Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Christmas Carol in Second Life

“It is required of every man," the ghost returned, "that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide; and, if that spirit goes not forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death.”
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

            The Christmas season is coming upon us and I normally don’t get too involved with inworld Holiday celebrations.  However, a recent call from my old friend, Perryn Peterson, changes that and brought me right into the Holidays.

            Of course, Perryn’s promise of a scoop also got my attention.  (Hey, I’m as ambitious as anyone in network news!)  He told me about his latest project in Second Life (SL) which was highly confidential and would I like to write a story about it.  Does a dog have fleas? 

            Well, here it is folks!  Perryn Peterson’s latest SL project!  Starting on December 1st, there will be a recreation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol inworld.  Now, full disclosure here, A Christmas Carol is on my short list of favorite short stories and Dickens is one of my favorite authors. 

            Perryn’s opus will be in Dickens Christmas Village and will run from December 1st to 30th.  I was fortunate to be permitted to visit before the official opening next week. 

            Visitors upon TP-ing in will find themselves in a small park across the road from the counting house offices of Scrooge & Marley.  The ground is snow covered and the period detail is authentic and complete without being overbearing.  Colorful Victorian scenes are used to add to the Holiday mood.  Falling snow adds to the mood.

            Entering Ebenezer Scrooge’s and Jacob Marley’s business establishment one is greeted by Ebenezer standing in the back surrounded by all his money.  Just to the side of the entrance the ghost of Marley can be found lurking.  Perryn has done an excellent job of capturing the bleakness of life in Victorian times unlike the cheeriness that comes across in many Hollywood productions of this story. 

            Perryn has been clever, his usual operating mode inworld, has incorporated various elements of the story to bring the entire story together in a compact space.  For instance, the Ghost of Christmas Past can be found in Scrooge’s bedroom.  (By the way, take a look at the door knocker on the way into his home.)  The Ghost of Christmas Present can be found in the loft at Fezziwig’s warehouse permitting the festive scene to link Scrooge’s youth with his current state.  Finally, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come leans over Scrooge’s grave while Marley lies nearby.  Perryn completes the circle of the story.  All these scenes are within several blocks of each other. 

            Nineteenth century London is represented in the homes, offices, shops, warehouses, and stalls which line the streets in Dickens Christmas Village.  Merchants are in the shops and stalls selling period specific merchandise.  A snow slide recreates another classic scene from the story (and is a lot of fun too!)  An ice skating rink rounds out the winter festivities.

            One of Perryn’s popular trademarks, a mini-hunt, will also be run while Dickens Christmas Village is open. 

            Coming right after STEAM 7 and the Day of the Dead productions, A Christmas Carol is another fun and carefully prepared sim.  I’m still impressed both by Perryn’s creativity and the volume of his output.

            The overall effect of Dickens Christmas Village captures the original theme of Dickens’ story.  That even within the grim, harsh world of everyday life there can be a brief moment of happiness.  I encourage to visit Perryn’s latest creation when it opens to the public and think about what he and Dickens are telling us.       
            I’d like to thank Perryn for taking the time to show me around the sim and answer my questions.  I also appreciate his giving me the scoop on this story. 

            Below are links to a few pictures from Dickens Christmas Village.  They give a sense of what it's like.  But you really have to see and experience the sim for yourselves.

As always, I’m grateful to all for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives.

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at

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Photo No. 1  Perryn Peterson

Photo No. 3 The Story Itself

Photo No. 5 Ebenezer Scrooge


Tattoo Lane said...

A wonderfully evocative post and the pictures are great - Perryn has excelled himself this time!

webspelunker said...


TYVM and you work is exceptional too!