Second Life‘s Metrotopia, City of Superheroes, is not like other cities. How could it be? It’s a city of Superheroes!
A city of superheroes should have a Museum of Superheroes, and sure enough, Metrotopia has one, a stately white-columned building. At the Museum of Superheroes, you can view pages from most classic superhero comix. The second picture shows the Batman pages. Other superheroes in the museum include Avengers. Justice League, Wonder Woman, Teen Titans, X-Men, and others. This is also where you learn about the machinima contest, with a top prize of L$50,000. Contest rules are posted outside the museum. Deadline for entry is September 22, 2009.
The museum, however, is not what makes Metrotopia interesting and fun. When you first land in Metrotopia, you are in a dark and menacing alley. Ahead of you, you see a door with the sign "Metrotopia… Do you have what it takes?" The door leads into a pitch black alley and two more signs, "Are you strong, honest, and brave?" and then "Are you ready to be a superhero?" Step through the sign and you are in the Costume Bazaar, an essential first stop. When you visit Metrotopia, you are expected to dress as Metrotopians do – as a superhero. At the Costume Bazaar, you can select from an array of cloaks, clothing, masks, weapons, and other paraphenalia that a good superhero or superheroine needs. It’s all free. Take your time and find the superhero wardrobe combination that makes your avatar a glorious superhero. After you’re satisfied with your appearance, venture out to take on the world.
Museum of Superheroes
There are three major destinations, each very different, in Metropia for you to visit among the several blocks of otherwise empty urban buildings. More cerebral superheroes might want to visit the Metrotopia Library, where you can choose from a wide variety of links to other websites that range from Second Life itself to research journals. There are two interesting constructs in back of the library, but true superheroes will forego the library and go straight to either the Proving Ground Gym or the Fight Club Dojo. Just make sure you first go to the Costume Bazaar first and get suitably attired and armed.
To fight in the Fight Club Dojo (shown in the third picture), you are not allowed to bring your own weapons – you can only fight with what you find there. It’s a fight to the avatar death. If your health meter drops to zero, you are immediately teleported home.
Fight Club Dojo
The Proving Ground Gym and especially its roof was my favorite part of Metrotopia. On the ground floor you see a box that both serves as a gift dispensor and as a teleporter. Touch it once to get your gifts, then right click it and click "Teleport" to go to the roof. If you enjoy photography, this is where the real fun is.
Most of the pictures following this article were taken on the roof, where pose balls allow your avatar to strike a variety of poses. Most are single pose balls, but in two places there are two pose balls next to each other. This allows you and a friend (or you and yourself if you have two computers!) to strike superhero poses together.
Metrotopia is a project of Roskilde University in Denmark. You can read their page about Metrotopia at www.ruc.dk/ruc_en/about/news/25082009, Second Life members can teleport to the Museum of Superheroes at slurl.com/secondlife/Research%20Island%20Denmark/9/6/26