Island hopping

goMuch as i like to think that i’m fairly well-travelled in sl, the truth of the matter is that there’s a whole lot more of the virtual world that i haven’t explored than i’ve so far managed to see – something that was rather forcibly brought home to me recently, when i tried to locate my home sim by looking for it on the full world map… i couldn’t!

One thing you do realise when poring over that map is just how much of sl there is that can potentially be explored, yet if you’re anything like me, the full extent of your travels could be plotted on a map many times smaller and is likely to include some very well-travelled locations, where you probably spend the bulk of your time. Let’s be fair though, sl search is hardly the most comprehensive or useful starting point for adventuring. Search terms and keywords are so vague as to be pretty useless and there are a wealth of errors and omissions that effectively make the Grid a loss less accessible than it need be. Ideally, i’d like a mood-based search engine: something that could interpret search criteria like – ‘i feel like going somewhere fun and intriguing, perhaps with a cyberpunk vibe’, with filters capable of excluding gachas, stores, malls, strip clubs and fetish bars, (rather than giving them top ranking, no matter what search term is used).

neighboursUntil then, i’ll need to find an alternative way of finding virgin territory – any suggestions and recommendations are always appreciated 😉 My usual trick is to glean ideas from profile perving, always a rich source of interesting locations, but that in itself means getting out and about around the Grid to find new victims to purloin LMs from, so not an inexhaustible source if you’re not terribly mobile to start with.

Then there’s the world map – a resource that i haven’t perhaps made the best use of in the past, and i really couldn’t give you a good reason why not. My recent futile attempt to find home without any proper terms of reference not only demonstrated that i had no idea where my particular sign stating ‘You are here!’ was located in relation to everywhere else, but also the fact that i had absolutely no idea who my nearest neighbours were – even though they were just a short sim hop away. No further excuse needed, and i was soon exploring the delights of the next island.

Despite having spent a fair bit of time exploring sl, i’ve never become used to being surprised at how different things are around the next corner – for some reason i always expect sl to behave much the same as the real world, where transitions tend to happen fairly gently, and boundaries between one neighbourhood and another usually merge, rather than have distinct borders. Things are not like this in sl, where one parcel can be wildly different to those that abut it. Even so – particularly away from the mainland – regions tend not to vary hugely from sim to sim and so, when they do, it’s something of a surprise.

i really had no preconceived ideas about my neighbouring islands, but i suppose i imagined they’d be something similar to my own. In fact there were lots of things i hadn’t expected, and plenty to explore, gawk at and generally have fun poking around in – a whole town in fact, complete with open spaces, residential areas and a railway system – all of which i’d been completely oblivious to, despite living literally just across the water from it all for the last few years!

Funny how you can miss what’s right under your nose! Unfortunately, all the pictures i took seem to have been saved somewhere other than where they should be, and i’ve no idea what’s happened to them – so i’m afraid i’ve nothing to show for my efforts… of course, i can always go back and explore some more!

And that’s exactly what i think i shall do. More to the point, i have a sneaky suspicion that i’ll be resorting to using the world map a lot more to discover new places to explore in the future, and – rest assured – i’ll be telling you all about it here!

s. x

If I was young, I’d flee this town
I’d bury my dreams underground
As did I, we drink to die, we drink tonight
Beirut – Elephant Gun

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