September 29, 2012

Young People Are Gardening Again! So What if it's in Virtual Reality

AN AVATAR FARMER IN SECOND LIFE, FLIES OVER HIS FIELD OF BLOOMING SUNFLOWERS. THIS VIRTUAL REALITY ON-LINE WORLD HAS PLENTY OF GARDENERS.



You better sit down for this one...., young people are gardening more than ever before, but not where you would think. They are gardening in their bedrooms and in their dark cellars, (and it's not pot that they are growing) they are gardening in Second Life - an on-line virtual community that had its hey day a few years back, but then no one hears about it anymore. Today, there are still millions of on-line members living out an alternative life in Second Life - they are just secretly doing it I know, because I am one of them.

In second life, anyone can basically 'live' a second life - through an avatar, that they make for themselves. It can look exactly like you, or, it can look like anyone you want.  Avatars in Second Life  are growing rare trees, exotic orchids in greenhouses and in their back yards. They have elaborate gardens and where they raising organic (digital) fruits and vegetables which they  sell them to their neighbors, or canning and preserve in their modern kitchens ( or rustic, and you can live in any historical or fantasy world that you wish). Don't assume that all playing or living in a virtual world are uneducated gardeners, just check out some of the plants that I found today. ( it was raining, so I thought that I should weed my digital garden instead).
AN SECOND LIFE BULB STORE SELLING FRITILARIA MELEAGRIS BULBS THAT WILL BE EVER BLOOMING IN A SECOND LIFE GARDEN, WAVING IN THE BREEZES OR POKING THROUGH THE SNOW.


A GREENHOUSE STORE IN SECOND LIFE POWERED BY UNDERGROUND VOLCANOES. YEAH, YOU CAN MAKE THIS CRAP UP.
  It's true, an entire global community has discovered Second Life - an online virtual world that has been around for about ten years now, but one which has not gone away. I admit that I have been a member living in Second Life for about 6 years now, where I have built a house or two, have a ski lodge, an alpine garden and keep some aquatic plants in my geenhouse - it's addictive and fun, but I never thought about exploring the world to see who is gardening here - so this week a flew and transported around the world of Second Life, and I was a little shocked at what I could find for gardeners. Most everything!

GALANTHUS ( SNOWDROPS) AND OTHER GARDEN PLANTS AVAILABLE AS SCULPTED PRIMS - TERM USED TO DESCRIBE THE COMPLEXITY OF THE DIGITAL SCULPTURES, EACH PIECE OF LAND IN SECOND LIFE ONLY ALLOWS A LIMITED NUMBER OF PRIMS, WHICH STANDS FOR PRIMITIVES - 3D MODELING TERM.

ONE CAN PURCHASE A MEADOW OF WHEAT COMPLETE WITH FLANDERS POPPIES, OR A DANDELION MEADOW WITH SEED EMITTER - OH WAIT, I ALREADY OWN THAT! (PLUS A CRAB GRASS GARDEN!).


 In Second Life, one uses a currency called Linden Dollars, which you can earn each week or from selling digital product such as carrots that you raised, or T-shirts that you made for other avatars to wear. Yes, there are even some people who have made thousands of dollars in real life from selling digital clothes in Second Life ( SL). But most just join ( it's free for a basic membership, but costs $9.99 per month for full access) just to play around in...well, a virtual world.

JUST IN CASE YOU THINK DIGITAL GAMERS ARE NOT SOPHISTICATED, CHECK OUT THE AVAILABILITY OF ALPINE PLANTS - SAXIFRAGES, GENTIANS AND LEWISIA MODELS. I ALSO SAW AN EVENING GOWN FOR SALE MADE FROM GENTIANA ACAULIS BLOSSOMS. HEY, IT'S VIRTUAL, SO WHY NOT?

AS THE TINY TYPE STATES - THIS IS AN ACTUAL SCREENSHOT OF WHAT YOUR MEADOW OF WILD BLUE POPPIES CAN LOOK LIKE! YES, MECONOPSIS MIGHT BE IMPOSSIBLE TO BLOOM IN MY MASSACHUSETTS GARDEN, BUT AT OUR FLOATING BEACH HOUSE I CAN GROW THEM BY THE THOUSANDS, AND WHO CARES IF THE UNICORNS EAT THEM!



IN CASE YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A GREENHOUSE IN SECOND LIFE, THERE ARE PLENTY TO CHOOSE FROM. SOME WITH HEATERS, AUTOMATIC WATERING SYSTEMS AND BENCHES.

In SL you can be whatever you want, yes, even a dragon with a leather skirt. Why not? You can by a helicopter and fly around, a jet fighter ( I had a big fancy speed boat for a while, but it was too expensive to dock and buy gas for). Most rent apartments in various cities or island condos, then go out and buy furniture, clothes, hair, shoes, etc. Just like real life. Sure, there is a rated X section too, and it's hard to avoid it online, but there are real companies in SL too. Many architectural firms use the platform to built test houses and buildings, there are real government buildings, even bank teller machines. 


I EVEN FOUND ONE THAT LOOKED EXACTLY LIKE MY ONE IN RL ( REAL LIFE).

OF COURSE, IF I COULD HAVE THIS ONE IN REAL LIFE, I WOULD BUILD THIS ONE.



Imagine building your own home, let's say, in the Swiss Alps. then, you can go buy a greenhouse or two, and then buy rare plants to grow, or trees and shrubs for your yard. It might snow, so be careful, there is weather in SL! But nothing will freeze. I hope to build a replica of my own home and garden, and then have some fun with it. This is what many large firms are doing, IBM even has an island where they test out structures and models.


WOLEMI PINES FOR ONLY $25, AND A FULL GROWN ONE ALSO FOR $25. AND, I COULD PICK UP A PAIR OF SWEET BOARD SHORTS FOR $350! WTF? BUT REMEMBER - DOLLARS HERE ARE L$ or LINDEN DOLLARS, AN ONLINE CURRENCY. I CAN BUY ABOUT 20,000 LINDEN DOLLARS FOR $20.

I HAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO GET MY AMORPHOPHALLUS TITANUM TO BLOOM, I THINK MY GREENHOUSE IS TOO COLD. BUT NOW THAT I HAVE A GREENHOUSE HEATED BY UNDERGROUND VOLCANOES, I SHOULD HAVE NO PROBLEM. AND THEY ARE CHEAPER THAN A PAIR OF BOARD SHORTS! 
Second life has its own currency system, and its own economy, so what may seem expensive in real life, is not in Second Life. 250 Linden Dollars costs about $1. ( Linden Dollar comes from the name of the developer of the site, Linden Labs) 

SIMS, IS THE COMPETITION, BUT IT IS A PLATFORM GAME, SO IT REQUIRES SOFTWARE. IT TOO HAS AN ACTIVE GARDENING WORLD - CHECK OUT THE LINE AT THIS NURSERY. I PREFER SECOND LIFE, AS I CAN RIDE A ZEBRA NAKED INTO A FLOATING GARDEN CENTER IF I SO WANT TO. AND WHO WOULDN'T WANT TO DO THAT JUST ONCE IN THEIR LIFE?













2 comments :

  1. That is just creepy. I wish I could believe that this would get more people to garden in the corporeal world.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow these are amazing virtual reality garden.. but for me nothing beats farmville...^_^

    Tree Nursery

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