Paradox Ivory has been responsible for some engaging region designs in Second Life (see my pieces D 0 X: an Island Fantasy in Second Life, Emerging from a Tokyo Street Subway Entrance and A return to Tokyo Street and a visit to Umi); little wonder then, that she was selected by Bhad Craven to bring into being his vision for Cravone City, his Full region that finds inspiration in the great cities of the US East and West coasts.
Utilising the land impact bonus available to Full private islands, Cravone City is place for SL business, being the home to brands like Bad Unicorn and Bhad’s own Scotch, and is open to both casual urban role-play and photography.
The setting has the feel of being one of those downtown locations that can often be found a major cities: a place surrounded by the tall fingers of modern office blocks and apartments, but which retains the buildings and streets of an earlier age, a time when cities were beginning to grow vertically as space became an increasingly valuable commodity.
Thus, this is a place of buildings five to eight storeys tall, with shops setting under town houses faced by wrought-iron fire escapes and sash windows that look out onto the world whether open or closed. It’s a place that commuters pass through on trains that carry them to the glistening towers of the “new” city at the start of the working day, then back out to their suburban homes in the evening, perhaps barely aware it even exists.
Which is not to say that the world is simply passing by this place without interest. The major roads are now wider than perhaps they once were, speaking to their update to detail with hight volumes of traffic, and there is a certain gentification going on: some of the building have façades that are younger than the rest of them, whilst here and there modern stores have moved in, and boutique cafés are making their presence felt.
All of this gives a certain richness to the setting. As with a real city the old rubs shoulders with the new, and while it is possible to tour what is here by keeping to the broad, sunlit main streets that dive the setting into city blocks, so to is is possible to wander off the beaten track and discover the older, narrower streets; places where renewal perhaps hasn’t reached, or where some might go to find more adult forms of entertainment.
So it is that Cravone City has about it a sense of life, here and there aided by the presence of static NPCs. But just where it might be in the world is entirely up to the imagination. There are clear touches of New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco to be found here, but away from the major roads with their American lean, this could easily be somewhere else entirely – thus offering a lot of opportunities for that free-form role-play.
Opportunities for the latter and – perhaps more particularly for photography – can be found throughout, while the touches of detail – the graffiti, the manner in which life spills out of of some of the townhouses and onto their fire escapes, the corners turned into gardens, and so on add a further layering to the sense of lives being lived here.
I don’t know if any kind of urban role-play takes place in the region – I suspect interest was generated following it being highlighted in the Destination Guide in March – but there is no denying Cravone City’s photogenic charms, making it an interesting visit for the SL traveller.
- Cravone City (Cravone, rated Moderate)