As many doubtless already know, thanks to the work of other bloggers and also Lab Gab, NatureCon is currently underway within Second Life, and runs through until August 31st. Despite being offered the opportunity to preview it – my apologises to the organisers – the week ahead of the event opening was a little chaotic for me (hence the slow-down in general blogging), and I was unable to accept the offer. As the opening weekend in the regions was also super busy, I decided to hold off blogging until slightly quieter times allowed for more relaxed exploration.
NatureCon’s mission is to inspire connections between related SL communities and organizations from Bellisseria and the Mainland through a shared love of exploration and expressions of nature in SL.
In celebration of creative natural spaces and the folk who share them, NatureCon 2022 aims to unite Mainland’s and Bellisseria’s natural spaces and share a love of travel with the greater SL community.
– from the NatureCon 2022 Guide
The event is located within two Full regions on the southern tip of Sansara and connects to the open waters that offer passage to and from Bellisseria. As such, the event can be reached via direct teleport, by water from Bellisseria, by road from anywhere in Sansara or by air from the grid as a whole via the Gateway International Airport.
Between them, the two regions offer much to see and do, and features both groups and individuals from across Second Life, some of who I’ve been only too happy to cover in these pages – such as the Zany Zen Railway (see: Letting off steam with Zany Zen Railway in Second Life), one of the Great Little Railways of Second Life (alongside of Dreamshire Village – see here, and the Valkyrie Light Transport Railroad – see here, both of which are represented through advertising in the regions), and the Nature Collective by Emm (Emmalee Evergarden), which I wrote about in July 2022.
Within the inland areas are trails and boardwalks to be followed (and climbed or descended!), which provide access to the various stages of live events, info and activity areas, allowing visitors to go horse riding, ride zip lines, try their hand at rope climbing or hang-gliding, and so on – and even tickle a volcano into an eruption(!). Down along the coast meanwhile are beaches, opportunities to mess about on (or in and under!) the water, the chance to catch the ferry to Bellisseria, and a special info centre by the SL Coast Guard.
As a celebration of Nature, there are multiple exhibits focused on the diversity of life on this planet, with a special habitat by the BB, a bird observatory, Emm’s aforementioned Nature Collective, undersea seas which include links to external resources on ocean and aquatic life conservation, and information boards a-plenty found throughout the regions, offering visitor plenty of opportunities to learn more about nature, conservation, and about communities across Second Life. In all, the event has involved the collaboration of some 60 people, including the Moles of the LDPW, and Mainland communities such as Bay City, and famous Mainland sites such as Mount Campion (see here and here for more) as well as those already mentioned.
From the main info hubs, visitors are free to wander as they will; the trails and boardwalks offer the most direct means of getting around, but people can also avail themselves of the ChedderWorx Railway and any one of the many horse rezzers scattered around the landscape and hills – or can wear their own horse, as I did whilst exploring the greater part of the regions. Those who enjoy a hunt will also be rewarded by a visit, thanks to the NatureCon 2022 Artist Hunt – details via the posters at the two landing points. Art is also well represented through the event regions, with displays to be found under canopies of tall trees, along some of the trails and within places such as the Park Office.
Given all that is going on, a visit can put something of a strain on a visitor’s computer, so do be prepared to make some adjustments to your settings if you encounter issues – lowering draw distance may limit your view, but if it means you’re able to explore with greater ease, it’s worthwhile doing so. Also, for a fully immersive experience, do be sure to have local sounds enabled.
It’s clear that considerable thought has gone into NatureCon 2022; so much so that drawing attention to personal niggles might seem a little unfair. However, whilst wandering, both Imp and I couldn’t help but feel while undoubtedly useful in some places, the boardwalks within the setting were in others a trifle over-used; this is a nature reserve after all, so why c;lutter so much of the landscape with (what felt like in places to be acres of) wooden planking? And while not exclusively affiliated with the Mainland, given their love of all things aquatic and for undersea life and nature, it would have been nice to visit the (otherwise bland) Mermaid’s Grotto and find information on Second Life’s mer communities.
But niggles aside, NatureCon 2022 is an obvious labour of love from all concerned, and well worth a visit. Details of facilities and events are in the images supplied here, simply click on any one of them for the full size, if required.
NatureCon 2022 is rated Moderate.
One thought on “NatureCon 2022 in Second Life”
Looks great! I really must get there this week.
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