I visited today a tremendous recreation of the Seattle Space Needle in Second Life created by Mattias Faulkner. It’s clearly the result of a lot of work and planning on his part to get the design and scale just right. It’s a lovely structure in real life, and no less so in simulation. The difference is that in SL you can fly around it from the outside, sit on the roof of it, and even take a header off the side of it with no ill effects, which several residents were doing when I was there.
On the other hand, the real Space Needle affords a lovely view of Seattle, if you are lucky enough to go up on a clear day. And at the real Space Needle you can dine in the revolving restaurant at its top. In the virtual Space Needle you get a view of, well, not much really. There’s a garden next door, a couple of floating mansions nearby, and that’s about it. No one has gone to the trouble of re-creating the rest of Seattle surrounding the Space Needle, and no one will.
Which is kind of the point of Second Life: it doesn’t look like real life. It has just enough real world elements to help you keep your bearings, i.e. (mostly) anthropomorphic avatars, gravity, land, water, sky, day and night cycles, etc. But beyond those basic parameters, Second Life is about extending the human experience beyond the physical and mundane into a shared fantasy space.
There are a small number of exceptions. Notably, the sim of Amsterdam looks a lot like the real city of Amsterdam, although mostly just the naughty bits. I can’t find a decent friteshop in the SL Amsterdam, nor is the Van Gogh museum or the Anne Frank house anywhere to be found. And there’s no corresponding simulcrums of Tokyo, New York, Chicago or London. Why mimick a real city when you can build a Furry Nation or an Elven forest?
This is your dream house. This is your dream wife.
UPDATE 6/08: I have indeed found virtual Seattle. Click here to read more about it.
6 thoughts on “Real places in Second Life: the Seattle Space Needle”
The Space Needle
Real places recreated in Second Life seems to be a fascination. JohnnyRS visited SL Las Vegas and today I visited the Space Needle [SLurl].
I also think construction-wise, it’s considerably difficult to create replicas of real stuff because of the constraints you have to work with, such as architectural proportions and the textures–if you’re going for realism. Even Amsterdam has taken some liberties in this regard, all the better for their Red Light District. (It was also nice to see how Stroker quickly added some of the new features, like click actions and lighting, when SL 1.10 came out.)
I’m oddly finding there isn’t more of the surreal, or even the hyperreal. Where are all the good anime-styled nightclubs like something outta a cyberpunk novel? I know Residents who *could* make such things, if they had the time. But all in all, so many things to be done.
i’m a nwbe and totally agree second life looks a lot like real life, that is, boring, because i already live in real life and was excited about the possibilities of a metaverse, i dunno maybe i came too late, at the point where second life is becoming just another mean of corporative marketing and individual less than imaginative greed
I know this is an old post but i had to comment. You said avoe that you didnt think anyone would ever recreate the space needle AND the surrounding areas. Well I have!…. Check out Region “Seattle”..yes we got the name! :))) I havw recreated (still developing) the whole are including pikes market and westlake mall!!. Come see!
Thanks, looking forward to checking it out! Post the SLURL here too.
Awesome. Sorry for all the typo’s above. Was at work ;P . Here is the SLURL for Seattle in Second Life! Enjoy