Exploring Romantic Fantasy

Romantic fantasy. What a notion. Tah (Tahiti Rae) has created another sim that takes us into places we’ve never been. Last year I explored her creation of the town of […]

Romantic fantasy. What a notion. Tah (Tahiti Rae) has created another sim that takes us into places we’ve never been. Last year I explored her creation of the town of Dover, England during the Blitz of World War II (Art As Immersion). This time we are going to The Gates of Oria. This sim is composed of a number of settings designed to evoke romantic passions.

This column is sort of a companion to our current feature, Sensual Fantasies in Second Life: The importance for women by Carey Decuir. Decuir writes about fantasy and I found myself exploring a sim devoted to landscapes of romantic fantasy. There must be a connection.

I asked Rae about her creation and its purpose. She said, “I wanted to try something new, something from my imagination, and the Gregorian music in the media stream on the sim inspired it. I built the sim with that music playing.”

“It’s so simple, and very interesting, how easy it is to want to try to read something deeper or more obscure into it. It’s really what it says, just places where you’d imagine yourself with a fantasy lover, and how those places, with the music I’ve chosen in MEDIA (not music stream) can make you feel. The rest is up to the visitor.”

“I’m also fascinated that often times there seems to be a common thread in fantasy places where the ‘beautiful ruin’ tends be extra romantic! I invented an event idea of a roleplay rally where strangers would roleplay “live” and “off the cuff” – one on one – based on how the fantasy surroundings might make them feel, making it serious, romantic, funny, or even sad. Love is a very popular subject to explore and all of us can close our eyes and immediately invent a fantasy place within which lies our fantasy romance. Not one of us is incapable of that. I thought short unrehearsed roleplays would make the event more about the audience/visitor, as opposed to performers on a stage, or a DJ and another dance party.”

Regarding the overall design and flow of the sim, Rae said, “There are short vignettes about each level which I wrote on a prim at the base of each teleport statue under each gate on the ground. Each gives a glimpse of the world that gate takes you to so the visitor can decide where to go first, or not to go at all. I guess the ground represents reality – not focused on much there because when you see the gate, you want to go through it and explore your fantasy, leaving the rest behind. And many of the worlds are mirrored, representing the fantasy’s reflection of ourselves, against reality. I wrote all of them in about 10 minutes to describe what they feel like to me. Never analyzed it, but I guess each world that you visit from the ground gates (or the landmarks if one prefers), represents a different type of feeling one might have in a fantasy world, i.e., overwhelmed in large, out of proportion spaces (which is in several of them), lost in a maze of thought or memory, the infamous beautiful ruin, or castle with sounds that draw you even deeper into your fantasy, or at a secluded escape where thousands of love letters adorn a place of special memory for a couple, or a place they use as a shrine over time to memorialize their love or even meet in, throughout eternity.”

“I just really enjoy building and never know what’s going to appear. That’s half the fun. The other half is meeting visitors and getting insight and feedback from their travels. I like events to be unique, individual and fresh and their ability to draw people together in a way that it makes a real memory that folks can enjoy on a level that’s pleasantly surprising. Worthy of noting is that events are directly proportional to the number of folks who attend and what we put into it.”

The two main pieces of music that Rae played while building the aim are Music of Cathedrals and Forgotten Temples
and Gregorian Chants. A list of all music used can be found at the landing point.

That last comment Rae made to me was to go explore Cypress Letters, one of the many locations in the Gates of Oria. I went there and found a lovely villa surrounded by tall Cypress trees, the ones you see in all those Tuscany photos. In the villa, in a room, are letters… love letters I assume. The vlla and all those letters reminded me of a time when my partner and I were separated for a long time. We coud not use the phone or email to communicate. Our only medium was letters. We wrote several letters each week, in longhand and illustrated with drawings or pictures cut from magazines. I still have them and they create a collage of love and sweet remembrance.

I found my connection with memories of romance in Oria and I think that is the goal of exploring this sim… Find your romantic connection, either from your past or future.

Background and Resources

  • The Gates of Oria, LEA23 (133, 113, 1009), will be open until Dec 31, 2018. There are ten regions to explore and you can either wander the sim to find them or grab a note card with all the LMs at the landing point.
  • Romantic movements in art and literature. Many of our common cultural notions of romance are found in the creations of artists, writers and poets from the period in Western Literature called Romanticism. One sub-area of Romanticism that I have always loved is the Pre-Raphaelite Movement. Once, when touring Birmingham, England, I had planned on going to the museum and art gallery to see their distinguished collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings only to find the gallery closed for renovations. I’ve never made it back.
  • The Linden Endowment for the Arts (LEA) makes a number of full size sims available to artists who then create flights of imagination that one can move into and explore. The LEA has been doing this for a number of years and I have explored some amazing, mind blowing, worlds of pure inspiration. Some installations were scary, others insightful, some totally confusing and all provided a look into the mind of a creative person. The Gates of Oria is one of these sims.

Written and photographed by Deepy (Deepthinker Oh)

Deepthinker Oh
Managing Editor

What is ManiStyle?
ManiStyle is a monthly column that explores an idea, a style, a trend or a realm in SL and gives you some links to go explore and draw your own conclusions. MANIERA magazine expresses an outlook on life that is part Vanity Fair and part Rolling Stone. In ManiStyle, we introduce you to our take on life and ask that you share your views and reactions.