Farewell to Mont Saint Michel in Second Life

Mont Saint-Michel
Mont Saint Michel – click and image for full size

Update: November 21st 2016: Mont Saint Michel is now back in Second Life, same SLurl.

Update: October 10th, 2016: almost a year after it had first been indicated the region was closing, Mont St Michel has now gone from Second Life. Tyche Shepherd noted its depature during her August end-of-month survey of the grid.

Update, November 3rd: Mont Saint Michel remains open at the start of November, as pointed out to me by Petr Hastings-Vanbeeck. see my update for more.

I saw via Ciaran’s blog that one of Second Life’s landmark sites, Mont Saint Michel, is to close at the end of September 2015.

Region holder and owner of the *Edwelweiss* brand, Moeka Kohime, announced the closure in a brief note on her Flickr stream, citing an “economical reason”. whether this refers to finding tier an increasing burden or a fall-off in donations and / or rentals (or a combination of all three), isn’t clear. However, given her Edelweiss brand will be relocating in-world, tier does seem to possibly be the culprit here.

The hidden secret within Mont Saint-Michel
The hidden secret within Mont Saint Michel

For my part, I paid my first visit to Mont Saint Michel far back in 2011, back when two regions existed: Mont Saint Michel, the beautiful reproduction of the Abbey citadel at the mouth of the Couesnon River in France, and a region representing the causeway and vehicle park outside of the citadel’s walls.  While I’d been aware of the build for a long time prior to that visit, it wasn’t until that first visit that I really understood why it was a popular attraction for residents (even if I did miss its hidden secret at the time!). Since then, I’ve often been back over the years to wander the streets and climb the stairs up to the great abbey, although I’ve only blogged about it once between then and now, and that was in 2013.

What is impressive about the region is the level of detail within it, and the fact that it is navigable by avatar. As I said back in 2011:

The Mont faithfully reproduces the original in almost every visual aspect; no mean feat given it occupies an area a quarter of the size of the original. Yet it is not just a mere “look but don’t touch” showpiece: it is also scaled to allow avatar access, providing a fully immersive experience for visitors who can walk through the narrow streets, browse shops and wend their way up to the magnificent monastery that crowns the island.

Given this, Mont Saint Michel has always struck me as an ideal candidate for exploration using something like the Oculus Rift, and losing it before HMDs allow us to do so, and to see it so fully and immersively is to be counted our loss.

Mont Saint-Michel
Mont Saint Michel

It’s not clear precisely when the region will close, but if you do wish to pay a last (or first) visit, I’d recommend you do so sooner rather than leaving things right until the end of the month, sometimes regions have a habit of vanishing a little earlier than anticipated. To Moeka, I would like to add my thanks to those from many others, for creating and sharing such an incredible build with us over the years.

SLurl Details

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Line and Shadow in Second Life

Line and Shadow
Line and Shadow

Open now, and for approximately two weeks at Solodonna Land’s Art on Roofs gallery space operated by Sniper Siemens and Elettra Beardmore and curated by Terrygold, is an exhibition of  images by noted Second Life photographer Ziki Questi.

In Line and Shadow, Ziki notes that she offers images taken at various locations (including Art on Roofs itself), between May and September 2015, together with a series of erotic images she has taken of herself and partner Kinn, to present a display of some 24 images in total.

Ziki’s work has always been captivating to the eye, and the images on display here are no exception. Her familiar panoramic image ratio is once again used to enormous effect, bringing forth her subject matter perfectly.

Line and Shadow
Line and Shadow

Some of the images on offer form what might be considered something of a Second Life retrospective, because while some of the images feature places we can visit and enjoy today, such as Sommergewitter and Bella Place; many of the landscapes featured belong to places which have now sadly passed into memory, such as Roche, Santaurio and The Forgotten City.

Art installations are also very much a feature, and unsurprisingly so, given Ziki’s extensive coverage of the arts in SL. Thus it is that visitors will encounter images of Bryn Oh’s piece for Distrito Distinto, which recently featured at MetaLES, Neva Crystall’s HuManoID, Alpha Auer’s Alpha Tribe, and Storm Septimus’ Failure to Thrive.

Interspersed between the landscape and art images are the more personal / erotic pieces. These offer a strong contrast in terms of content whilst further demonstrating Ziki’s measured eye for composition and framing.

Line and Shadow
Line and Shadow

This is yet another impressive display of work by an artist whose reputation is well-deserved, and who never fails to capture the very essence of her subject matter, presenting images which both captivate and entice.

SLurl Details