I spent my day today enjoying the offerings on a couple of LEA sims, including finally completing The Greatest Story Ever Told – The History of SecondLife, a visit I started a few months ago and never got back to again until today. Once I’d crossed the finish line, so to speak, I was back at the LEA sim map and decided to take the notecards for the 20 sims listed for future visits. One of them, chosen completely at random, was a link to The Paradise of CyberPolis by artist Asmita Duranjaya and her colleague, Sable (snakeappletree). Little did I know just how immersive and entrancing this exhibit would be!
I was lucky enough to meet the artist in residence when I arrived and had a short conversation – she was busy making a machinima featuring the exhibit – and she hooked me up with the story HUD and a notecard essential to experiencing fully this story-based game (though she also refers to it as a research project in the introductory notecard). I have a tendency to overlook the obvious sometimes, and didn’t realize that this exhibit involves a hunt for a password to access a surprise ending (and to be honest, I failed to figure out the password – I missed one of the clues and try as I might, was unable to find it.) You will be offered, upon landing, the storybook HUD and shortcut notecard if you want to speed through to the clues rather than explore and find your own path, as Asmita advised I should do. Well, I tried. Fair warning, though: you’ll be offered these items continuously until you leave the landing area. Some sort of glitch, I think, I’m not sure. Don’t let it bother you – the city of CyberPolis is a wonder worth seeing.
The goal of the game is to follow the clues in the story HUD to find seven letters that comprise a password. You begin outside the walls of the city, where you’ll find a researcher laying unconscious after crash-landing on this dystopian future world, suffering amnesia and searching for clues about the lost civilization whose culture is suggested by what is found there. As our researcher (and ourselves, of course) moves along the barrier of the city, tantalizing glimpses of the inner-city can be seen from various vantage points, and the gates of the city are locked to you without the password. I, however, found that falling from a great height granted me instant access.
It is suggested that you set your windlight to BlackSkyMoon and water to Impure for proper viewing. The story HUD will guide you to where you need to look for clues, and you’ll encounter avi-bots that provide you with bits of information (and cake!) to aid you in your quest. The answers are easily obtained from Google if you aren’t familiar with some of the clues, and you’ll want to write them down as you receive them to get the final password that must be entered into a terminal at the last telepoint on your journey. The shortcut notecard will help get you to each telepoint if you get lost or confused.
There are several opportunities for selfie-magic, with poseballs in various parts of the exhibit. You know me, I tried them all.
The creators also posed a challenge for SL artists to create their interpretation of cyber art, and these pieces are scattered throughout the exhibit as well, and you are encouraged to vote on and grade them. My favorite was Cyber Rain by Ginger Lorakeet.
I hope you’ll take some time to explore and join the hunt, and you’ll find links to other works by Asmita Duranjaya below. Immersive is the name of the game in SL, and Asmita embraces this fully in her work.
Asmita Duranjaya’s other works can be seen at: