‘Hursley’ is pretty cool

I visited Hursley tonight.

As I work at Hursley, this might sound a little stupid – but I mean that I visited the Hursley island in Second Life. (Depends on your point of view how stupid that sounds, I suppose! Opinion seems divided about the whole Second Life thing…)

I’m still at the “wandering around trying to figure out what I should be doing” stage. Unlike a more traditional game, there isn’t a particular task or mission – and as I haven’t yet talked anyone else I know into trying it out yet, my previous two brief visits in-world consisted of aimlessly ambling about trying to get the hang of the controls and cursing how slow it runs on the four-year old PC I borrow to play it… (even with all the graphics settings turned all the way down!).

So, when Ian Hughes at work sent me an invite to the private ‘Hursley’ area of Second Life, I jumped at the chance. I’d heard of it before from a few places… even The Register, but this was my first time seeing it for myself.

Observations? First thing… it doesn’t look anything like real-life Hursley. Bits of it are familiar, like there is a Hursley House-esque building which looks cool. Not sure why I expected it to look like the real-life site. I guess I’d read about a few other areas of Second Life which do look like their real-life versions, like CNET and Reuters, and assumed that was the norm. Not this place though. It seems to be a kind of organic collection of cool toys that people are creating. Now I think about it though, this makes a lot more sense… ‘Hursley’ should be more about the community, the people, the spirit of innovation – not what the buildings look like. And pockets of space where people are trying out different things, fits that.

Other thoughts… there is an etiquette here that I’m still working out. For example, I’ve read a few people talk about the etiquette of not asking people you meet in-game about their real life. That was a bit weird – with the few people that I met around Hursley, my instinct was to ask stuff like “so what’s your real name? what do you do?” and that sorta thing. I guess that’s something you get used to though… perhaps as I get more used to the Second Life environment as a thing in it’s own right.

Overall, it was fun – I got to wander around and play with the different things that other Hursley people have created – some of which (like the Wimbledon area) were very cool. I haven’t created anything myself yet… need to think of an idea for something to try.

I wish I’d been able to make it to the Virtual Block Party held a few weeks ago. It would’ve been good to actually use Second Life for something – to have something that I want to achieve in the virtual world. And from what I’ve seen about how it went, it looks like it was pretty cool. Hopefully we’ll do something like this again soon!

One Response to “‘Hursley’ is pretty cool”

  1. Hi Dale

    Glad you enjoyed it. I couldn’t make it myself (I took a few days off to move house this week) but I hear it was an enjoyable get-together. Hope to see you around Second Life some time.