Monday, November 23, 2009

Virtual Africa


Africa... now that's a region I probably will not have the opportunity to visit in my RL lifetime. But anything's possible in SL!

The sim is a project by a nonprofit company called Uthango Social Investments. I've excerpted some quotes from their description of the sim.
Visit Virtual Africa - an open savannah wildlife experience inSL, where Uthango Social Investments (a registered nonprofit in South Africa) pursues access to virtual worlds. It is not all of Africa, but it's a start.

Why are we in Second Life? We explore the value of virtual worlds for and with Africans, we focus on community-building and create unique content related to Africa. For more information see our blog:

You can have many different experiences here, broadly grouped into Education, Arts and Culture, Adventure & Entertainment, Enterprise & Business and Romance.
Things to do and see here include a Human Rights Walk, African Arts & Culture Gallery, Miriam Makeba Memorial, Individual Jeep Tours with a Ranger, Hang Gliding, Hot-Air Balloon Tours, Adopt-A-Meercat, and River Rafting.

There are various tours of the sim you can take in a hot-air balloon.
This was such a nice way to get started, that we took a second tour later.

One of the balloon ride tours drops you off at a hang glide launch. It was quite fun to swoop around the place, but I was moving to fast to see much. Hiking around was better.
Another very nice way to tour the area is by rowboat; you can pick one up behind the ranger station. The waterways wind throughout the sim, so this is a leisurely way to see the sights.
I think we may have rowed too far south?
Resting in the marketplace. I liked the fact that every shop in the marketplace fit into the Africa theme.
This was also great - bike sales with the proceeds going toward actually providing bicycles for those who need them in Africa.
In one remote area were some very nice furnished campsites which are available as vacation rentals. Camping safari, anyone?
In a central location there is an amphitheatre which is surrounded by pictures of and quotes by Nelson Mandela. It looks like there is a documentary film available for viewing there as well, which I intend to watch on my next visit.
There is wildlife everywhere, so bring your camera... and watch where you step. I wonder if these cute li'l meerkats are already adopted?Relaxing in the shade with the zebras. It's hot out there.
And the most rare and elusive sight of all: the Wild Plywood Cone in its natural environment.
Shhhhh... they can be very dangerous when startled.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Space Between The Trees by AM Radio

Right after I visited here, I heard a rumor that yet another AM Radio sim is soon to be closed. I'm glad that I got to see this build while it was up. AM Radio's builds are always intriguing, as though one has been dropped unexpectedly in the middle of a story. To add to this feeling, he leaves some objects around to be taken and used, further adding to the sense of something that one should be doing.

There semed to be at least 5 linked areas in this build, but I could be wrong, as I got a little turned around...

The first place we landed was this curious satellite installation in the desert.
A curious thing happened, all the dishes suddenly decided to phone home to a giant blue orb in the sky... I hope they weren't talking about us. Venturing outward we found a door... that led us to...
The next area, which was a rural area by a farm, with a familiar looking little gas station. Now where have I seen that before?
In the burning field, who should we see standing there but AM Radio himself?
The pumpkin patch was ripe and ready for harvesting. A peek inside the barn...I couldn't resist.
When we found the way to escape this place, we found ourselves in the middle of winter.
Pssssssst... don't look now, but there he is again...
The next place we landed, we were standing in the middle of a shallow bay. Too bad I wasn't wearing rubber boots, that pair of shoes was totally ruined.
The fifth place we found, which might or might not be the last, was a lonely section of railroad track in the heartland.
Keep your eyes on that locomotive engine in the distance... if you have visited AM Radio's builds in the past you may recognize it shortly.So THAT's where I put the good china!
Yesssssss..... it's THAT locomotive! Take me away, aliens!