Tuesday, December 19, 2006

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To describe one of his favorite haunts in Second Life, Douglas Story composed a short illustrated essay and profile:

My contribution to this series falls into the "one of my favorite places" category: it’s the wonderful Second Life version of the famous real-world Cro-Magnon art gallery in France: The Caves of Lascaux. I’ve always been fascinated with prehistoric cave art, so when I read about an example in-world I rushed there as fast as a teleport could take me. I was delighted by what I found, and have been bringing friends there ever since.


Rather than attempt to recreate the Lascaux caves exactly the builder, Bizarre Berry, has filled the space with cave paintings from all over the world - Africa, Europe, Australia, China, and more. It sounds as though the effect might be a mish-mash of styles--  but as you can see, the overall impression is captivating. Adding to the effect is good sound design: the sound of flowing water and a distant didgeridoo.

But what really makes the experience for me is the nice bit of theater Mr. Berry has constructed by way of an entrance. You can’t teleport directly to the Caves; rather you have to do a bit of spelunking! The access to the Caves is a long, twisting, underground passage that can be a little difficult to negotiate if you’re not in mouselook mode. (I also suggest setting the sun to ‘midnight’ for the best experience.) Since the first time I visited the site Berry has added candles to light the way and a helpful sign at the most vexing intersection.

He told me, “I have met several people who said they weren't impressed with the caves, who in fact had only gone about halfway down the passage and gotten lost, thinking there was nothing else to see.  When I find this out, I guide them personally through the passage and they are always impressed.”


As a bonus, Bizarre Berry himself is... uh... well, bizarre. When I first met him, he was in the guise of an Ent, complete with bluebirds circling the branches over his head. He makes and sells avatars that are creative and funny - such as cavemen, planets-with-moons, and bag ladies.


He says, “When I first built the caves, I created a caveman avatar to live in the cave. When I would find people in the cave, I would teleport in (I have a secret teleporter) and pretend to be the caveman who lived in the cave full time.  I roleplayed and pretended that I was a caveman and always acted amazed at the 'magic' things that people could do and the funny clothes they would wear.”


Next time you want to impress someone new to SL with something besides strip clubs, bring ‘em to the Caves. Be sure to wear sensible shoes.

The Caves of Lascaux are on the same plot of land as Bizarre Berry’s shop at Modesta 94, 46, 55 [Direct teleport here] and can also be found by doing a Places search on “Lascaux.”

Thanks Douglas!

And where in the world do you live?  Take a look at the entire Window series for inspiration, read the details for submitting to NWN's World From My Window series, then send me a screenshot or video link of your SL home or favorite haunt.

Update, 12/20:  Douglas sends in an important direction for finding the cave:  "From the point that the [SLURL] teleport takes you to, look to the Southeast where you'll see a painting of a bison. That's the entrance to the tunnel."


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