Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I Buy a Volcano

Written 11 December, 2006

My Volcano

I. I Buy a Volcano

One of the perks of paid membership in Second Life is the right to own land—and so I shelled out the seventy-two bucks for a one-year advanced membership. Now I own a tropical island (most of one, anyway) with an active volcano—yet I’m still eligible for First Land, that is, a 512 sq. meter plot for only one Linden per square meter.

That’s because I bought my property from Anche Chung Studios, in one of their Dreamland sims. That doesn’t require advanced membership; all transactions go directly through Dreamland. If I had only known.

I was out searching for land—my second search without my friend Pam’s assistance. I was looking for a plot with a view of the ocean to the west, so I could watch the sun set over the water. I had come to love the sunsets and moonrises at Bill and Pam’s place, where I live, and I didn’t want to give them up.

On my first search, I didn’t find a suitable plot, but I did meet Exuberance Lafleur, a woman who has become a dear friend. I will write about her soon. So on my first search for land, I hit the friend jackpot. The second time, however, I hit the land jackpot.

I found myself in Dreamland’s Treasure Island region, in a place called Forsaken—and I found myself face-to-face with a live, smoldering volcano!

There’s a bigger volcano nearby, I found out, but this one was Chey-sized. Topping out at 55 meters, it featured a classic caldera filled with boiling lava (well, it was just sitting there, but I knew it could be made to boil) and clouds of white smoke. The cone-shaped mountain gave way to white sand beaches (wouldn’t a volcanic island have black sand? Note to self: Google this). The mountainside was covered with palm trees, which some lazy decorator had placed some feet above the soil. It was breathtaking.

And all this on only 4096 square meters!

The island was divided into three properties. The eastern end, small at 2048 square meters, had been sold. It was set up with a beach hut, fire pit, and lounge chairs; the side of the mountain had been sheared away, making a cliff.

The second property, at 6144 square meters, included the north side of the mountain and a large section of flat land with westward views over the ocean. The east side of the lot abutted a river or estuary.

The third lot was the volcano itself.

I wanted to check with Pam before buying, and did, and she took a look at it and said she approved.

When I went back yet again to look, I saw a group of avatars standing on the beach, and I nearly panicked. When I came back shortly afterwards, the larger lot had been sold. And then I did panic. On the spot, I bought the volcano.


Photo: Chey’s volcano. Note her panic at the sight of potential buyers on the beach.

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