Is this a snub at Second Life™ ?

At regular intervalls I get a newsletter from the architecture website archello.com. In one of its recent emails, or it can have been a couple of weeks ago… I get these newsletters on my work account and I have been off for three weeks and am working my way through the email backlog. It’s nice to find these little treasures between tedious emails of systems that went down during my absence (I don’t even use that bloody app, leave me alone IT crowd!) and other messages that with one line of text give me 4 hours of work. Oh well, I guess it pays the bills.

But anyway, the Archello newsletter from October 5th (I checked the date now) had an article in it with the title “Metaverse: Architecture’s Final Frontier“. I read the whole thing (it’s not that long) and there isn’t a single mentioning of Second Life in it, while they do manage to mention Fortnite, Roblox, and Decentraland. At that point in the article they’re not even referring to architecture yet. Actually they take a long time to get to the point (that sounds familiar), so I feel they could have mentioned Second Life in that line-up and I was left wondering if this was a snub?

The way they see the further development of architecture in the Metaverse doesn’t fit in very well with a world that’s made by residents for residents, as it is in Second Life. Sure, some input from real life architects could be good, but how long does it take before we’re not just priced out of our real life homes, but out of our virtual ones as well?

And why not mention that Second Life is already a wonderful world to learn about architecture? Without Second Life I quite possibly never would have discovered a quintessential example of mid century modern architecture like the Farnsworth house. I Had much fun decorating that compact house and you’ll find several examples of it in Second Life, some of them a bit better executed than others. The one I used in my virtual life was created by Fanatik and I dedicated a whole blogpost to it back in May 2017. I have also seen a nice version by Trompe Loeil, which is one of the most prolific house creators in Second Life, covering a range of styles.

Less impressive are the houses you can choose from when you become a premium member and decide to make use of a Linden Home. These homes are a perk that come with the premium membership, along with a 300 L$ weekly stipend. I used to own a house in the Meadowbrook style for quite a while. You can still get these today, but as time goes by and elsewhere in Seconde Life things are improving, these areas are very much stuck in their earlier Second Life era. I often wonder why Second Life doesn’t just offer us a piece of empty land with the premium account. Maybe it’s because they want it to be a more coherent design experience, because if one looks around at what’s happening elsewhere on Mainland… Well, let’s just say one can’t call it coherent. When one starts camming around a bit in a Meadowbrook area, or indeed any of the other Linden Home areas, it soon becomes obvious that many people are only using their Linden Home as a place to unpack things or at best are furnishing it very sparsely and are not making it the best it can possibly be. I myself however, was squeezing the most out of my Meadowbrook home and you can go back to a couple of my older blogposts if you want to see more of it. I should mention that with a Linden Home the house has no impact on your prim count, so you can spend it all on furniture and Knickknacks.

I should mention that a couple of years ago a new Linden Home area named Bellisseria opened up, offering more sophisticated houses and better landscaping. It’s still nog quite as good as what people are creating on their own in Second Life, but it’s an improvement. I’m occupying one of the log homes at the moment, but there are many other styles to choose from. I’d like to put some more bushes and trees around it, but those tend to really eat into the prims and I’d rather have it cozy on the inside.

Well that’s it for my musing on architecture in Second Life. Feel free to let me know in the comments who your favourite builders are in SL or even your favourite architects in RL.

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