Desmond Shang, operator of one of the most popular and cohesive themed communities in Second Life, is extending his community into Blue Mars in just a few days time. Shang's Caledon, popular among aficionados of Victoriana, Steampunk and Gaslight, is opening a sister colony, Caledonia on Blue Mars, with an initial stake of roughly four million square metres.
Caledonia is roughly 30% larger than Caledon, sporting a lot of wilder country, forests, mountains and more. We'll be looking forward to seeing what the content development pipeline will really do. Initial reports are that Caledonia will, even when built out, be considerably less bandwidth intensive on its own than Caledon.
Shang is confident that the new community will grow well, "I think the Blue Martians will enjoy participation in Caledonia, will build it out beautifully over the years and thereby add richness and depth to our overall history. Most of all, I want to ensure that citizens of this plucky little micronation have every opportunity to lead the pack in all manner of virtual disciplines. We've proven ourselves before, and are simply not willing to rest on our laurels."
That isn't to say that Shang's abandoning Second Life and the burgeoning Caledon. Caledonia might not be the last in Shang's expansions in the coming years. "Just like radio, television or the Internet, a wide variety of offerings will allow the technology to become more mainstream. While expanding to multiple platforms might seem self~competitive in the short term, ultimately, drawing more people into virtual worlds should raise all ships."
Certainly, Caledonia's a great score for Blue Mars right now. The genre's a popular one at the moment, and attractive to a wide-variety of industrious and inventive people. It's not quite a ready-made community, but tends to be a self-assembling one. We're looking forward to seeing how it goes in the coming months.