14 January 2012


It's a delight that the Chouchou sims have returned to Second Life. Long a favorite of residents, the sims reopened on January 8th: the main sim of Chouchou, along with Chouchou V (known as Memento mori) and Chouchou XVI (known as The Babel). On Chouchou proper, one might say that less is more—a quiet and delicate water world is articulated by only a few objects, notably a ladder reaching way overhead (which one could climb in the last iteration of Chouchou, if I remember correctly), a tree and a piano.

When you arrive, you might want to grab the HUD that's available—it lengthens the ZoomTime with the intent that your camera movements might seem a bit more cinematic. Be sure to turn your draw distance up to 512, and by all means turn on your sound stream. This last point is important, because Chouchou is actually a more than a sim: it's the musical group of juliet Heberle and arabesque Choche, and the music you'll hear on the sims is all theirs. Take the teleport at the base of the ladder up to Chouchou's live performance venue, called Islamey. (Check their website or join the group to stay posted on performances.)

The sim subtitled Memento mori features a cathedral in the sky. Climb the staircases to reach to uppermost level, and be careful not to fall, as there are gaping holes in the floor! There's a large bell in the cathedral that chimes on the hour, although I've never heard it myself—I keep forgetting to be there at the top of the hour. :)

The last of the three sims is the most significant musically. The Babel is a fascinating installation populated with hundreds of small boxes, each of which contains a sound. The black boxes, bearing labels such as piano 156 or glidesyn001, are instrumental sounds, and the gray boxes, with labels such as juliet_F1, are the sounds of juliet's voice. A click on any given box will commence its sound, and there is some logic as to how the boxes are arranged. (You can read more about this in the book near the landing point.) Climb the stairs (which will seem endless!) to get up to a shop area where you can purchase the boxes for yourself.

And even if you don't purchase any sounds, do consider making a donation to help maintain these lovely sims. The band's music is also for sale, of course—more on their site.

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