Is your hometown on the grid?

Probably not I’m afraid:(  Rikomatic  blogged about a map of real life places represented in Second Life, so of course I had to go peek..Initially I thought that this was a fun idea, but actually it shows just how fragmented the grid is when it comes to representing real world places. For example, click on my location, the UK , and you get Liverpool, London and Great Yarmouth!?! (Don’t snigger- I’ve been there in SL and it’s actually quite sweet!) and that’s it. Seriously, for the whole of England just three places represented.  Even worse, Scotland is represented by, erm, Scotland..whereas Ireland features Cork and Dublin. To be honest what should be a fun clickathon is actually quite depressing because according to the map these are the only real-life locations represented in game? Where’s Edinburgh?  Cardiff? In fact..what the hell happened to Wales?

Here’s my take on this idea.  If I was a Linden I’d want the capital city of each country that participates in SL (ascertained by looking at demographics of in-world users) to be  represented in-world at the very least. 

These places would have info-hubs and hang-outs for people of that nationality, but also so newbies could be helped out by people in their native tongue. Additionally I’d use this capital city feature to advertise destinations, places of interest and cultural matters that closely identify with that particular area.  In fact, you could take it further, if the Lindens were to team up with an enterprising tourist company think of the possibilities! You could visit these places in world and if you liked what you saw you could click  a display that would whisk you away to an external site to book your real-life holiday there.  Think about it- that could work?Second Life equios us with a myriad of possibilities like this for the world-wide tourist industry and I’m sure once the recession starts to ease off people will be more interested in holidays it *could* work.

I think  the map is a brilliant idea, but until it’s more densely populated I can only view it as a half-finished project with lots of potential.  Deep down I guess that I’m just pissed that my home town, Chesterfield isn’t on the grid.  It would be great to recreate the ‘Crooked Spire’ in-world as well as the  market area and the cobbled streets…..any takers?

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