Having recently watched and greatly enjoyed the movie Outsourced (released 2006 and the inspiration for the 2010 US television show), I’ve been spending time reading about India and looking to experience the culture in Second Life. In my quest I visited the Shekhawati region, home to Medley Builds, a mini-mall, and a nice art museum.
Much of the art is nicely framed and organized by series themes. It doesn’t appear to be original, but rather nice quality scans or photos of classic art. Sadly. sometimes you’ll see that the original was badly cropped or wasn’t includes part of the frame from the Real Life version.
Murals are everywhere, such as this one (showing some of the bad cropping I mentioned).
The walls themselves are art, too, teeming with frescos and embellishments.
And outside the main hall you’ll find examples of Indian architecture in Second Life style. And that’s the rub. Much of the region is what I call “SL 1.0” … what Our World looked like early in it’s life when folks would make everything Full Bright, prims would float above the ground, terraforming was haphazardly completed, and textures placed so one prim face looked good but became horribly distorted on the other five faces. Some “errors” are egregious but some are amusing, like when I went into the fountain to splash with an elephant and found that the bottom was more than 10 meters below the elephant’s feet. No one is perfect of course. But Shekhawati has a soul. You can tell that time was taken to capture the spirit of India. The region isn’t a slap-together of items that Westerners would recognize and be satisfied with saying “I’ve been to India.” Rather there are details and subtleties that evoke a deeper feeling of not just having “been” but of having “experienced.”
Many thanks to my new friend Xandah, pictured above, for finding Shekhawati and helping me experience the culture. Yes, I have now have another alt, but through Xandah I hope to explore a culture that is superficially familiar to me but in need of much more understanding.