Flight of fancy

Walking is good for you, so I’m told, and in an uncharacteristic fit of healthy enthusiasm I have even succumbed to getting myself a pedometer, which actually confirmed my suspicions that I do indeed manage the recommended 10 000 steps a day. In fact, on an average day, I can do up to 13 000 steps: Proof positive that I’m fit and healthy! (Yeah right).

The bulk of those steps are taken during my walk to and from the railway station on the way to work, and – to be honest – it’s a huge annoyance, thanks to the great big hill that lies in between ‘Haven Towers’ and my destination. It means a stiff, ten minute climb whether I’m on the way out, or on my way home, and even though it’s not that far, that pesky hill makes it a good 30 minute journey. The distance is pretty much exactly the same as it was from my previous home, except that particular journey was entirely flat and only took 15 minutes.

On many an occasion I’ve stood at the foot of that hill and wished I could take to the skies and take the most direct route – straight over the top!

It’s one of the perils of SL that you find yourself wishing you could apply virtual solutions to real world circumstances. It would be so much easier to be able to fly most of my routine walks, avoiding hills, obstacles and dodging around traffic; the views would be pretty special too! I’ve mapped out in my head the flight paths I’d like to take, the back gardens I’d like to take a look at from the air, and the rooftops I’d like to skim. As for those longer journeys, double-click teleporting is your friend – and, once again, I’ve already pre-planned my route and I know exactly where each of my landing spots will be.

In fact, there are so many aspects of SL that I badly need on my real life, from teleports and mute buttons, to being able to replace my broken and sagging garden fence by throwing together a few prims and a simple stock texture. It would just make my life so much simpler, more affordable and a whole lot more fun, and I’m sure that most of those reading this will have had exactly the same thoughts many, many times, even though we’re fully aware that the vast majority of SL features will never be available to us in RL. I’d like to hope that flight might be one of those things that is not entirely beyond the bounds of possibility.

Obviously, I’m not talking about mass transit methods of flight – it’s hardly practical for us to install personal runways and navigate the skies in our own private jumbo jets, and that’s without considering the environmental impact that such a scenario would hold. I’m thinking of a more personal approach to flight, which I do consider to be achievable if we only have the will to pursue it. We’ve seen prototypes for flying cars for years now, but I can’t really see that ever taking off – excuse the pun – but I really can’t see any reason why we shouldn’t one day be able to take to the air with the bare minimum of equipment and enjoy the freedom that has been the preserve of birds for far too long!

I reckon it would be entirely possible for drone development to reach a point where we’ll be able to have something compact and portable enough to fit into a small backpack, but powerful and reliable enough to be a realistic choice for the morning commute, or a quick hop to town. Inevitably, even if such an innovation did become a reality, any real usefulness would soon be completely undermined and doomed to fail as a result of the combination of idiotic users and over-zealous legislation. The restrictions that would be imposed would mean that any utility would be completely negated: You’d need to complete a competency test, obtain a licence, be subject to a whole raft of rules and regulations, only be able to fly within tightly policed parameters, and any enjoyment and fun would be totally out of the question, unless you were either very rich, or were willing to flagrantly flout the law.

Realistically, even if a simple, affordable and accessible method for personal aviation capability was developed tomorrow, my gut feeling is that it’s going to be impractical for most people to avail themselves of it; so it seems that the preserve of personal flight will remain within the confines of SL, unfortunately. Shame about that.

So it seems that I’m probably fated to that difficult daily walk over over the hill for at least the foreseeable future – ah well, I was never that good at flying inworld anyway!

s. x

Fly along with me
I can’t quite make it alone
Try to make this life my own
Fly along with me
Foo Fighters – Learn To Fly


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