Time for a Travel in Time

by Coco St. George A whole new year lies ahead of us and while that can be exciting – for all the promises it may hold – a totally new […]

by Coco St. George

A whole new year lies ahead of us and while that can be exciting – for all the promises it may hold – a totally new experience might be too daunting for less daring folk, who might feel tempted to look back at simpler times. The giddy pace of technological change, often much faster than we can assimilate it, may be one reason people choose to live in an era where things still have a human-scale.

And when it comes to human-scale technology, steampunk may be the answer. While coined in the late 1980’s, the term is now used to describe a genre of fantasy and science-fiction mostly set in the late 19th century, that finds its roots in such celebrated authors as H. G. Wells and Jules Verne. In a nutshell, steampunk talks about great technological achievements, seen through the lens of the Victorian era. A steam-powered computer would be a fitting example of this worldview.

In Second Life, of course, we have several ways to experience the steampunk lifestyle, and one that offers the most varied and fun places is the Independent State of Caledon. Established in 2006 by Desmond Shang, it now spans over 30 regions where a Victorian-Steampunk community thrives, complete with shops, housing, libraries, laboratories, a learning center, the Caledon Oxbridge University, and a welcome center for new avatars.

One of the most fun and appealing ways of touring this huge state is by completing the Caledon Quest. It starts at the Hall of Caledon, where once you sign up, you are given the first clue, telling you where to go to find the next one. If you manage to solve it, you’ll get the next one, and so on. All in all, there are 18 waypoints to find, a lot of regions to explore, and a lot of fun to have. Besides, if you complete the quest, you’ll make the Dean’s Honor List and your name will be posted among other daring adventurers.

If your tendencies go more on the way of literary discussions and academic musings, you’ll be happy to learn that there are a lot of activities oriented towards these pursuits. You may want to start your journey by visiting the Library, where you’ll find a trove of information about the most beloved authors of the 19th Century, such as Byron, Dickens, Scott, and Verne.

Of course, after such intellectual endeavors, you might be yearning for some small talk, maybe spiced up with a strong beverage. Then you’re in luck, because, happily, just next to the library stands the Book and Tankard Pub, a cozy little joint where you can hang out with your friends.

Since technology is a big part of the steampunk experience, you won’t want to miss a visit to the celebrated Doctor Goode’s Laboratories. There you can feel the awe and admiration for the innovative experiments conducted there. And you can only wonder what new contraptions and gadgets these innovative people will come up with next.

And as of the proper garb to wear in this unique environment, you can’t go wrong if you go Victorian. Of course, you can find great Victorian dresses in the Marketplace, but if you only want to have a taste of the era without incurring in any out-of-pocket expenses, you can find a very charming Victorian avatar in the “Chose an avatar” option of the main menu of your SL browser. So, take a deep breath and immerse yourself into this journey through time. You can be sure it will be both fun and rewarding!

Written and photographed by:

Coco St. George
Staff Editor