Kun-Tei-Ner: a water world in Second Life

Kun-Tei-Ner; Inara Pey, May 2019, on FlickrKun-Tei-Ner – click any image for full size

Kun-Tei-Ner is the name of the latest region design by the combined talents of Lotus Mastroianni and Fred Hamilton (frecoi). Between them, Lotus and Fred have been core parts of the design teams behind the likes of The Missing Whale (see The Missing Whale in Second Life), Little Havana (see A trip to Havana, with a little Voodoo In My Blood) and, most recently HoPe (HoPe: a world without humankind). In some ways, Kun-Tei-Ner, which opened on May 19th, 2019, is a continuation of HoPe.

With HoPe, we were presented with an environment that had suffered some kind of catastrophe, at least one part of which appeared to have been some form of natural disaster. In Kun-Tei-Ner, the theme of the natural disaster / event is continued, with the world apparently having suffered a massive ecological and environmental change, leaving it pretty much a water world, as the description of the region explains:

This is a place years ahead of us with no land. Humans have produced a lot of things…and many things are [now] useless. A city grows up on a huge mountain of containers filled with broken technological stuff, abandoned or fallen from ships.

Kun-Tei-Ner; Inara Pey, May 2019, on FlickrKun-Tei-Ner

And so it is that we are invited into one of the most unique and original environments currently to be found in Second Life: a marvellous mini archipelago of tall, close-packed islands rising from the sea, built from shipping containers gathered from who-knows-where, brought together to create the shoreline, hills, apartments and places of commerce this corner of humanity’s survivors treat as home.

Stacked together like Lego® bricks – and almost as colourful – the containers form everything one might expect from a close-packed group of islets: there are high peaks, valleys, ocean fronts, low-lying “flatlands” … Yes, all are obviously painted metals, but attempts have clearly been made to make things look more natural and return a hint of nature to the setting, with ivy and vines strung from the sides of some containers, well clear of where they might otherwise be splashed and contaminated by salt water.

Kun-Tei-Ner; Inara Pey, May 2019, on FlickrKun-Tei-Ner

The containers that have been converted into homes have had holes cut into their sides or have had their end or doors removed, the holes replaced by wooden frames, sliding doors, and windows cut from what looks to be sheets of acetate plastic. Others offer places of commerce: a pizza bar here, an little Japanese-style food market there ….

These, with their lit neon signs, at first look incongruous given the overall theme of the setting, but it is clear that power is not an issue here: the upper reaches of the container “hills” are lit by flashing neon billboards, and someone has taken the opportunity to place traditional wooden advertising hoardings up as well. Perhaps some of the power for the neons signs comes from the wind turbines sitting just of the “coast” of these iron islands, but there are signs of other industrial activity as well: great pipes rise from the waters to plug themselves into containers, while others run from one set of containers to another as a tall smoke stack belches orange smoke to drift in the wind.

Kun-Tei-Ner; Inara Pey, May 2019, on FlickrKun-Tei-Ner

It is clear from this that there is some form of heavy plant hidden within some of the stacked containers. Does it provide power? is it helping to grow foodstuffs hidden by corrugated steel walls? That’s up for you as a visitor to decide. There are other signs that technology has survived as well: a large satellite communication dish points its eye towards a spot in the sky, while a satellite receiver appears to be obtaining video signals from another orbital system.

Finding your way around the islands is a matter of following the LED arrows on the floors and walls of the containers, while bridges formed from wood and rope, open-ended container and metal gantries connect the different islands. The arrows point to multiple routes and passages around the islands, making exploration a walk of discovery, at least some of which is observed from above by a flying sculpture of a whale shark.

Kun-Tei-Ner; Inara Pey, May 2019, on FlickrKun-Tei-Ner

The paths offer a lot to see, from the interiors of the living containers, to the food market and pizza bar to multiple places to sit, indoors and out. They can also offer plenty of opportunities for photography, and a Flickr group is available to those who wish to submit their images. Just be sure to give the region the time it deserves when visiting.

The region designs by Lotus and Fred are generally available for around a month before they kick-off their next project. So, in case that will be so for Kun-Tei-Ner, a visit sooner than later might be advisable to avoid missing what is – as noted – a fascinating setting worthy of exploration.

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