After a big event, it’s always nice to escape to the countryside for some new air and a change of head space.  I’ve come to Leka, the latest simscape by Kate Bergdorf and which opens tomorrow.

As always, it’s Kate’s use of open space which is the first thing that impresses itself on me when I arrive.  The landing point is a small bike hire shop and you walk out onto a huge, open jetty.  The size of interiors in SL seems to be steadily shrinking whilst the big outdoors reclaims its majesty.  Increasingly, I find myself waiting for the Oculus Rift.

There are several fields of long grasses.  A walk along a cliff-top path leads to the space pictured above, which also includes a small wooden performance area.  Everything is very carefully placed.  Kate has arranged builds for SL creators that include Ionic, Apple Fall, Post, Culprit and The Domineaux Effect.

What I like most about this place is the slight edge of decay. I enjoy seeing and touching faded wood and gently rusting metal.  I enjoy this most when these old things are framed by plants and sunlight and soil.  It is a counterbalance between energy and entropy.  Leka, which Kate explained to me is a Swedish word for ‘play’, is a very sensory environment.  I can almost smell it.  My favourite spot is in the greenhouse next to the potting shed.  It evokes memories of long-ago visits to an elderly friend I once had in Cornwall.

There’s a beach at the western edge of the island, where a windswept fence struggles to separate sand and sea.

And, of course, there are horses.


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