Exploring is one of the fundamental pleasures of sl – some of us explore more than others, whilst some may feel that their days of traipsing the Grid are long gone and these days they prefer to frequent their regular haunts: places they know well and feel comfortable. Whichever you are, there will have been some time – especially in the early days – when the vast majority of inworld existence revolved around exploration and discovery.
As for myself, i tend to be prompted by circumstance: if i’m in the throes of the latest project then that tends to be all-consuming and it becomes incredibly hard to drag me away from what i’m doing. At these times, exploring sl has to make way for the extremely important business of ‘making stuff’. [For those of you interested in the process, this is my simple, 10-step guide to ‘making stuff’: 1) Rez numerous objects; 2) Twist and squeeze objects into interesting shapes; 3) pile objects on top of each other; 4) Pause. Reflect. Delete objects; 5) Repeat until at screaming point; 6) Finally make something worthwhile; 7) Inadvertently cause objects to explode or become lost; 8) Weep inconsolably; 9) Make tea; 10) Start again].
On other occasions – rather more frequently that i’d wish – rl is such a pain in the butt, a drag or just downright depressing, that the only thing i’m good for or want to do is to slouch around sl, doing nothing much in particular, preferably whilst somebody else provides some decent entertainment and the only thinking i have to do is to work out whether it’s going to be red or white wine accompaniment. On these occasions, exploring is too much of a chore to be seriously considered.
Those particular scenarios aside, i have an innate natural curiosity and a deep-seated need to explore the world around me – put me in a strange place and i’m pretty much guaranteed to wander off the beaten track… sometimes, i have to say, i’ve almost found myself on the wrong side of the tracks when i’ve taken a foolish detour, or just plain got lost, but i’ve also seen some pretty special things by not sticking to the better-known highways and byways. Given the chance – and a time machine – i’d have loved to have lived as a Victorian explorer, travelling the world and discovering sights and situations that few people had ever experienced before. Many has been the occasion that i’ve been tempted to dabble in urban exploration – but, unfortunately i’ve neither the courage, nor the bravado to bite the bullet and give it a go!
In many ways, sl is the panacea for frustrated Phileas Foggs, like myself. That’s not to say that i’ve ever been tempted to strike out with a tent on my back and seek adventure and new experiences through wandering the lesser-known extremities of the Grid… my exploratory expeditions tend to be spur of the moment things: a chance encounter whilst out shopping, a randomly plucked LM from somebody else’s profile or a recommended sim all hold the tantalising allure and promise of new sights, sounds and experiences – once again, it’s the charm of the infrequently travelled path that beckons me and, the more interesting, intriguing and beguiling the location, the more i feel compelled to travel to its furthest limits – be they north, south, east, west, up or down – just for the thrill of discovery.
It’s one of the things i’ve tried to do when designing my own little plot of land – for those who stray off the pathway, there’s plenty to discover: hidden treasures and quirky features that i’ve deliberately dotted about and secreted away. Take a look around corners, above and below the ground and you’ll find there’s even more to it than meets the eye… and you may even occasionally find me wandering around, full of the joys of rediscovering my own creation! It’s very much like Frances Hodgson Burnett’s ‘Secret Garden’ for me, and even though i know what i’ll find, the enjoyment of that moment of discovery never ends.
i love it when people in sl really make the effort to make their own little piece of the virtual world unique and enticing. To me, there are few things in both rl and sl less inviting and wasteful than a bland, featureless mall or unimaginative, straight-out-of-the-rezbox copycat buildings.
Give me a bit of character, perhaps a touch of seediness and grime, some intrigue and a smattering of the promise of adventure and mystery and, believe me, you won’t be able to prise me away from the place!
Hendumst í hringi
Höldumst í hendur
Allur heimurinn óskýr
Sigur Ros – Hoppipola