Of rural wanders and elevated safaris in Second Life

Devin, Devin; Inara Pey, January 2017, on FlickrDevin – click any image for full size

Devin appeared in the Destination Guide Highlights on Friday, January 20th, promising “two sims” of space to explore. Designed by Roy Mildor, Ally Daysleeper and Alienmaus Allen, the description should perhaps read, “two region-wide levels”, but the fact remains that Devin presents Second Life users the opportunity to enjoy two very different environments within the same region.

The ground level presents a rugged, lush terrain, filled with the greenery of grass and trees, surrounded by tall mountains and cut and shaped by water. It could be just about anywhere in the world, edged with a sandy beach, watched over by ancient ruins and the beacon eye of a light house.

Devin, Devin; Inara Pey, January 2017, on FlickrDevin

A house sits upon a hill to the north-east; a private residence, it is off-limits to visitors, although the rest of the land remains open to explore. A watery tongue cuts into the land below the house, crossed by two bridges to reach a long island running southwards. Here, horses graze amidst the long grass and an old barn has been converted for the care of motorcycles, a large deck built out over the water close by offering places to sit and cuddle.

A second island sits across the water to the west, stepping-stones offering a relative route to it. More rugged than the others, it rises to a narrow spine with more places to sit and / or cuddle, before dropping to the swathe of beach. North of this, across an old wooden board walk, sits the smallest of the islands, topped by the ruin of a cottage. From here, visitors can circle back to the open land beneath the house.

Devin, Devin; Inara Pey, January 2017, on FlickrDevin

Throughout it all are places to sit, or chat or dance while the air is filled with the sounds of nature. This is peaceful haven, offering plenty of scope for photography and relaxation.  When exploring, keep an eye out for the whimsy – like the raccoons by one of the seating areas.

The second landscape can be reached via the teleport signs planted in the ground at various points. Called simply “Devin 2”, it sits high in the sky, and where the ground level is rich in greens, browns and water, this second environment is perhaps more akin to the Sahel Zone of Africa. It is a place of rolling dunes, some of which are covered in a thin but tough mat of grass,  and of scattered trees and a lone watering hole.

Devin, Devin; Inara Pey, January 2017, on FlickrDevin

Overlooked on one side by an old shack and the other by an ancient stone tower, the watering hole is the venue of choice for the local wildlife. Elephants bathe, rhinos and giraffe drink, and zebra stand in the shade of trees growing lose by, attentively watched by a pair of jaguars. Across the water from them, a lioness eyes a small herd of Arabian gazelle,  while a crocodile rests in the sun. Slightly further afield, a train of camels marches slowly in from the outlying dunes and sand hills.

Thus it is that Devin 2 presents a mini safari on a sim; a chance to photograph wildlife whilst escaping the rest of the world. A scattering of camp site and wooden building offer those visiting places to watch the animals, while a hot air balloon presents an ideal overhead perch from which to observe all the comings and goings. As with the ground level, everything here is open to exploration, except the camp site sitting over the dunes to the north-east. This is sitting over the private home at ground level, and is security protected.

Devin, Devin; Inara Pey, January 2017, on FlickrDevin

Taken together, there are two charming places to visit, either individually or together. Each offers its own serenity and its own attractiveness.

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  • Devin (Devin, rated: Moderate)