Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Sistine Chapel

The Vassar College island has a beautiful replica of the Vatican's Sistine Chapel, where the popes are elected (the white puff of smoke, etc), and where Michelangelo painted his famous ceiling frescos. Walk into the chapel about half way, switch to mouse view, then look up! It's breathtaking: one of the best examples I've seen of an SL representation of the real world. You can spend ages there just standing in one spot and looking at the paintings, there are so many of them.

Also on view are Raphael's tapestries, but only for thirty seconds at a time, for some reason!

Before (or during) your visit, I recommend having a look at the Vatican website for the Sistine Chapel, at this address:

There's lots of information there. And you can also get a good idea of how accurate the SL representation is!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Here there (may) be dragons!

Should I or shouldn't I? This tunnel into the underworld in the medieval-themed Avilion sim looks pretty spooky!

Of course I did; but I won't spoil your own thrill of discovery by telling you what I found down there. You'll have to go and see for yourself!

But please be sure to read the rules that are posted at the gates. It's a serious role-playing sim (though not a Gorean one, thank goodness!), and there are free medieval-style clothes provided. No such thing as observer status there, so be prepared to take part in the action!

The Eternal City

The imperial palace in the ancient Rome sim is usually not open to the public. But with the recent celebration of the Saturnalia festival, the Emperor graciously opened its gates to the citizens. The photo shows some of the beauty within!

The Roma SPQR sim is owned by a real-life Roman archaeologist, and provides an accurate depiction of what the ancient city would have looked like. There is some role-playing there, and many of the ancient festivals are celebrated at the appropriate times of year. For example, the Saturnalia involved slaves changing places with their masters for the day.

The sim now covers three entire regions, and flying is not enabled, so be sure give yourself enough time for a long walk! There are many interesting things to see, and informative note cards are available everywhere. (Watch for the red disk with the Roma olive branch symbol on it!) And be sure to pick up a free toga when you arrive at the customs house in the harbour: historical sims are much more fun when everyone looks the part!