Baby’s Ear is the name of Neva Crystall’s latest region design in Second Life – and it is an absolute must see.
Comprising two islands, Baby’s Ear is a treasure to behold; a place which is at once unique to Second Life, yet at the same time the various elements within it can resonate with the visitor in such a way that a slight feeling of deja-vu is felt; a feeling that perhaps there is somewhere like this in the physical world that we might have visited.
The larger of the two islands brings together a number of motifs, which stand both individually and as a collective whole. The farm sitting atop the central plateau could easily have been lifted for half a hundred arable landscapes; similarly, the low-lying beach carries echoes of seaside holidays and children running across the warm sands, while the fisherman’s quay with fish hanging from a rack as they dry ready to be salted and boxed, gives rise to images of working wharves and fishing folk.
Taken together, the various elements flow one to another, presenting the feeling that this is the island home of an extended family, who enjoy a fair degree of self-sufficiency – and who have time to relax and spend time with the children. The farm, fishing shack and beach are all linked via wooden walkways and steps, bringing them neatly together as a unified environment, a feeling enhanced by the spread of children’s climbing frames between farmyard and beach and the sheep that freely roam the land.
Only the little cottage nestled between the rocks of the plateau and the placid waters gives a sense of separation; it stands apart from the rest of the beach, reached by a wooden causeway,, while a separate step of stairs connect it with the farm above, suggesting that it is perhaps more for the use of guests than family.
Self-sufficiency is much in evidence. The sheep offer meat and wool; there are fish in the sea, a crop growing in the fields, apples and lemons ripening in the orchards, and a line of bee hives hint at the sweetness of honey. Even the electrical power appears to be provided naturally: a tall windmill harvests the wind passing over the island, as do three turbines, blades slowing revolving as they share the smaller island with a brick-built lighthouse.
There are interesting contrasts here as well. A decrepit station wagon sits on a cinder track along with an old motorbike and odds and ends which appear to have been removed from other vehicles and perhaps even a garage, going by the air pump. These and the telegraph poles running along one side of the island suggest that perhaps it might be part of a larger island or coastal community, and it has been left to our imaginations to fill-in the blanks (just as I prefer to think of the wild grass in the field as a crop, rather than just wild grass).
The imagination is perhaps encouraged to think in these terms by the cinder track, which winds its way down from the plateau, skirting the base of the main island before turning sharply and plunging into the sea. It’s almost as if there is a causeway there beneath the water, waiting only for the tide to recede so it might be revealed and beckon us to follow it wherever it might lead.
This is truly another marvellous build from Neva, and one most definitely worth seeing – but if you’re planning to visit, keep in mind that it may only be here for a short time. I understand that having opened on the 10th July, 2015, Baby’s Ear will only remain open for a two-week period.
Given that it may well be a transient setting in Second Life, I took the opportunity of my visit to film another music video, although my Space Navigator (again) got a tad bit upset.
- Baby’s Ear (Rated: Adult)