One fascinating aspect of Twinity has always been it's mirror philosophy: "Twinity is a 3D mirror world based on real cities and real people." Second Life used to have the tag line "Your world, your imagination"; Twinity has "Powered by Real Life", which nicely captures the difference between the two.
There are, however, small cracks in the mirror, situations where the real world and the virtual mirror do not match. For instance, most people do not use their real identity in Twinity; they own places they don't have in the real world. These differences do not matter that much to me: the cities and buildings that make up the real world are mirrored, the inhabitants not necessarily.
But this becomes more of an issue with Twinity's latest addition: the idyllical island of Palmadora which has opened recently. It's a beautiful place and it looks quite realistic, but unfortunately it doesn't exist in the real world. It's a completely imaginary city, designed on a small uninhabited island that does exist in the real world: Espalmador, between Ibiza and Formentera.
I have mixed feelings about Palmador. As a virtual place, it may just be what Twinity needed: a sunny, relaxed place with a strong mediterranean vibe that will remind everyone of holiday. A perfect location for relaxing, chatting, showing off beachwear and of course the occassional party! It's also a nice break from the cityscapes currently dominating Twinity.
But - there should not be a Palmador: the mirror is conjuring up a picture that doesn't exist in reality. It's a pretty picture and I like it, but if Metaversum takes it's mirror philosophy serious, it wouldn't be there.
I don't know why Metaversum chose to create Palmador. While thinking about this issue, I spent some time looking for alternatives in the Carribean. There are lots of small inhabited islands there, and any one of these would have been a believable mirror location for Twinity. It could have been one of the small Bahamas islands, or for instance Mustique in the eastern Carribean , a privately owned and operated island with one or two hotels and a about a hundred exclusive, posh villas most of us probably can't afford in real life. What a great mirror location! The added benefit would have been that on a dark European evening, the sun would still be shining on this tropical destination!
Palmadora is nice and I'm sure I'll spend time there. It may be precisely what Twinity needs at this moment. But the crack in the mirror still bothers me a bit, and leaves me wondering what Metaversum is up to next.
Sered Woollahra blogs at Sered's lives and lives in Second Life, Twinity, Eve Online and OpenSim.