memory Bazaar in Ross, pulled out the bike where I first rezzed a vehicle two years ago, and took off down the two-lane. Soon I was snapping vistas like this, with a castle in the background and a typically Prim-Moderne home near me.


Special thanks to Olivia Hotshot for some on-the-road photo tips; I had tweaked SL's environment editor to "desert sunset" but found the lag daunting. Olivia walked me through a few changes to my settings and inside a few minutes, I was ready for anything.

Well, I was not ready for Outy's Particle Paradise. Either I had been going in circles or Outy has more locations than Starbucks.


The road brings pleasant surprises too. I'd found a spot to log off when a nearby club-owner IMed me. Robin Vogel is a fan of Carolina Beach Music and Shag. She and Nucit Sin were having a good time doing the pretzel (it's a PG dance, folks) in Nucit's and Robin's just-opened club, Ripples Shag and Swing


More from the road soon. I dance a mean pretzel: I think it's still part of freshman orientation at UVA.

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