Exploring Mineral Ridge in Second Life

Mineral Ridge; Inara Pey, December 2016, on Flickral Ridge – click any image for full size

Update: January 16th: Mineral Ridge has unfortunately closed.

In the 1930s, Mineral Ridge was once a wealthy, booming mining town, its fortune drawn from the precious secrets hidden within the rocks of the high plateaus on which it sits. But, as the saying goes, nothing lasts forever. Today Mineral Ridge sits as a place well past its heyday, fading and rusting under the sun, a curio for tourists to come and visit, and a place where the dispossessed and – maybe – those on the wrong side of the law – can find a place where they can settle or hide.

Or that’s how you might interpret the back story to this Full region, designed as a group effort principally by Norman Dobler, Aiden Cauldron, and thejunkyard. It’s a relatively new addition to Second Life, but one which is both atmospheric and which makes good use of the available space to create a scenic environment offers plenty of space for exploration as well as reflecting the theme of a once-wealthy mining town now well past its heyday.

Mineral Ridge; Inara Pey, December 2016, on FlickrMineral Ridge

On the highest plateau of this rugged place, sits part of the town: grand houses  – including a villa of distinctly Tuscan looks – doubtless built by those who gained their fortune out of the mines below, but which have all seen better days. Some appear deserted, other still occupied – although whether by the original owners is perhaps open to question.

A road, cracked in places, loops around them, stables sitting between one or two, rough tracks now forming alleys between others. At one end of this road sits a more recent addition to the town – a motel. But even this has the same air of tiredness and age hanging around it as it faces a diner across the street, the offices above that long since abandoned and boarded-up. Only the emergency services building  and the Sheriff’s office around the corner from it, have a feel of upkeep about them.

Mineral Ridge; Inara Pey, December 2016, on Flickr Mineral Ridge

As the road twists a noose around the houses, a wide track drops away from it, winding its way down into a sheer sided canyon by way of an ageing farm before splitting under the gaze of an old radio tower, one part offering access to the west side of the region, the other running down into the canyon floor proper. Follow it down towards the latter, and if you keep your eye on the rocky wall beyond the trees and bushes lining the track, you might spot the hidden entrance to the old mines on which the town built its wealth, while down on the canyon floor sit ruins far older than the town.

The west side of the region can be reached not only via the dirt track, but also over an old trestle bridge. This offers a convenient short-cut to the west ridge of the region, a gap in the wire fence, at some point faced with corrugated iron sheets as if it had been armoured, allowing it to once more join with the dusty track, presenting explorers with the choice of visiting a decrepit shack or making their way up to the the old radio tower.

Mineral Ridge; Inara Pey, December 2016, on Flickr Mineral Ridge

All told, Mineral Ridge is an interesting and considered design, sitting somewhere between a role-play environment and photogenic region with some little mysterious edges. Photographers looking for somewhere just that little different as a backdrop to their work, in particular may enjoy a visit to the town. Once again, many thanks to Shakepeare (SkinnyNilla) for passing over the LM!

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Seanchai Library presents the ghosts of Christmas in Second Life

The Dickens Project SL 2016
The Dickens Project SL 2016

It’s time to kick-off another great week of storytelling live in voice with Seanchai Library – and this week it’s a special week, with the return of a seasonal favourite:  The Dickens Project SL. 

Now in its fifth season, and as I’ve previewed, the project this year is hosted by Kultivate Magazine at their Water Haven headquarters. Every day this coming week, members of the Library and their friends will offers twice daily readings of the story, generally a stave at a time, live in voice, in surroundings created specially to evoke the settings and feeling of Charles Dickens’ most popular story.  Supporting it will be a host of additional activities, with everything culminating on Sunday, December 18th with a marathon reading of the entire novel!

The Dickens Project SL is a unique festival and presentation by Seanchai Library, so take a note of the times below and be sure to hop over to Water Haven and partake of the story, the settings and the fun!

Sunday, December 11th – Stories & Carols

  • 11:00: “Dickens’ Shorts” (Stories that is) with Trolley Trollop
  • 12:30: The Raglan Shire Tiny Carolers – WOOTMAS!
  • 13:00: Any Friend of Nicholas Nickleby’s is a Friend of Mine John Morland reads Ray Bradbury’s short story featuring… “Charles Dickens”
  • 14:00: More from the Pages of Charles Dickens- Short Selections with Dubhna Rhiadra and Caledonia Skytower
  • 15:00: A Pickwick Holiday, Bryn Taleweaver shares a festive selection from The Pickwick Papers

Monday, December 12th – Stave One: “Marley’s Ghost”

  • 13:00: VT Torvalar
  • 19:00: Kayden Oconnell

Tuesday, December 13th  – Stave Two: “The First of Three Spirits”

  • 14:00: Bryn Taleweaver and Caledonia Skytower
  • 19:00: Faerie Maven-Pralou, and Corwyn Allen

Wednesday, December 14th – Stave Three: “The Second of Three Spirits”

  • 13:00: Eleseren Brianna
  • 19:00: Aoife Lorefield

Thursday, December 15th – Stave Four: “The Last of the Spirits”

  • 13:00: Hanna Hoo and Caledonia Skytower
  • 19:00: Shandon Loring (also presenting Stave Five: “The End of It”)

Friday, December 16th 

  • 12:00 noon: MORE DICKENS!  A ghost story and a novel selection with VT Torvalar
  • 15:00: Part of Stave Four, & Stave Five“The End of It” – Dubhna Rhiadra and Caledonia Skytower

Saturday, December 17th 

  • 11:00: Tour of the Resource Centre and the Story Behind A Christmas Carol at the Community Virtual Library
  • TBA: Fezziwig’s Ball

Sunday, December 18th – The Finale: THE BIG READ

  • 11:00: Traditional Dances and Music with Wald Schridde – live in Christmas Present Square.
  • 12:00 noon: A CHRISTMAS CAROL – All the words of every stave presented all at once by a cast of voices, presenting in relay. Est 3.5 hours. Live in Christmas Present Square.

All readings and events take place at Water Haven, and all times are SLT. Note that individual programme items may be subject to change or update, so please check with The Dickens Project SL web page for up-to-date information as the week progresses. Donations offered during the festival will be accepted on behalf of Team diabetes of Second Life, in support of the American Diabetes Association.