Monday, 17 March 2008

Second Oldham

Tonight's flying visit was to a sim whose first life counterpart is (very approximately) in my neck of the woods: Second Oldham. This is a relatively new sim - and part of the small cluster of Manchester sims that also includes Urbis.

It is great to see such unglamorous places as Oldham getting a presence in Second Life. Oldham is a town of over 100,000 inhabitants, situated in the county of Greater Manchester, to the NorthEast of Manchester itself. While there is evidence of habitation in the area since Neolithic times, it was not until the Industrial Revolution that Oldham moved beyond a few ramshackle dwellings. The first cotton mill opened in 1778, and the town grew quickly as cotton spinning became the boom industry. The decline started with the cotton famine of the 1860s, brought about by the blockade of the Confederacy during the American Civil War. But it was a gradual process - the last mill final closed in 1998. Along with cotton there was a successful coal industry - also now deceased. In the post-industrial age, Oldham is now struggling to redefine itself.

It is using Second Life as a vehicle for informing people about developments in the town, and to promote the town's industry and leisure opportunities. The sim itself is largely empty - with one corner taken up by the Second Oldham complex. A path leads visitors from the main dome, past an exhibition area, auditorium and finally a sandbox (not actually open to all-comers). It all feels quite 'early days' and may change significantly in the coming months. Certainly, there is a large slice of sim that is currently unoccupied. While the complex is nicely constructed, I think they are failing to use the exhibition space to best advantage. At the moment, there is a rolling display of 2D images regarding proposed new construction in the town. It would be nice if this was also modelled in 3D. Perhaps that is to come.

Anyway - as ever - a few snaps for you:

1 comment:

Vidal Tripsa said...

Wowie! I would never have thought of Oldham as much of a candidate for virtual presence, but hey, what do I know?

I'd no idea that Manchester as a whole was going through any of this. I recognise the fonts there from some of the newer developments in 'First Life' Victoria, so I'm quite excited by this... metaverse shift thing. Thanks for bringing it up, Al!