A slice of Russia in Second Life

COBKOBO; Inara Pey, January 2019, on FlickrCOBKOBO – click any image for full size

COBKOBO, a Full region in Second Life designed by Света Денискина (Seller Xenno), has been gaining a lot of attention of late for its presentation of a Russian provincial town. It’s a place Caitlyn and I were first alerted to (within a brief period to one another) by Annie Brightstar and Shakespeare.

In truth, it is a scenic setting – although apparently still under construction in places, given the fact there are footpaths being placed, rezzing boxes still visible. It is surrounded by tall, green hills coated by fir trees and wrinkled by fast-flowing streams that help to give the impression this is a town sitting on a small lake, a river meandering away through the hills.

COBKOBO; Inara Pey, January 2019, on FlickrCOBKOBO – click any image for full size

There is a certain Soviet / historical feel to the town, dominated as it is by large theatre-come-music hall, outside of which stands a statue of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov – better known by the alias Lenin – holding the hammer and sickle in outstretched arms. Other suggestions of the past lie scattered around the region in the form of military vehicles parked or abandoned, the badge of the Soviet army displayed above a garage / barn, and so on. But whether the setting is meant to be representative of a bygone era, or a modern setting where echoes of the past linger on, is for visitors to perhaps decide. 

Certainly there is enough going on in the region for it to be set in modern times: the theatre is available for showing videos, and there are areas given over to live entertainment, both outdoors and indoors. And there are obvious Western touches – such as “Roady’s” bar, and a motel sign.

COBKOBO; Inara Pey, January 2019, on FlickrCOBKOBO – click any image for full size

This is a place that appears to be newcomer friendly for SL’s Russian community. The block-like schoolhouse offers information boards on using the viewer and may also provide viewer lessons (I’m not entirely sure on this), with the events spaces offering a reason for people to come to the region.

The town is an interesting mix: large, solidly built structures on paved roads, their plain bulk suggestive (again) of the kind of structures we in the West regard as being from the Soviet era. But the roads quickly give way to tracks, the solid structures to wooden houses.

COBKOBO; Inara Pey, January 2019, on FlickrCOBKOBO – click any image for full size

Around the edges of the region are open, rugged spaces, including a beach and a pair of islands. One of these is topped by camp sites, one of which can be used as a music venue.  There are also private places to be found scattered around the edges of the region, where it is possible to to get away from the bustle of visitors. All of this is watched over from a corner by a lighthouse sitting atop a drum-like base.

As noted earlier, elements of the region still appear to be under construction, but this doesn’t make it any the less photographic in its current state. However, it will be interesting to see what else is planned for COBKOBO, and how it will appear once completed.

COBKOBO; Inara Pey, January 2019, on FlickrCOBKOBO – click any image for full size

In the meantime, the region makes for an interesting and somewhat different visit; a glimpse of a bygone era sitting within modern times.

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