RMB City in Second Life
February 8, 2009
We’ve seen Cao Fei’s “RMB City” in many forms already, ranging from real life 3D models to CGI images and video of the virtual city design, but only recently this giant build was created in Second Life. Ranging 4 Second Life islands, the RMB City is since January accessible for the wide avatar public. Together with the opening in Second Life, the RMBcity.com website is being filled with lots of RMB City goodness, such as RL & SL event listings, a city guide, the latest news and a city manifesto. In that city manifesto Cao Fei (avatar name: China Tracy) writes:
“What we see and touch are real, what we breath and feel are virtual; our voice is real, our memory is virtual; fortune is real, poverty is virtual; fulfilment is real, sadness is virtual; resentment is real, affection is virtual; foolishness is real, wisdom is virtual; reigning is real, endurance is virtual; living is real, dying is virtual; the land is real, the sky is virtual…then, from this moment on, let all the virtual-real conflicts vanish in RMBCity.”
At RMB City, there is just one thing that makes that this virtual urban area does not qualify fully as a city, yet. Despite all city planning, in real life, never does one person, or only a few, think out a city. It’s a collection of little pieces of lives… your life, that of your neighbours, that of your colleagues, that of the stranger on the bus, a kid going out for ice cream … . RMB City has not been “lived” yet. There are no marks of use: a road worn down, buildings that tell history, graffiti on the bus, a thrown away bottle, little advertisements with phone numbers on them or even worn down flowers for the kid that wanted the ice cream so badly it didn’t look before crossing the road. Some might call this all “decay”, but it’s exactly that contamination by life which makes a city interesting to me. I hope, that as RMB City progresses, we get to see exactly that, fragments of how life in this city could be.
Read more on RMB City at rmbcity.com (press connect to enter the site) or go see for yourself in Second Life (TP link or search for “RMB City” using the Second Life Map). And if you have figured out how your life this “virtual but real” metropolis would be like, write them down, illustrate them with snapshots and share the story, as I’m dying to know how it is to live here and how the city will look once it’s “used”!
(PS. water reflections are off in the snapshots, and glow makes things look weird. blame LL. that they stop forcing us to mandatory upgrade to buggy clients when the previous one was working perfectly. *sighs*)
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