A return to Oxygen in Second Life

Oxygen, September 2021 – click and image for full size

Earlier in September 2021, I took a tour of Oxygen: The Rock, Justice Vought’s homage to the island of Alcatraz and its famous former federal prison (see: A trip to The Rock in Second Life). Whilst I didn’t come across Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery trying to stop Ed Harris in his evil plans, much less Clint Eastwood planning his escape or Burt Lancaster (slightly apocryphally in historic terms) keeping his birds – it was an engaging visit, and one I encourage those who haven’t done so to also partake.

At the time, I noted that the start of a tour of Justice’s Alcatraz starts on wharf abutting his main region (co-held and designed with Six Vought (SixDigital)) of Oxygen, and that it was high time I took another look around it to see how things are. particularly as it is now some two years since my first visit. And I’m delighted to say – albeit without any surprise, given Justice’s eye for region design and detail – it remains as engaging as ever, offering a setting that carries forward the design first seen during my October 2019 visit, but with a number of small changes and touches that make a re-visit worthwhile.

Oxygen, September 2021

While it is not enforced, the landing point is given as the railway station that sits to the east of the region. and which contains one of those little anachronistic juxtapositions I like finding within region designs, this one in the form of a very British red telephone box facing off against a very US Postal Service mail box sitting across the narrow street that splits the station buildings.

From here, steps lead the way down a flat-topped ridge running along the region’s south side, the home to a little parade of shops fronted by a cobbled street marked by a fountain. A similar parade, complete with the Justice League Comics shop was present in the October 2019 version of Oxygen, but overall offered a slightly different mix of businesses.

Oxygen, September 2021

Two further elements retained within this iteration of the setting are the harbour and The Mystic. Facing north, the harbour sits directly behind (and separate from the wharf that marks the start of a visit to The Rock. On the landward side of the harbour, the ground rises upwards to the plateau that is home to The Mystic, the regions hilltop lodge. Wooden stairs climb the rocky face of the hill from the Harbour Master’s building with its arched sign, to reach the lodge by way of passing pelican and seagulls at the steps rise upwards.

Offering a place to relax or enjoy music events at the outdoor deck stage, The Mystic still offers a commanding view over the west side of the region as it falls away to the beach, which appears to be perhaps a little narrower than I recall from 2019. Getting down to it remains a choice of zipline or wooden steps, the latter leading both down the lower slopes of the hill and also presenting a route to Six Vought’s photo gallery as it sits tucked into the region’s gorge.

Oxygen, September 2021

The major shift in emphasis within the region’s design is that where it once included a number of rental properties, these have now been reduced to just a single property, tucked away into one corner of the region. This gives explorers more room for wandering along the lowland areas inland, and along the western beachfront.

The lack of additional rentals gives the impression the beach and its surrounds are a little more open than previously, although the drive in theatre remains. Similarly, the hills rising towards The Mystic seem a little more wooded and perhaps have some additional points of interest to find, such as the old bathtub watched over by a pair of peacocks or the sculptures sitting in the shade of trees.

Oxygen, September 2021

With the subtle changes made to its design, Oxygen remains an engaging visit; the kind of place you can visit and catch your breath, take a few photos and enjoy the ambient sounds and just be.

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