Urban SL: Crack Den

I’ve been thinking about blogging some of the RP sims in Second Life on and off, for ages. Its been on my list of ‘things to do’, but keeps getting shuffled to the bottom of my list of priorities. Plus, I was kind of put off by my last experience of trying to blog a RP sim. Lately though, there is one RP sim that keeps drawing me back. It really has to be one of my favorite places in SL, so I figure its about time to write this post.

Crack Den

Crack Den

It really was completely by chance that I found The Crack Den, to begin with. I was on one of the gridwide hunts sometime over the holidays. I can’t remember which it was, but it had to have either been the Ghost Hunt or the Peace On Earth hunt. I was inside some store, which for the life of me I cannot find now. Maybe its already closed up like so many other stores have done. I can’t even remember the name of it. But I remember, I was looking around inside and happened to glance out a window and noticed a rundown looking house next door. I ventured outside, and saw an entire neighorhood. Shabby looking houses with peeling paint. Broken fences, rusty cars parked at the curb.

Shabby Neighborhood

Shabby Neighborhood

Curious to explore further, I hopped over the fence and did just that. I roamed the street for a little bit before saving a LM, tucking it away in my inventory, and then forgot about it for a few months.

Fast forward to a couple of months ago. Keeme and I were hanging out with his cousin Juanito, and Juanito mentioned something about how there should be a barrio in Second Life. I remembered that LM I had saved awhile back, so I TP’d them over there. We wandered around for awhile. Juanito loved the place, and once I got a better look at it, I fell in love with it also.

Hotel

Hotel

See, even though most of my photography and artwork is centered around beautiful landscapes like forests, beaches or garden sims- my favorite places in Second Life are the gritty, urban city sims. Places like Crack Den, Midnight City, Hobo Island- I cannot get enough of that stuff. I think its probably because I spent six or seven years living in New Jersey, and then St. Louis shortly after that. Now I live in Las Vegas. I have always loved city living.. the busier and more populated, the better. Even my current skybox is themed after NYC. I spent several years in real life in north Jersey, just across the river from NYC. So when I find places like this, it makes me feel good. I could spend hours roaming the street, peeking inside the run down buildings and warehouse factories.

Waiting

Waiting

Part of me has really been curious about RPing in Second Life. I’ve come across places like Crack Den, Santos City, and others I can’t remember the name of.. I wear the observer tag and stay back to just watch and listen, and I’m so fascinated by the characters and storylines. I used to play on a text based RPG similar to this back before I came to Second Life. I did that for years and had a lot of fun with it. Being able to see a 3D, virtual representation of the characters and location setting looks like it would be pretty amazing. A much more immersive experience than just staring at an HTML or Java chat. I really wish I had time for it.. sometimes I’m so tempted to make a character and get involved, even if rarely. But I don’t know.. I get scared off by the sex and violence aspect that I keep reading about. I haven’t really witnessed it firsthand yet. When I explore, I tend to stay away from the alleys and more abandoned, isolated places. Even though I wear an observer tag over my head, sometimes I’ll see someone approaching me and I’m afraid they’ll try to engage me in some RP conversation. I’m not sure how to respond, so I always keep moving, and just watch the larger groups from a distance.

Subway Entrance

Subway Entrance

The subway is too cool. I happened to see the subway entrance across the street from a gas station, so I took the stairs down. Past the ticket booth, through the turnstiles and onto the subway platform. There was actually a subway car waiting there, with the option to board. They did a fantastic job with the lights and sounds when you’re on the train. You can even see the graffiti lined subway tunnel speeding past, through the windows. It really feels like you’re moving. The cluster of poseballs on the subway car were a bit unsettling, and I wouldn’t want to board with anyone else already there. 😛 But cool effect, overall.

In The Tunnel

In The Tunnel

I think its really neat how you can actually live and work in the Crack Den. Many of the coffee shops, record stores, gas stations, etc have job applications.

Wanted: Line Cook

Wanted: Line Cook

And most of the houses and apartment buildings you can find around Hathian and Vodou are available for rent. I even noticed someone has recently built a new apartment complex. All of the units are already occupied.

New Apartments

New Apartments

And of course, there’s the resident ‘creepy guy’. I noticed the modeling agency the last time I was here. A sketchy looking house thats been converted into an office.

Agency Owner

Agency Owner

When I panned my camera inside, I saw a lot of modeling photos and information on the walls, a couple spots set up for a photoshoot. And what I suppose is where applicants ‘apply’ to be a model. The stripper pole set up in front of the desk gave me the creeps.

Interview Process

Interview Process

But not nearly as much as the secret ‘back room’ I found tacked onto the back of the office building. Yikes!

Backroom

Backroom

I guess it all boils down to the fact that RPing in places like this is what you make of it. For sure, there is a dark undertone to the whole place. But everywhere I looked, I saw people just hanging out and having conversations. Either way, I think places like this are incredibly interesting. Maybe now and then I can come back and be a fly on the wall, or simply just enjoy wandering around and soaking in the atmosphere.

In Character

In Character

SLurl to Crack Den: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Hathian/170/103/261

Website: http://thecrackden.com/

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~ by Nika Dreamscape on June 1, 2009.

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