In SL, I have lived in the same mainland spot for 6 years. In RL, I have moved twice during the same span. I used to like the quiet sim I was on, and the access to Governor Linden land right next door, basically my own personal sandbox. But then Linden sold the space, and it was bought by the same person that owned the land on the other side of me. I don’t like being completely surrounded by ban walls, and I recently stopped selling anything, so no need to keep the same spot. The upshot with being surrounded is that I have a motivated buyer for my land, that means I could sell the lot at a high price and get it, which I did.
So with new found wealth of Lindenbucks, and 512 sqm of free tier to use, I went looking for a new place to call home. I found it in another overpriced water bordering lot on the Zindra continent. I have written about Zindra a couple of times, the “adult” rated mainland continent. I bought the lot and started going with a “tropical” theme that has caught on with my neighbors on either side of me. May as well blend in. Got my boat dock, found a low prim Tiki Bar in the market place, a few free palm trees from the library, and a reggae/ska streaming station to set the mood. Then dubbed it home.
The last time I visited Zindra 3 years ago, this was my reaction:
In the June essay, I mentioned two possible scenarios of where Zindra will head: 1.) A sanctuary away from alt griefing and kids pretending to be adult, or 2.) an adult oriented ghetto. Many of the more established successful businesses have relocated to private estates rather than Zindra. Because of this, its looking more and more likely that the second scenario will prevail.
A quick tour around Zindra today is like a big mall of mostly crap. A good 90% of adult merchants do not know how to make a good store build. Lots of bright tacky colors, or way too big textures that cause load lag. I went to some of the busiest businesses and either found a lot of bots / camping chairs, or builds in private skyboxes.
That to me is a virtual ghetto.
There is still a bit of that ghetto feel. Picking a random hot spot called “Whore Street”, turned out to be a clever red light district build, but the large population I saw on the map was nothing but camping spot campers. None of the promised tawdryness the name suggested.
The whole idea of an “adult continent” has (ironically) matured in the last 3 years. Some of the crap I mentioned from 3 years ago is still there, but there also can be found some beautiful builds. Especially around the riverbanks I now cruise in my old prim boat.
Except for people that specialize in “adult” items, merchants have found that stores on “general” rated land get more traffic. That means Zindra has a lot fewer places to shop, which is in my opinion better as most stores in SL tend to be rather tacky looking places. What is mostly found in Zindra are clubs, and residences, and an “anything goes” attitude. Something that is also found on Zindra that is missing from the rest of SL is people. I put up the mini map and I see green dots everywhere I go. My old place I rarely saw any green dots.
Some other surprising things about Zindra: Even though avatar sex and nudity is allowed, I don’t see it, at least not in the open. A much more common occurrence is erotic wall art, rarely visible from the outside though. The two most popular spots on Zindra, are the two Linden operated visitors centers in Arapaima and Oritz, the two places where nudity is off limits. These are the gathering spots to meet “adults”.
Zindra reminds me a lot of the way SL used to be when I joined. Lots of people, lots of experimentation, lots of erotic images posted on walls, and lots of fun to explore. So in reevaluating Zindra 3 years later, it seems to me more like the “sanctuary” than the “ghetto”. There are still “ghetto” parts, definitely, but so far I am liking the “sanctuary”.
I haven’t written in a while especially about Second Life. Felt the need to post something. I wanted to check out Hair Fair 2009, but all four servers were consistently full. Oh well, off to plan B…
Second Life finally opened the “Adult” rated continent to public access. There is no privately owned land or building yet, but there is some new construction courtesy of Linden Labs. I decided to check it out before the place gets crowded with who knows what kind of places.
This shuffling all adult content to one continent is an odd experiment I plan to watch carefully. Already there are people attempting to scam the system and trying to get land there.
Despite minimal content, there seem to be other people wandering about, many recruiting adult “clubs” currently open on other islands. At least most people had their clothes on.
I am curious how life on “A” continent (they keep changing names, first Ursula, now apparently called Zindra) is going to go.
On the one hand if the age verification system works, this may be the place to go to get away from kids pretending to be adults, and newbies begging for free Lindens. If the continent becomes popular enough to overshadow the rest of Second Life, it could make SL’s already sullied reputation as a virtual sex world even worse.
On the other hand this could turn into an “adult ghetto” with tons of tasteless textures and graphics we do not really want to see, driving away any business interests, and quickly turning into a waste land. The upshot will be LL can now tell potential deep pocket clients and investors that they cleaned the place up and it is no longer the anything goes virtual waste land it was in the past. Despite official statements, it is obvious that this is the result LL is hoping for.
Lets face it, when it opens for building starting next month, it is initially going to be the place to be. What happens after the initial newness and curiosity factor fades remains to be seen.
Here is a pristine map – a “before” picture. I suspect the place will look quite different by the end of the summer.