Aloha Beach is not just a sim for surfing – it’s an interestingly decorated sim for surfing and having some fun. The atmosphere is a lazy, relaxed one, as a surfing beach should be, but one can see that details in the region’s landscape are carefully thought of, which turns the place into a very pleasant area to spend some time as well as an exciting playground for surfer or skateboarder avatars.
Surfing is one of those tasks that my avatar in the atomic world will never be able to do – but my Second Life persona is a good surfer and actually enjoys catching waves out there. If you haven’t tried it in SL yet, I do recommend it. I generally have a good time when I go surfing – even if I don’t do it often – and I had a nice experience at Aloha.
The Aloha Beach island is shaped as an L, offering a few spots for rezzing surf boards. If you don’t have your own board, you can use the rezzers found in the sim. Besides that, there are other beach areas where one can just relax and spend some time meditating or chatting with friends.
Additionally, there’s a skateboarding area and a mount for hang gliding. The place for skateboarding not a big one, but it’s fine. The problem that one can find there, actually, is the skateboard rezzer, which is a mechanism that will attach a board to your avatar. That’s not the best device one can find for that, so you will probably prefer to use your own board if you have one.
The hang glider rezzer, on the other hand, works well and the experience is pleasant. Hang gliding is a nice way to see the sim from above, and the flight is easy to control, so, indeed, it’s a relaxing experience.
As for other items that contribute to the sim’s atmosphere, Aloha Beach has a cheap motel (who needs an expensive, luxurious accommodation, when all that one wants is to spend the day dancing with the waves?), a dirty restaurant (don’t worry, the marshmallow man will not spit on your food) and cool bar for drinks (though I haven’t seen anyone there serving customers). There’s also a tub on the beach and other areas for relaxing.
It’s interesting how one can find pleasure in SL reproducing some action sports or activities of real life. Of course, surfing in Second Life is not the same as in the atomic world. One does not feel the wind on their face, their body doesn’t move according to the waves, they don’t get wet – and still, there is some satisfaction in seeing one’s own avatar experiencing that. There is a connection between the person and their avatar, that makes the avatar’s digital experience be appropriated by its owner.
At the same time, the digital events and occurrences involving our avatar are actively linked by us to our own representations of those events and occurrences – which means that even though we cannot sense them, we can feel them in other ways. In other words, the digital surfing triggers the feelings that we actually have (if we have lived that experience) or imagine (if we have never lived that experience, but have formed an idea about it) about surfing.
That’s the beauty of our second lives: even if we follow the rule that is capital for many, that RL is RL and SL is SL and they don’t mix, actually they do communicate and that’s why some of us invest so much in our digital, virtual selves. Interesting topic, isn’t it? But have you seen the waves out there? They are great! See you on the beach, dude!