Go down the rabbit hole and find yourself in Alice’s abandoned park.
– The invitation to visit Wonderland 2.0
A region design apparently focused on Lewis Carroll’s Alice stories is nothing new within Second Life; I’ve visited a number through my time in Second Life and written about several in this blog, and thoroughly enjoyed each of them. In addition, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass have both been the subject of art installation and special events within SL.
However, Wonderland 2.0 is decidedly special. Designed and built by Lucifer (Samael Morningstar) and Violette (Violette Rembrandt), and occupying a Full private region, it has grown from a 1/3 region parcel through a half a region to this new iteration, which Lucifer and Violette are still nipping and tucking. It offers an immersive trip into not “the” Wonderland of the books, but “a” Wonderland – a marvellous place of imagination and adventure put together by Lucifer Violette in which the stories of Alice are the jumping-off point for a journey into the fantastical and the captivating within an incredibly eye-catching landscape; a unique adventure in which Alice’s experiences sit as touchstones throughout, and with a richness of interaction.
These touchstones commence at the skybox landing point, where jut outside of a small cabin, the Cheshire Cat grins through a giant keyhole at those stepping out of the cabin’s single room. A short walk past a not-too-friendly rabbit (Bryn Oh’s Mr Zippers) delivers arrivals to where light swirls within the open maw of a rabbit hole visitors are invited to jump down.
Doing so delivers people to a further room where on a table sits a little bottle with the familiar invitation: Drink Me. Those who do so (by touching the bottle), will find themselves instantly reduced in size, the room grown large round them (through the neat use of a quick teleport), and the way forward marked by a previously tiny door of what might have once been a little moue hole but has now become a full-size door. Touching the RED arrow pointing at the door then delivers visitors to the region proper.
To describe this landscape would be to defat the purpose of a visit: that of taking a journey of discovery and adventure through a literal wonderland of colour, space, art and more. Throughout this landscape of paths and fields, flowers and hills, over which whales swim, boats float and island drift, lay rich vignettes, visible and hidden. Some embrace Alice’s adventures, other provide their own ride into immersive fantasy.
Nor is what awaits restricted to the ground level; there is a lot more over it (and under it!) than the route down from the Landing Point. So much so, in fact, that I genuinely doubt a single visit will suffice for someone to catch it all. These elements in the sky can be reached through one of the major means of exploring the region: the network of Anywhere teleports. Some of these take the form of the usual Door form, sitting on or floating serenely just above the ground. A click on them will open them, and a second will walk you through them – and on to another vignette, one generally – but not always on roughly the same level.
Some of these teleports, however take the form of rabbit holes, wells, and more (like a dip in the water of a stream, for example). These are indicated by 3D arrows which, when clicked, will carry you through them (again with animations) to another location, this time usually involving a vertical move to a location in the sky, or back to the ground. In places the two types of teleport combine to lead visitors from setting to setting – such as with the caves, pirate ship and winter vignettes that all await discovery. Thus, exploration is gently teased out of visitors, and given the manner in which these doors and jumps might be found, no single route through the region’s settings and vignettes might match another.
Nor are these the only teleports: also to be found within the region are a number of Experience-based portals. If you accept the associated Experience, they will teleport you to other locations within Second Life. Meanwhile, for those who prefer to wander rather than just teleport around, there are paths to be found, undulating across the fields of flowers and also up some of the highlands of the regions – and I do urge visitors to follow them as well.
Wonderland 2.0 is a genuine treat for those who love exploring – and one of those places where, at the risk of repeating myself, I don’t want to delve into a huge amount of detail about for fear of spoiling the pleasure of direct exploration. It is a place that fully deserves special attention and time when exploring. In fact, such is the the design, it will take more than one visit in order to capture everything. In this, as well, I’d like to thank Lucifer for taking the time to show me elements within Wonderland 2.0, and I’d also like to pass my congrats to him and Violette on this latest, and largest iteration of their vision. I look forward to returning and seeing even more!
- Wonderland 2.0 (Realm of Wonder, rated Adult)