Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Svarga: Closed to Mere Mortals

svarga memorial
Location: Svarga Memorial

I've been wondering whatever happened to Svarga. Long ago (by Second Life's standards) the creator, Laukosargas Svarog, put the island up for sale. I think it vanished from SL's map, for a time, only to reappear as an island that no one, save the current owner, could visit.

For those who missed Svarga when it was open to the public, the island was a phenomenal, Myst-style build done before sculpted prims were available in SL.

I have some fond memories of the island and its virtual ecosystem. I spent many an idle hour there just wandering and chatting with other visitors. Sometimes I'd just fly around the island in my car and take pictures.

svarga car

One bit of Svarga remains, Blaise Timtam's Svarga Memorial [teleport link]. I contacted Blaise for more information, and he didn't know much more than I do:
More than a year ago Svarga was for sale from its private island owner. Then it was restricted to svarga group members only and recently it diappeared from the grid. Then it came back with the same "satelite" image on the map but still unaccessible to public, shortly before it disappered i got an IM from sim owner that it was sold.
Here it is, as close as we'll likely get anytime soon:
svarga now

Svarga now reminds me of Tolkein's Valinor, the land of the immortals that lay, at one point, to the uttermost west of Middle Earth. Mortals were banned from going there, because it was the land of the Valar, the lords of Tolkein's world (Sauron's boss and the first Dark Lord, Morgoth, was a fallen Valar).

I suppose that whoever owns Svarga now is happy there. To me it seems sad; at least the Valar had the Elves to keep them company. I can imagine some eccentric and rich hobbyist, wandering the landscape all alone...of course, Philip Rosedale was fond of Svarga, and his avatar used to hang out there. I like to imagine that SL's founder is the mysterious, lonely sage wandering among the ferns and sky-bridges of Svarga.

Yet I never have seen a green dot on this map-view, indicating that someone is "at home."

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