As many of you know, or suspect, I'm not a great explorer of Second Life. I'm a homebody, and spend most of my time on my home region of Masocado or at Caledon Oxbridge University. A few weeks ago, I noticed that the large parcel in Impish Glee, the region just to the north of Masocado, that had been up for sale had been purchased. And soon I began to notice some building activity going on there. Would it be a competitor offering rentals? Another marina? Something atrocious like the ninety meter tall pink Barbie castle that had infested the parcel for a couple of months?
A few days ago, my curiosity got the better of me and I popped over for a closer look.
It was an amusement park. I love amusement parks, and have visited some really great ones in SL, so I wandered about and started playing with the rides and attractions. The first one I rode was an enormous roller coaster with loops and a 360 degree roll. The cars ran on a pink track. The ride was properly thrilling, and at several spots I threw my arms up in the air and challenged gravity and speed to do their worst!
There was a Tornado, a tower that blows a column of air up and lets you skydive while hovering stationary. An archery game. A water pistol arcade challenge. A gypsy fortune teller. There was a rocking Pirate Ship, a Beanstalk, and a hoverplane ride. There was The Geyser...a platform that got blown aloft atop a powerful fountain of water. A Ferris Wheel. And of course, the Clown College Bumper Boats.
In fact, the place seemed to have just about every carnival ride that ever caused a preteen to lose her funnel cake, and they were all scattered about without much rhyme or reason. In nooks and crannies between the rides were kiosks selling drinks, hot dogs, hamburgers, and all manner of junk food...the better to help you enjoy the rides, of course! There were also pleasant gazebos and other places to sit and chat and rest up for another go at the rides.
|Clown College Bumper Boats, Beanstalk, Ferris Wheel|
|I See Motion Sickness in Your Future|
|Skating Rink...and skates!|
|The Tornado Tower|
|Gee's Wonder Island|
In addition to all this, there was a large open space with helipads, to accommodate visitors arriving by air, and spacious docks for those arriving by boat. If you forgot to bring your own vehicle, there were rezzers to try out various forms of transportation, and a number of vendors with helicopters and aircraft for sale.
At about this point, I met the author of all this, Geetaraa...or "Gee" to her friends. She explained that the place was called "Gee's Wonder Island" and offered to show me the rest. "There's MORE?" I said.
And, as it turns out, there was. All that I'd seen was only the ground floor. There are three sky platforms in addition, which boast even more coasters and rides, plus an ice skating rink and a War of the Worlds game.
Gee's Wonder Island is laid out with absolutely no discernible plan or theme. It's a hodgepodge. But there is, I think, an underlying motif: Carnival Tacky. The place conveys the unmistakable air of an old fashioned traveling carnival. You can practically smell the caramel corn and the sawdust, and feel the soles of your shoes sticking to the pavement. Gee herself describes it as "unique, one of a kind," and it is most certainly that! Besides which, it's a ton of fun!
Wonder Island is living proof that you don't need the latest Mesh models, or have to be an incredibly talented architect or 3D artist to create something of worth in Second Life. Gee obviously put a lot of effort into it, and just as obviously had fun doing it. I think if you visit, you'll have fun too. But don't wait too long; Gee told me that unless the visitor traffic justifies keeping Wonder Island open for a while, she'll move on to new projects in a few months.
Gee's Wonder Island SLURL