The Peak – click any image for full size
A photogenic community sim, with a European-countryside theme. A full sim with a selection of areas to explore, interactive games to play, rides. We are very voice friendly. We provide rentals as well. Tags: Music, open mic, karaoke, blog, carnival.
So reads the introduction to The Peak // Community, a new full region offering – as noted – a mix of public spaces and private rentals. Designed by KaidenTray, the region recently opened its doors to the public, and I was alerted to its presence by Shakespeare and Max, who had dropped in a couple of days prior to my own visit.
There are a couple of remarkable things about this region. The first is the sheer visual appeal it presents, brining together a mix of elements together in what is as very photogenic setting that makes excellent use of the full 30K land capacity available to Full private regions. The second is, that as he notes in his Profile, Kaiden is a member of the Osbourne family in the physical world, and is not shy about the time he spends in Second Life (where he also runs a landscaping business).
While described as a “European countryside theme”, The Peak perhaps most clearly has its roots in rural Britain in terms of overall approach and styling whilst also casting its net far wider than just the UK and Europe. The country church and many of the houses would not look out-of-place among the rural byways of England, whilst the rugged nature of the landscape perhaps carries with it a hint of Scotland; even the wooden chalets out on the southern side of the region suggest the holiday camps from the days before air travel became cheap enough for almost anyone to enjoy.
But so too does The Peak carry within it hints of the continental life, thanks to a large Tuscan style villa sitting towards the south-east corner, at the end of one of the semi-paved roads. Just below this sits a little coastal village, slightly separated from the rest of the region by cliffs and rocky slopes. With the brightly painted frontage of the buildings, this could easily be a place sitting on the Spanish coast – as the signage over doorways further suggests.
The more North American feel is evident on the north side of the region. Here, and to the east, a carnival sits, separated from the rest of the landscape by a narrow L-shape gorge. This is marked by the gentle rotations of a tall Ferris Wheel and the twisting madness of a roller coaster, while the derelict walls of a massive industrial-style building have been converted into both a bumper car arena and a gallery of street art, some of which carries a social message. It is here, perhaps that some of the region’s entertainment events will be held: parked within the carnival is a flat-bed truck, ready to serve as a stage for activities, while table games sit close by as an alternative from for entertainment to the park’s rides.
Meanwhile, to the west, a large sign points the way to the expanse of a trailer park proudly flying the Stars and Stripes, which also incorporates the wooden chalets mentioned earlier.
Quite excellent us is made of elevation throughout the region, with the roads and paths winding up and down slopes, around shoulders of rock, with cobble footpaths twisting their way down to what might otherwise be hidden walks along the edge of the sea, or by way of public courtyard down to the previously mentioned Spanish-themed village. For me, the winding, rise and fall of the principal road through the region again gives The Peak a distinctly English feel, as I’ve travelled along many such single-track lanes in certain parts of England many, many times.
Being a relatively new region, most of the properties on the region have yet to be rented. Most are easily recognisable by the presence of a green For Rent box outside of them. I assume these boxes will vanish as places are rented, so a good rule of thumb during visits might be to treat the majority of houses, cottages and cabins on the region as rental / rented residences, regardless of whether a rent box is visible or not. For those who fancy being the lord (or laird) of the area, the rental properties extend to a fortified manor house, the church and manse close by adding to the feeling that this part of The Peak may have once formed a landed estate in the region’s past.
At the time of my visit, some work was still going on within the region, so don’t be surprised if you come across the odd sign indicating this to be the case; there’s also something of a Halloween theme presents as well. But these aside, The Peak is one of the most engaging and considered new regions I’ve visited in Second Life: the wealth of detail, the blending of styles and ideas, the inclusion of a natural and atmospheric sound scape; all of this comes together to present a place well worth visiting, exploring, photographing and simply enjoying. Those who do take photos are invited to share them via The Peak Flickr group.
- The Peak // Community (Everglow, rated: Moderate)