SL does weird things to your brain… A friend mentioned recently that, if they happen to be in a crowded night club in sl, it’s not unusual for them to take off their jumper because they feel hot. Similarly, a ‘cold’ environment in sl can easily have us reaching for the central heating controls, even though it’s all purely psychosomatic.
Most of us, at some time or other have experienced that strange bond between our avatar and ourselves, where we feel what we imagine our pixels would be feeling, if we were there in person, (if you see what i mean!). It’s the reason why i have a folder in my inv for winter clothes – completely unnecessary, of course: There’s no reason why i shouldn’t wander round butt naked in the snow in sl – actually, i can think of a few good reasons why that’s never a good idea – but, in relation to frostbite in sensitive places, it makes no odds if i’m clad in tissue paper or whale blubber – the only time it’s going to affect me is if i follow suit in rl!
Even so, the state of the world outside my window can have a profound effect on the way i choose to relate to sl – of course, me being the weirdo i am, it doesn’t always follow the logical route.
You’d think, for example, that on a grey, wet, windy, dreary, dark October day – (Oi! You there in Australia – yes, you! – stop laughing! i can’t help it if the British weather isn’t all sunshine and smiles!) – i’d be searching out the beaches and the sunny, summer meadows of sl… don’t be daft, that’s what normal people do! Nope, when the wind is howling and the rain is coming down like it can only do in the UK, you’ll find me wandering around the winter wonderlands of the virtual world.
i can’t say why i have to take such a perverse approaching to the sl weather – perhaps it’s because, if i indulge the sun lover in me, whilst inworld, it becomes all the more depressing when i log out to find it’s horrible in rl. Maybe though, and i think this may well be the truth of the matter, i actually love the idealised version of winter that sl provides. Don’t misunderstand me… i love the autumn, especially the colours and the special late sunshine that it brings – i just don’t like the murky, depressing, grey, featureless intervals that it also foists upon us. i love the winter too – it’s a great time of the year – but i much prefer the romanticised, (and warm), version that you can enjoy in sl.
The sort of winter where the snow is always white and crisp, and dogs have never pooped in it; the sort of winter that always looks like a Christmas card scene and the sort of winter that i seem to remember from my childhood – you know the sort… full of magic and wonder, and fun!
That’s why i love Frost – it’s winter idealised: snow, icicles, bright blue skies, pine trees and the odd dinosaur skeleton! As an added bonus, you never get cold ears there! Frost is really the alter ego of the Alirium sim – together they are stunningly beautiful and also home to my absolute favourite, although horribly expensive, (but definitely worth it), garden centre. Even if you don’t want to shop, it’s a wonderful, wonderful place to explore and unwind, particularly if the weather in the real world is doing it’s best to be awful. A couple of words of warning though – first, if you do visit, you will become hopelessly addicted; second, take a stout pair of boots… this is a strictly walking only sim, flying is banned and if you try to TP anywhere you’ll find yourself stuck with some interesting problems. (Top tip – if you do find yourself completely unable to extricate yourself from a TP trauma, just TP to another sim and then back again). You’ll find you’ll want to walk around anyway – it’s just that kind of place.
When Winter’s shadowy fingers first pursue you down the street
And your boots no longer lie about the cold around your feet
Do you spare a thought for Summer whose passage is complete
Whose memories lie in ruins and whose ruins lie in heat
When Winter… comes howling in.
Lindisfarne – Winter Song