In May, Cube Republic passed me a Landmark to a place I’d never heard of – The Void – A Full region designed by Ninavah Snowflake and home to The Void and Minttea in-world stores. As I’m curious about stores that offer places to visit outside of their central business, I found time to take a look – and found something of an engaging, innovative setting.
Before going further, I’d like to stress a few things:
- This is a review of the public spaces of the region, it’s neither a recommendation of endorsement of the products sold in either store, none of which I’ve viewed, much less purchased.
- To access the region, you need to join the region (you will be offered the chance to join on trying to teleport view the SLurl given in this piece). This is necessary as the Experience runs the interactive elements within the region.
- Some of the teleport and other effects use both light and motion, so those sensitive to bright / flashing white light or rapid motion / flashing should take care.
- Make sure you have Advanced Lighting Model (ALM – Preferences → Graphics → make sure Advanced Lighting Model is checked).
Accepting the Experience (if you haven’t already) will deliver you to the initial Landing Point; just follow the arrow to the portal and walk through it (be warning: flashing effects!) to arrive at the main hub. This is a setting where geometry is king, and which carries within it hints of Tron and Tron Legacy. Rendered almost entirely in black and white, this artificial landscape exists as islands over a grey body of water, below which machines sit.
Above the water, the setting is dominated by a gigantic cube rotated through 45º degrees to rest on edge on one of the flat islands. Limned in white neon-like light as with the rest of the setting, it is home to the Void / Minttea main store lobby and teleports, and sits flanked by two far more modest islands – one the home of Atherium, and the other, the Portals – which will be the focus of the rest of this piece.
Three teleport disks are ranged before you on arrival, each clearly labelled. However, they are not your usual touch / sit teleports; they are instead collision-triggered. Walk onto / close to one of them and your avatar will be caromed into the air with a vivid, screen-saturating flash and somersaulted through the air, camera capturing the move from several angles. This can be a little unsettling the first time, but you will arrive at your destination safely.
Atherium is pretty much a Traffic Trap – visitors are asked to register with an obelisk that put me in mind of the MCP in the original Tron (albeit without the CGI and lights) and either remain close by or within the region as a whole in order to win the opportunity to pick from a (long) list of rewards.
The Portal island, however, offers the opportunity to walk through three additional portals to further locations. These are:
- Archive: enter a dark world where a console lit by two arrows pointing in opposite directions awaits. Approach it, and the room around you will turn white, revealing which computer-like objects hang overhead, together with scrolls of hieroglyphs. Use the arrow’s to “page” through the scrolls and touch a scroll to gain a dialogue of diary entries that form an evolving story – each entry will appear in local chat when selected.
- Muses: a field of green under an azure sky of white fluffy clouds; a place to relax.
- Dreamscape: The most engaging element: walk the bridge across a misty void to the far wall. Touch the wall and enter the Chamber of Muses. Touch the device at the centre to rez a number of scenes – and watch the chamber literally spin them into being (with a certain amount of bright light / flashing).
Finding your way back from any point is simply a matter of finding the archway (Portals) or teleport disk.
Immersive, unusual, and cleverly scripted / presented, The Void makes for a visually impressive, unique visit, whether or not you are hunting for movement / flight / swimming assistance or other avatar accessories.
- The Void (Celestis, rated Adult)
Published by Inara Pey
Eclectic virtual world blogger with a focus on Second Life, VR, virtual environments and technology. View all posts by Inara Pey