There is a place in the Baltic Sea, off the Northeast coast of Gotland, Sweden, an island that seems to harbor ghosts of the past – Furillen. It’s a place recreated here in SecondLife with moody natural elegance, and a stoic strength I imagine is native to Swedes suggested by the subtitle, Love of Life. It takes a minute for a Westerner like me to appreciate that statement in a place like this.
It’s dark, snowy, and the ambient music on the sim is eerily beautiful. On my first visit I ran into Serene Footman, the creator of Furillen, who was dancing in a snowstorm with friends, and greeted me warmly. I arrived in something short, tight and revealing and immediately felt the need to don a long fur coat for the occasion. Some places demand their own dress code, with out saying a word. On the Furillen Ferry I opted to portray a suicide, death by plunging into icy waters. It’s too dark, but perhaps it’s just as well. The island seems like purgatory, but it’s somehow alluring and I was there for hours.
From the land description: “Furillen is a depiction of an island off the north-east coast of Sweden containing abandoned industrial builds that were once part of a former limestone factory. Remote, bleak and beautiful, this is a Second Life photographers haven.” It isn’t difficult to find an interesting vignette amongst the ruins. In RL the limestone factory shut down in the 1970s, and between then and the 90s it was closed to the public by the Swedish military, who still operate installations there though it is now a nature preserve on the North end, and a hotel and conference center have taken over the abandoned limestone factory. Wikipedia says that Bjorn Ulvaeus from ABBA (a 70s pop band from Sweden) tried to get permission to build a recording studio there, but was ultimately denied due to preservation concerns of the beaches in their natural state. I can’t imagine being inspired to create frothy pop music in such a place, if the SL Furillen is any indication, but I’m not Swedish so let’s assume I just don’t understand.
I would encourage you to dress warmly and bring brandy or cognac with you for a sip on the beach when you visit. It seeps into your virtual bones, this place. Look around and ponder how such a place can make you appreciate life even in the darkest of times.