If there’s one thing that sl people are good at, it’s expressing their innermost depths through their creations inworld – quite what goes on in the mind of some residents though is open to debate! There are some scary things going on in the minds of some people, i can tell you, (take mine for instance!)
There’s nothing like getting to grips with the visceral and primitive horrors that lurk in the back of all our minds and allowing them to come to the fore in our expressive outpourings… not only is it cathartic, but it can be enormous fun too. Who hasn’t sat through a horror movie, head buried in a cushion or peering through parted fingers, utterly transfixed by the gruesomeness unfolding on the screen, completely on the knife-edge of squirmfulness – unwilling to watch, yet compelled to do so? How many of us read Stephen King before bedtime, even though we know that we’ll spend a freakish hour before we get to sleep, utterly convinced that the shadow in the corner of the room is getting bigger, feet twitching as the imagined skeletal fingers reach beneath the covers, towards our tightly curled toes?
It’s only natural to find the horrible and fantastic have made an appearance at SL9B too. There are tentacles a-plenty and Kubrick-esque visions that pop out at you and compel you to stop and stare as you travel the roads of SL9B – builds that tread the fine line between reality and a bad trip on acid; sights that torment your eyeballs and twist your mind in a mass of psychadelic impossibility… and, as you walk between the ever-changing walls of colour and creativity, you an sometimes feel as if you’ve stumbled into some hallucinogenic, science-fiction theme park. i love it!
So far, on my travels, i’ve spotted at least two Doctor Who experiences, a witches’ coven, robots, fantastical creatures and a whole raft of eye-poppingly bizarre creations. Interestingly, i’ve yet to discover anything vampire or zombie themed – could it possibly be that Linden Lab are a little misguided when it comes to understanding their resident demographic?
There’s some really interesting builds that play on those hidden fears – how do you fancy getting to grips with giant, robotic spiders; a really clever play on the idea of ‘community’, when you consider the interconnected nature of the spider’s web.
Careful though… you might just find that it’s the exhibits that get to grips with you! There’s something deeply unsettling about becoming a fly’s lunch: it just feels… nasty. (Particularly when the flies appear to be heavily armed with large bombs!).
One of the most enduring themes of the horror genre has been spawned by the mystique of the ancient Egyptians… it seems that we have a real fascination with that lost civilisation, their incredible burial rituals and tombs, the mysterious curses and the knowledge that such an ancient people seemed to be able to achieve feats of construction that leave us perplexed to this day. Whether it’s the shambling, bandage-trailing mummies of the black & white B-movies, or the alien dog-faced gods of Stargate; the mysteries of the Nile strike a resonance with our consciousness.
SL9B’s homage to the desert is an absolute ‘must-see’ – from the moment the path turns to sand and the windlight descends eerily into hazy mistiness, it feels like your path has been decided for you.
Walking between the huge, crumbling relics of the past towards the great stage in Shindig, you can’t help but feel a sense of awe, not only at the scenery unfolding before you but also at the work that has gone into creating this, (literally), monumental place.
As you search deeper, the impulse to don Indiana Jones style garb is difficult to resist – it really does feel like you’re trekking through the desert in search of treasures of great antiquity… then, up ahead looming from the dunes, imploring you to explore its depths, appears a great pyramid – breathtaking in scale, it’s bulk feels almost tangible; you can almost imagine the immense weight of stones bearing down… and inside? Surprises!
Carefully, with trepidation you enter the portal. The doorway is well guarded by fearsome beasts and as you pass, it’s difficult not to feel a little twitchy, but it’s worth risking – inside, a cavernous space awaits you and, unexpectedly, a welcome, refreshing bath… if you dare!
The more intrepid explorer is rewarded by even more mysterious finds – things that surprise and puzzle, artefacts strangely out of place and unexplainable…
But, those are for you to discover for yourself!
One final delight awaits those who dare to push on further into the desert: cresting a final sandy dune, you come to a viewpoint at which the moody windlight of Egypt combines with the light and colour of Kitty CatS and Fruit Islands, and i think the effect is quite magical.
The trouble is, after all this tramping around the Sims of SL9B, i’m starting to walk like an Egyptian!
Now, just a couple of words before i close…
Some people are asking me why i’m not giving you SLurls for any of the amazing places i’m visiting. It’s simple – much of the magic of SL9B is in the serendipity of the unexpected discovery… you absolutely must walk around and experience the wonder of the Sims. You’ll find so much more to enjoy and marvel at that way that i’d be doing you a disservice if you didn’t have to search out these places yourself… so what are you waiting for?
Secondly – thank you to everyone who’s contributed to the SL9B Story so far, but it’s a story that is developing ever so slowly! The more people that contribute, the better, and the clock is ticking folks. So, if you have a spare moment, pop along and add your chapter and, together, let’s make this a story that’s a fitting tribute to this 9-year old wonderland that we’re part of!
It’s just gone noon half past monsoon
On the banks of the river Nile
Here comes the boat only half-afloat
Oarsman grins a toothless smile
Only just one more to this desolate shore
Last boat along the river Nile
Madness – Night Boat To Cairo