BY ASSISTANT EDITOR PAYPABAK WRITER
I wrote about the Great Wall for ROLE Magazine(November 2009, Atomic World in Pixels) two years ago and was very happy to see the place is still there, no worse for wear, and still a wonderful simulation of an actual place, although for the sake of economy and the restrictions of space, confined to one sim. It could have been expanded, I suppose, to the four sims that comprise this “World Heritage Site” but there is so much more to see and so much the better for not overdoing it. This is another “must-see” place in SL, and I dare say, see it before something makes it go away!
One change I noticed since visiting in 2009: the vendors selling the various sections of the wall and towers is gone or has been moved. I often wondered if they really had any buyers, although some fantasy sims could have used these structures to great advantage. I strongly recommend just taking a walk along the top of the wall for the full immersive experience. What would take days, takes about 15 minutes depending on your FPS. Play around with various Windlight settings and take pictures. The wall meanders as I assume the real one does, taking turns and going up and down. In some places, the reality is hampered by the horizon where your usual “SL ocean” surrounding the island is visible, a problem all such sims have.
When you’re done, cross one of two borders, following the Lotus Trail, and visit the other three sims for a taste of ancient Japan, all built by the Hosoi Design group. The Hosoi Ichiba is a wonderful marketplace for oriental furniture, structures, fans, all kinds of decorations, along with rickshaws, palanquins, and even full-size junks! While it’s commercial in intent, I got a Forbidden City kind of vibe from the way the market was laid out and from secret underground areas that you will encounter. I love the central garden where you can meditate or perform tai chi exercises.
Cross another border, carefully, in space and time to the Edo Period on Hosei Mura for roleplaying, which includes a school for Geishas. You will find fish markets and harbors with various kinds of Asian boats docked there. Hosoi employees may be on hand to offer guided tours and provide a very nice, personal touch for visitors to these sims.
The Matsumoto Castle is a breathtaking reproduction of one of Japan’s finest historic castles found on the Japan Chuba sim, part of the four sims that make up the Hosoi showcase area. You enter the island through a marvelous pagoda-inspired gate and walk through tree-lined streets toward the majestic castle. As with any sim like this, prim limitations mean that you often wander through empty rooms and chambers, and the magic of “being there” is lessened. Nonetheless, you will enjoy these wonderfully designed sims.
Visit Inworld: Great Wall of China