There are lots of examples of the cross-over between real life and Second Life to be found in-world: historical builds, the presence of real-world organisations, the (still surviving) links between SL and education, not to mention the many and varied activities which go on in SL in support of real life charities.
One of the most recent examples of the cross-over in terms of in-world builds to get my attention is that of La Baule. I admit ignorance as to how long it has been around – but I caught it as a new entry in the Photogenic Spots of the Destination Guide, and had to go take a look.
A full region, La Baule is home to the Brussels Grand Place, a complete reproduction of the famous UNESCO world Heritage site, with the market square, the City Hall and all the guildhalls – and it is quite simply magnificent. So much so, that I doubt these images really do the place justice.
Designed and built by Pascale Boucher (Passie), the build includes a museum, an art gallery and cafe, and hosts a range of events through the year, including outdoor music performances, ice skating in winter, and weddings held inside the magnificent buildings.
“I spent nine months doing it, sweating, bleeding and weeping,” Passie says of the build, “because i want to let SL know how marvellous my home country is.”
Well, she’s succeeded.
Having visited the real Grand Place many a time, I can vouch for the attention to detail with the exteriors which are a tour de force of prim and sculpt build.
This is a stunning place for photography – although you may find it taxing on your GPU; I have to admit my Ge 9800 GT struggled mightily to try to manage things – and wasn’t entirely successful. However, this is no reason to avoid a visit; if your own card can manage the load, the rewards for seeing the place with Advanced Lighting Model (deferred rendering) are plenty, even without shadows enabled. If you can manage the full monty, then it’s well worth flipping shadows on as well the results under a range of windlight conditions are stunning and really bring home the beauty of the build.