One of the first places I ended up exploring in SL was Whimsy, an amazing and diverse place with kayaks, train rides, whales, active volcanoes and a giant tiki head. You could tell an awful lot of time and tears had been poured into the place by Cheyenne. When I'd briefly met Chey, only a few days into my Slife, she'd told me about her next project, something she was currently working on. She told me that it wasn't finished yet but I'd be welcome to have a look around and sent me a landmark to the Whimsy Kaboom Robot Sanitorium. Later I went a had an explore and liked what I saw but as it wasn't finished I resolved to return. One day.
So it was with great glee I read the other day that Cheyenne has declared the Robot Sanitorium open. Last night, when I had a little spare time I headed down there to take a nosy.
I think the first thing I have to admire is just the detail of the place. It is so obviously lovingly designed and textured. A real feat of engineering beauty and design. I am still amazed daily at the magnificent mental architecture that spills onto our screens as a result of the labours of some talented designers and programmers we share our SLives with. I am sure different people work in different ways, but I often wonder if places are designed and visualised before being realised, or whether they start and evolve with no set plan, but just a cloud of vague ideas. So yeah, the Robot Sanitorium - as well as being visually complex, it's interactive and humorous. You can even follow through an intricately imagined mechanical process to become a robot yourself. After my first experimentation with changing avatars the other day (and the whole velociraptor in the burlesque club thing) I was a bit less tentative about becoming something other than the usual Marnix.
OK, so you follow the signs and wander the tunnels and end up in a sort of reception areas. Once you sign the consent form on Bender's clipboard you receive the basic starter bot box. This is where your journey into robot-dom begins. Just follow the arrows.
You head through the door, follow pipes and tubes, and end up in the conversion room. First stop, the hydaulic press. Here you get crunched, munched and squeezed into your robot shape. It kind of feels like once of those car crusher things you get in scrapyards I guess. As part of the process you end up red hot. And not in a sexy way.
Hmmm, does my bum look big in this?
As any good robot knows, the way to cool down a smoking bot is to take a bath. And luckily enough the next stage of the process fulfills that need. Simply click on the crane to be hoisted up and hauled along an overhead rail before being plunged into liquid nitrogen. Aaaaaaaaaahhhhh! Refreshing!
The next stage is intellect. At the moment you're just an empty metal shell. You need a brain. Moving right along you reach the brain section where you are implanted with your relevant processors and programmed using Asimov's three laws .
And then that's it. You're done. Robot finished. All that is left is, like any good make-over show, the before and after shots. It's just a subtle change, eh?
But lest we forget, this is a robot sanitorium, complete with padded cell.
No padded cell will hold Marnix however, and I escaped the guards and made my way out and headed back to the main floor. Glowing head is punishment for inmates who use the lifts, I think.
Klaatu barada nikto, Cheyenne.
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