June 27, 2006

The Office of Second Life Tourism

So here's the thing.

In the virtual world of Second Life where the landscape changes every day, where the builds can come up and go down in a matter of seconds (depending upon the speed of one's graphics card), "seeing it all" can be a bit tricky. There are no historical markers, there is no board of tourism complete with pamphlets (although Pathfinder's Picks can be a good start), there is no tourist agency to help plan virtual sightseeing. When I first came in-world, I found this to be rather tragic. I was a little surprised that in a world where building was such an integral part of the culture no one was really highlighting "Tourist Spots." There are so many people making so many incredible, wacky, disturbing, unusual, impossible things. Where does one start? How does one know where to look first?

The RL Victorians had the same problem. The middle classes, finding themselves with the cash and leisure time for travel, needed aid in understanding the cultural value and significance of the sites that they were visiting. Karl Baedeker solved this problem with his Travel Guides, which were published from the 1830s until WWII.* In short, one's Baedeker told one where to look and what to think about it. While I am not particularly interested in shaping my Dear Reader's opinion (I am quite sure that my Reader is capable of articulating personal likes and dislikes), I think it would be valuable to be kept abreast of where to look in-world.

In the rapidly-changing world of SL, a published book wouldn't do a bit of good. It would be out of date by the time it came out of the THiNC Printing Press. But a blog. A blog is flexible. Agile. Ever changing.

And here we are.

*Incidentally, there appears to still be a German company publishing under the name of Baedeker. But since I do not read German, I can't tell if they are kin to the original. You may view their site here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I really enjoyed your blog and tried a couple of your suggested locations. This tourism idea is just what I was looking for as a new Resident, thanks! "Asorel Todriya"

Blogger CronoCloud said...

Neat idea. I hadn't even heard of some of these places.

I also see you're a "Patootie" wearer.

Blogger Ida said...

Thanks for reading - I've had a great time writing the blog.

I wear Patootie pretty much non-stop (sad and predictable, I know. But it's Just. So. Cute. I can't help myself).


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