Thursday, 6 December 2007

Hard To Find Records

OK, I know, this one has been around for months - well, since August as far as I can determine. But as part of my ongoing mopping up operations near some of the Rivers Run Red client islands I happened on this site and went for a look. I have mentioned before, if I see on the Map that a sim name consists solely of initials I will give it a go, since there is a strong chance that it will prove relevant to this blog. That is, it will be a company, education establishment or non-profit organisation. And this island illustrates my point: HTFR. The initials stand for Hard To Find Records, a UK-based online store [with an offline outlet in Birmingham] that specialises in... umm... hard-to-find records, and more broadly, DJ equipment in general.

These hepcats, with their zoot suits, winklepickers, moptop haircuts and spandex pants appear to have shown a 23 skidoo in the direction of your regular build firms, and have mashed up their own happy house/grindcore sim, ina metapunk styl-ee, innit.

Right, that's quite enough of that...

The sim is modelled on a turntable, with the HTFR shop in the centre. The initials have been cleverly worked into a range of mountains, and so are visible from the Map view. The main features of the online shop are on display in the virtual shop -vinyl, T-shirts, equipment, including lights, speakers and decks. The place is staffed by rather convincingly rendered "cutouts" - though it wouldn't hurt them to smile once in a while, would it? There's also a sound stage, sandbox and maze. A number of virtual items are available for a fee - though I didn't spot any freebies, apparently there is a shop T-shirt available. The T-shirts didn't appear to work for me, but I could buy speakers and other items if I so chose (I didn't). Most items have links to corresponding pages in the HTFR website. In a telling pointer to the gender split in DJ'ing - and much to my surprise - there are a number of places where you can get your photo taken with a young lady, though the latter is only a cut-out.

I rather like this place. A pro-builder would probably think it could do with a bit of polishing, but it's got some nice ideas, nicely executed. I also admire the fact that it appears to be entirely self-built. While it may not win many awards, perhaps it could scoop a small prize in the indie section ( I can almost sense my grave being spat on for using the word "indie" here!). I get the impression of a friendly, enthusiastic shop that is embracing Second Life to see if it works, and 'cos it's fun to do. Good luck to 'em.

Not many snaps - but here you go...

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