Moving on up

A screenshot of my new home in Second Life. It is a two-story home with lots of windows and is surrounded by lots of trees and bushes.

After being on Second Life again for a few months, I was getting tired of the home I had as a premium member. It wasn’t bad, but it was very basic. A good example of this is the “stairs”, which were basically a ramp with a texture to mimic stairs. This home and others like it are first-generation Linden Homes, which were first offered in 2010 as a perk for Premium members. I remember trying them out when I was a member several years ago, but wasn’t really impressed by them.

Back in October, when I signed up again, I took another look at them because I really wanted a “home” in Second Life. The only homes that were presented to me as a Premium member were all first-generation Linden Homes. Years ago, I first tried a home in the Tahoe style. I like A-frame style homes, so I had high hopes, which were dashed when I actually looked inside a few Tahoe homes. I recall the scenery was nice, but there were no roads and no bodies of water. Just hills, trees, footpaths, and a ton of homes more or less crammed together. i didn’t last long there.

The next style I tried years ago was in Sahreta Osumai style, which is basically Second Life’s idea of historic Japanese housing. While the floor plans were still very basic, these homes at least had the virtue of being somewhat interesting, with Kanji characters here and there. While these characters were fascinating, the novelty wore off quickly. I looked at homes in Elderglen, which is sort of a fantasy-themed area, but I wasn’t that into it. The homes in Meadowbrook seemed like they were the most boring of the lot, which is sort of ironic, since that was the style of home I chose a few months ago after re-joining.

Over the past few years, however, Linden Labs has started investing more and it’s showing. In 2019, they created a new continent in Second Life called Bellisseria and populated it with lots of really nice homes. When I rejoined, it looked like they were so popular that they were sold out. I’m not 100% sure that’s really the case.

Premium members are allowed 1024m² of virtual land in Second Life, and most of the first-generation Linden Homes are around 512m². However, it’s possible to pay a monthly fee and be entitled to more land, and a few days ago this is what I did. As if by magic, homes in Bellisseria appeared when I began looking for a new Linden Home. They weren’t sold out, I just had to pay more. Not all of the second-generation styles of Linden Homes were available. I was hoping for a Victorian, but none were available, so I opted for a Log home instead. I quibble with the term “Log Home” because it doesn’t even look like a log home. Still, it’s a vast improvement over the first-generation homes.

Bellisseria has streets between the homes, and lots of trees, hills, and waterways. While my new home isn’t on the water, it’s pretty close. There are neighbors, but they’re not so close that if I look out the window, I’m automatically looking in theirs. The trees provide a slight degree of privacy. While the lots aren’t vast, they’re a lot more spacious than those that come with the first-generation homes. It seems like Linden Labs paid a lot of attention to the architecture of the homes, and into planning how the neighborhoods are laid out. I haven’t explored the surroundings too much yet, but it’s something I plan to do soon.

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