I’ve often commented on Sansar’s potential for historical recreation, and there are number of fledging experiences cultivating this idea: Sansar Studio’s Egyptian Tomb and Ortli Villa, for example or the builds by IDIA Lab’s Mencius Watts. Another example, which approaches things from an imaginative angle, is Seven Wonders, which I visited just before the Creator Beta was launched.
Designed by Ancient (of SL’s Mole fame), Seven Wonders presents the novel idea of a theme park in which have been gathered together the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. From the spawn point – a little rocky amphitheatre caught under a bright, sunny sky – a brick paved path points the way through an ivy-lined tunnel. Walking through this brings visitors to a coastal walk raised above golden sands. A broad wooden pier runs out over the sand – but this is not what catches the eye. Standing off-shore is the gigantic figure of the Colossus of Rhodes.
As the path reaches the pier, so to does it branch, one arm rising inland, the other forming a gentle incline over a more rocky part of the coast, skirting the unmistakable stepped foot of the Great Pyramid of Giza. At the top of this coastal rise, the path splits again. To one side, the arch of a great bridge spans a small inlet to where the Lighthouse of Alexandria stands on a broad rocky promontory. The bridge itself offers excellent views of the lighthouse, the Colossus and the rising peak of the Great Pyramid.
Beyond the bridge, the path dips through another rocky tunnel before rising and turning inland, passing the lighthouse to lead the way first to the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus then to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, again by way of the Great Pyramid. The latter sits in a desert-like setting, complete with a small Sphinx and a number of obelisks gathered around it, with palm trees offering shade. It is from this sandy setting that paths may also be found to the remaining two Wonders: the Temple of Artemis and the Statue of Zeus at Olympia.
Set under a bright summer’s sky, Seven Wonders presents each of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World in its own mini-setting. The walks around and through the park are pleasant and offer a very fair feeling of being in a theme park, with bench seating, balloons, rubbish bins – and even detritus of human passage where the bins have been ignored. However, this is a static experience – at least for those in Desktop mode. This may lead to a temptation to dismiss it as something that could just as easily be built within Second Life (space permitting). It’s also true the structures aren’t all accessible.
Nevertheless, the experience does stand as a demonstration of what might be achieved as Sansar’s capabilities grow and people become more adept at using it and presenting models and information within their scenes and experiences. It’s not that hard to imagine visiting somewhere like this immersively in the future and gaining a virtual tour of each of these ancient monuments, complete with audio tour and visual aids, and the chance to witness what some of them may have looked like from within.
In the meantime, Seven Wonders offers an interesting diversion and the chance to spend a pleasant time wandering under the virtual Sun.