You will know that those of us involved in SL Naturist are advocates of a broader geography for our virtual world. Perhaps utilising abandoned land to create virtual versions of the real world.
For instance, there is no Mecca in Second Life. There’s not much Islamic engagement in SL in any instance, which is a huge pity, as by visiting and reading about Islamic history and culture we begin to understand it. This is a retrograde step by SL (by ‘SL’ I mean the community in general, not Linden Labs), as there used to be mosques and Islamic culture in evidence, all worth visiting.
There is only a minor nod in the direction of Jerusalem on the SL Israel sim, which I happen to think is an excellent overview of the country, its religion and culture. The Israel sim is done in a very imaginative way, as you teleport into an airports arrival lounge before being able to tp to other places like SL Jerusalem or SL Eilat.
We have Egypt, but only in its ancient form, no White House, only a steampunk San Franciso (still nonetheless welcome too), no Madrid, no Barcelona. I’m not suggesting we have to have every major city in the world covered, but it would be nice to have some non-commercial sims (no traders) in a build where the sights of a city take precedence.
What about some a greater sense of the Indian sub-continent? We’ve got a Taj Mahal, but that effectively covers it as far as India is concerned.
Why couldn’t or shouldn’t we have a wider perspective of India?
Why not a greater sense of India in SL?
There’s a Liverpool (strictly speaking a representation of the Beatles’ Cavern Club) and, happily, a representation of the Amazon River. We have deserts, usually in the context of Gorean role-play sims, but little forested areas (again, these tend to be in the context of Gor).
We’ve beaches by the thousand, all palm-fringed with golden sand, but few that represent a more rugged coastline (Baja Norte is one that does step outside the norm).
Africa, the largest of all of the continents, is almost entirely invisible, apart from one, Drakensberg Mountains.
I could go on…and on..and on…
These places should exist in and of themselves, but also because we, the SL community, should be able to reflect some of the events of the real world, as represented in Second Life. The SL community were quick to create memorials to the victims of terrorist atrocities in Paris and Brussels. So why should there not be an opportunity to show our support for the people, and infrastructure, of Palmyra?
Education once played a large part of Second Life’s existence. Some universities had (and still have) an inworld presence. Some businesses had a presence. So why not, for educational purposes, should there not be a Palmyra sim, so that we can choose to educate ourselves into the background of the battle for an ancient, beautiful city ravaged by terrorist thugs? By walking through the ruins of a famed, UNESCO site, a world heritage centre, we can maybe begin to comprehend that for the squalid little morons in ISIS, there is no ‘world heritage’ or appreciation of what man has built over the centuries. That, for them, there is only death, destruction and depravity.