Monday, May 23, 2011

Obsession & Determination Create an Underground City in Second Life

Jeddin's Underground City (moderate)

His name in Second Life is Jeddin Laval.  On a grid where some people think a month is a long time Jeddin has spent years building and refining an Underground City.  This City, located in the future world of Tarnus,  is a 3d child of and gateway to an even bigger obsession of his - a work of fiction he has spent many more years writing. Everything in this build is a representation of a location or event that takes place in the The Descending Road.

Jeddin has created something enormous in its complexity and richness of detail.  I'm going to try and give you a coherent introduction but I think you're really going to have to experience it to understand.  If you love creativity, obsession and science fiction and you have a need to click on everything - you must go visit the Underground City.

Jeddin's Underground City (moderate)

In the physical world his name is Dana Paxson - and I'm not telling you anything secret.  He not only doesn't hide his real life he links to his work from the Second Life build.  In fact, that would be the point. :)

Imagine a multi-thread work of fiction which has reached over 250,000 words.  All of that "world building" in written form and SL provides a way for the creator to realize his work and share it in 3D.  But it's not enough for Jeddin to just represent ideas and locations from his fiction.  He makes it possible for us to reach into the novel and understand what we're experiencing.

For example, one of the constructs in the novel is something called a Memwall.  Graffiti is placed on a wall to remember those who have died and that wall has been recreated inworld.  If you click on a bit of graffiti you are invited to go to the website and read the backstory.

Memwall, Jeddin's Underground City (moderate)

Clicking becomes a preoccupation when you visit the Underground City.  Almost everything you see can be touched and provides you with some type of information or link.  There is a room on one of the many levels which provides you with maps of the City's architecture. Click on them and they transform into holograms.  Click on them again and more magic happens. 

When you see writing on a wall do some more clicking.  On one wall is a song called "Mineburn".  Click on that and you will be taken to its origins.  As you become more familiar with the City you'll learn that clicking on "Hell" gives you tips.  Clicking on blue "S" signs will take you to the novel for more information on the location you're visiting.

With the exception of the furniture in the  Library, everything you see in this City has sprung from the mind and fiction of Jeddin Laval/Dana Paxson.   He has had years to develop this world and the level of detail and integration is compelling.

Jeddin's Underground City (moderate)

This is a very complex build, full of surprises and hidden rooms and so much information that it will take many visits to absorb.  You can take a tour as an introduction or use the transportation system to make your way on your own.  Or do both.  :)  

The novel is also very complex, however it is constructed in a way which allows you to read one thread at a time.  Jeddin/Dana calls it Electronic Literary Macrame.  The system of links is integral to ELM as well - click on the left sidebar and you find encyclopedia articles, on the right and you'll find a glossary.  You will want to read the Descending Road so you should be very grateful to the author.  He provides it free of charge in multiple formats.  The combination of the novel and the inworld build is a treat.

One of the fun/creepy things you can do in Jeddin's world, is get to know the "Andro's". Bioandroids are a fixture in Tarnus and they have to be created somewhere.  Be careful though - the recycling plant will mistake you for one of those constructs and I don't know how to save you.

However, should you remember to help me with my SL8B project - I might just be willing to negotiate for your release.  :)

The Andro Lab, Jeddin's Underground City (moderate)

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