Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Asahi Broadcasting Corporation

This blog is largely given over to looking at non-residential builds in Second Life - they could be corporate, education, not-for-profit or whatever. But how do I find them? Well, in truth, I find as the number of islands grows, the more time-consuming and tedious the job of finding suitable sims becomes. Now, even regular readers may be forgiven for forgetting one of the tricks of the Ambling Rambler's trade: if you see initials on the Map, then check out the sim. So many organisations use acronyms and initialisms that it is worth investigating if you see them. And so it proved with today's site. In fact, it is a cluster of 4 sims - but the one that caught my eye was the enticingly entitled: ABC.

The list of possibilites was extensive, even after noting the neighbouring sim is called TV. In fact, the 4 sims belong to Asahi Broadcasting Corporation. This was easily ascertained, since it is plastered on the underside of the blimp that circles the TV sim. Originally founded as a radio station in Osaka, Japan, in 1951, ABC now broadcasts both radio and TV to around 20 million people. And that about taps out my knowledge of the company.

The 2 principal sims (ABC and TV) are rather splendid - at least to someone who likes both rich immersive textures and well-made Japanese sims. To be fair, not a great deal happens on the sims, given the amount of real estate available. ABC features a nicely made office block (though there is limited access to the interior) and a set of teleports to locations around the block where you can acquire a variety of free branded vehicles. Though the ads have the number "100" emblazoned on them, I did not seem to be charged for the pleasure. I can recommed the wheeled vehicle, but I found the aeroplane a nightmare! Most striking about this sim though, is the near photo quality of the textures.

The TV sim is rather more exotic. A large ... what?... (hmmm... words... what words to describe it?...) blue, fluroescent sci-fi ziggurat dominates the sim. Within this, somewhere, is a splendidly realised theatre. You reach this via a nifty teleport, which bears a small amount of explanation. To use it - simply walk on to the square plate of the device. You will be instantly boxed in by blue walls. Now use Right-Click and select "Sit" to operate the teleport. All this is explained in Japanese, with pictures, but there's no harm in explaining it. Also around the sim are 3 blue "studios" - I won't explain these, mainly because I can't - plus it might spoil your own discovery. Finally there's a sandbox and freebie station, where you can acquire a cartoony avatar. At least, I think that's what it is - I've not unpacked it yet.

The other 2 sims are still basically empty, so I won't bother describing them yet. Using my yardstick that the more pictures I take, the more I like a place, I can safely assert that I like this place (14 pictures). Oh, I'm not saying it's cutting edge - or that it engages with the virtual world community - or that it does a great job for ABC. But I really like the build. Kind of reminds me of Electric Sheep builds of yore. Oh, and if you can tell me about the builders responsible, then I'd like to hear that. In the meantime why not have a look?

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