All the grungy stuff some of us so love in Second Life© can be traced back to the work of Arcadia Asylum. As far as I know, the avatar Arcadia Asylum no longer exists in Second Life. I tried to visit the Arcadia Asylum Living Library today, but it too is gone. These days there are places in Second Life that seem to be at least partially inspired by the work of Arcadia and I like visiting them for no other reason then finding them incredibly cool.
Update February 7, 2015: I received an email from Briony Juran who provided me with the following update on why I couldn’t find the Arcadia Asylum Living Library: The old Library closed in December when the curator (Professor Grey) decided to leave Second Life. There is a new Library that just opened at the following location. It’s a mix of old and new, mostly new, but there are some of her early items on display accessible by teleporter from the landing (Mieville Pond; 152, 95, 21). Arcadia left SL in late 2008 and returned in early 2009 as Aley Arai. Among other things she built a wonderful full-sim exhibit called Privateer Space. Aley Arai also left SL after a few years but returned yet again as Aley Resident, building mostly pirate, steampunk, and underwater themes. So she has really been in SL all along. Also, there is a lovely display of her slum city build near the hobo junction in the Caletta sim. Thanks, Briony!
The first place I visited a few days ago, a sim named SoulForge Electronica, is actually an electronic music themed sim. There are about ten different live music venues and all are enveloped in the familiar Arcadia Asylum slum-aesthetic. Not all items are made by her, in fact, most have been created by others and are just reminiscent of her work.
The second place I revisited (I have been here many times in the past) is a place called the Missing Mile, which is a role play rural community inspired by the books of Poppy Z. Brite. All are allowed to visit as long as the rules are adhered to. There was quite a bit of lag on this sim when I was there, be prepared to move slowly and allow time for things to rezz.
The last area I visited is my favorite and I believe it is also the newest of these sims. It is named Purple Crayons and is really only one part of a larger parcel. You can find here galleries and stores as part of the grungy little town. Some stores are occupied, some seem to be permanently closed and others appear to be available for rent. Rwah, the creator of Purple Crayons describes it as a place “[w]here coloring outside the lines is the norm. A place where nothing makes much sense, where there is little reason or rhyme as to why, it just happened.” Great place, head over and take a look.
Photographs (last three) by Kate Bergdorf