Sunday, 21 April 2013

A sad but true story

I was looking for one of the installations by Rose Borchovski about her character Susa Bubble, when I ran into The inevitability of fate on Two Fish. According to this blogpost the installation has been around for almost a year, but I had not seen it yet.

At first I was reluctant to explore this immersive story landscape: it was not the one that I'd been looking for and from the description in the destination guide and the notecard at the landing point I figured that it wouldn't be a cheerful experience. Curiousity won, I clicked the teleport button and I don't regret it at all. When I logged off at the end of the evening The inevitability of fate had left a deep impression.

Two Fish

The inevitability of fate lets you walk through an interactive landscape where you experience the story of Angry Beth and Lot. It's not a happy story:

Lot turned eight, the sun did shine and all were happy.
But then the war came and all did change.
A harsh hand ruled the world of Beth and Lot.

They were forced to leave.
They were separated from each other.
They were made the enemy.

The war was bitter and long.

After the war Beth returned.
The child Lot had disappeared; no one knows where she went.

Beth keeps searching for Lot.
On good days, Beth is able to imagine that
Lot is flying like a bird, with her face towards the sky,
searching for the stars.
On bad days, Beth can only be angry about her loss.
Beth’s wounds will never heal.

Lot had no chance to become who she meant to be..
Scene by scene you are lead through the story. It starts with Lot's birthday and ends with her flying like a bird.

Two Fish - Happy Birthday
Two Fish

The figures of Beth and Lot are made with skill: the emotions speak from their faces. But that's not the most impressive part of the installation.  Along the way  you receive many of the objects that Lot and Beth encounter  in their live and you become part of the story. There's a yellow ribbon that you have to wear, a letter that summons you to leave home, etcetera. You are encouraged to use the items and to interact with the story by sitting on the poses in the different scenes.
What touched me most though, were the sounds. The voice of Lot who misses her family, a man telling that you have to work for them, a child's voice listing all the names of people who died. The despair of Lot and Beth is tangible and it is impossible to catch this feeling in a picture: you have to experience it yourself.

Two Fish - You have to leave

Obviously the story of Lot and Beth is about a Jewish family in the second world war. Rose Borchovski managed to depict this heavy theme in a light and imaginative way that fits the world of Second Life, yet does justice to reality.

But it's more than that. It's not only a story about the Holocaust, but also the general story of a mother being separated from her child in wartime. Unfortunately this still happens until today. That's why this story should be told again and again.

In two weeks my country (the Netherlands) will remember the end of the second world war and celebrate its freedom. Many will visit a  memorial to commemorate, which is good. But after my visit to this installation, I wonder if the world would still be the same if real life memorials would have the same impact as 'The inevitability of fate'.

Here's your landmark to visit Lot and Beth.

Two Fish

Saturday, 20 April 2013

The Legion Project

The Legion Project is a nice hangout that opened not long ago. It's just a quarter sim, but looks much bigger due to the use of off-sim elements and different levels in the landscape. The quiet streets surrounded by high mountain peaks and pine trees remind me distantly of Twin Peaks.

I couldn't find much information about the project, nor a program - maybe I missed a sign somewhere - but this is what the destination guide tells about the place:
The Legion Project was carefully created for you to hang out, enjoy some music, play your tunes and take amazing pictures. Designed for those who want to spin and party without being added to a staff or hired at a club, the Legion provides open streams and two different stages for your musical enjoyment. All are welcome. 

The first stage is right at the landing point, near the water, with rugs in the grass to sit and listen to the music and  a retro bar for your convenience.

The Legion Project - The Bar

The other stage is at the end of a short street with a handful of small shops.

Scattered around the place are seats, where you can hangout with your friends or simply enjoy the beautiful nature. One of the terraces in the landscape habits a gypsy field:

The Legion Project - Gypsy Field

The creators seem to have a thing with religion - or actually not - regarding a sign saying 'religion free zone' and a street with two abandoned churches.

The Legion Project - Church Door

The Legion Project - Sacred Space

The Legion is a nice corner of the Port Said sim. It is attractive for photographers and invites to stay for a while. The only thing that I missed was an easy way to walk from one level to the other: once I disappeared between the terraces and I was glad that I had 'double click to teleport' activated in my viewer.

Here's your taxi to visit the Legion Project.