21 April 2012

Ypres

The Flemish town of Ypres had it pretty bad in the First World War. Bad enough that there wasn't just a Battle of Ypres—oh, no, there was the first battle in late 1914, the second battle in the spring of 1915, the third battle that raged from July to November in 1917, the fourth in the spring of 1918, and the fifth in the fall of 1918. Not exactly the greatest location to hang out, and the place was pretty much torn to shreds.

In the Second Life sim of Ypres, Arduenn Schwartzman has recreated the scene at the trenches with evocative detail—just about the only thing missing are soldiers, dead and alive. On opposing sides are British and German encampments, artillery poised, with observation balloons floating overhead.

The sim is designed for some fun combat play, actually—in contrast to the somber mood on the ground, you can rez some rather cute little warbugs (planes) and have dogfights. There's a scoring system, but I didn't investigate, although I did have fun piloting one of the warbugs around the sim. Almost everything you see is for sale on Arduenn's Marketplace store, so if you're feeling really inspired you can recreate the Battles of Ypres in your own back yard.

I'll be posting more images on my flickr stream.

7 comments:

  1. I enjoy your SL photo-journalism. This place and your photography captures the essence of that moment in time. Nice work, Ziki.

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  2. Oh fantastic -- this I have to see! What a wonderful use of virtual space -- just think if we had Gettysburg, say, all laid out, what a resource that would be.

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  3. Hey Yordie and Pam! Thanks very much -- the credit of course goes to the designer, who created a remarkable environment. (I'm not sure whether it has any historical accuracy, but it certainly made me want to learn more about Ypres!)

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  4. I once had a grandfather who, though generally quiet, during reflective moments would occasionally recount some of the horrific stories witnessed in this region during the great war..

    I'll be logging in to take a look. Lest We Forget.

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  5. Hi Alec. I'm sorry to hear of your grandfather's experiences. Maybe this place will give a glimmer of additional insight. :)

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  6. Well Done!My question Ziki is, why Ypres? Is there a family connection? My grandfather's brother was a Medical Officer for the 10th Canadian Battalion and was killed by a bomb outside the aid station where he served by a bomb dropped out of an 'aeroplane'. I have done a lot of research on the 2nd battle of Ypres and would love dearly love to visit the area.

    Again, Kudos

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  7. Nope, no personal connection—I simply admired and enjoyed the sim. :)

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