It’s going to be a ‘Dickens’ of a Christmas! Just imagine it, a small row of London shops and houses with leaded-lite windows, the brick buildings a little bit grimy and care-worn as was the London of Charles Dickens in the 19th Century’s poorer areas of the city. The snow is falling softly and covering the pavements and roofs as the people hurry by, hastily shopping for that last minute present on Christmas Eve. The aroma of chestnuts cooking on a brazier at the side of the road adding to the holiday atmosphere and anticipation of a hearty feast to be had the very next day - Christmas Day! If you listen carefully, you may hear the rattle of chains coming from one of the shops, above the door in bold print is the name of the business ‘Scrooge and Marley’. Marley is long gone, his life of greed and selfishness finally taking its toll, however, if you time it right, you may catch a glimpse of the ghost of Marley through the candlelit window on the upper floor, the chains of avarice he accumulated throughout his life bearing heavily upon him in death.
‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens, with its famous character Scrooge, has been recreated in Second Life by the very talented Laredo Lowtide in Kat Kassner’s New London Village sim. Laredo has picked out the main areas from the favourite Christmas story; there’s even a little graveyard with headstones bearing the names of some of the real life actors who played the part of the infamous Scrooge in the legendary movies.
Laredo has converted the inside of the Tower of London, in the New London Village, into the Dickens Street, a very clever idea. He told me “The Tower of London seemed a unique space, a world within a world” The New London Village is not only about London, but also themed on the popular cult television series ‘Doctor Who’. The space ship/time machine in Doctor Who is a ‘Tardis’, looking like a small police phone booth on the outside, but, mysteriously, it’s much larger on the inside, once you pass through the time machine’s door. Well Laredo has done wonders with the interior of the Tower of London, it’s like the Tardis, once you step through the door you get the impression that you are in a bigger area portraying the London street, as he says it’s a world within a world.
There are a couple of freebies to be found and some startling apparitions to be seen. You will also get some information in text about Scrooge and his friends as you travel through the area and go into the shops. It’s a real part of the Festive Season and a ‘must see’, plus ‘A Christmas Carol’ exhibition has probably never been shown in Second Life before, so congratulations to Laredo on such a superb site. The Cratchit’s house is there too, and Tiny Tim’s little crutch is seen on the table, as Tiny Tim would have said to us all “God bless us, every one”.