Tiamo Reef ~ a virtual world sim in Second Life by Xay Tomsen
Tiamo Reef was the third sim built on the Irukandji continent in Second Life. But it was more than just another simulator. It was where the actual concept of telling the story of our fictional kingdom began taking form.
Something deep was happening. To explain that effect, and indeed Tiamo Reef, I need to wax philosophical for a few paragraphs.
By this point in time, the knowledge that virtual worlds were no longer just an artistic distraction, but had become part of my real life, had sunk in.
I'd dealt with the small minds who argued the case, as the concept made sense to me. I'd invested so much of my artistic and spiritual self into Tamita Island, and then Tamita Bay, and this deep emotional attachment made it very real.
The downside was that I could see that in creating so much, I had also wrought destruction by building a pristine island then developing it to serve my personal ends.
I felt like the 'white invader' forcing himself on nature like the colonialists of old. I knew I was being hard on myself as 85% of Tamita Island remained virgin forest and there was no actual native population, but still.
When it came time to make Tiamo Reef, I saw it as a canvas to express my self-disappointment.
I imagined it to have once been the home of a local tribe who were driven to extinction by an invading neighbour who plundered their resources and bonded them into slavery.
The first tale of Irukandji was born, and its first monument, the Tiamo Reef Memorial.
Within hours of writing it, I realised it would not be the last, and that Irukandji could become a political tool to challenge the minds of anyone who visited my world.
I also realised I had taken on the role of story teller, and to the people who were now living on my sims, their elder.
The concept of a post-colonial kingdom took form - a kingdom with no king - and my estate team became the Princes of Irukandji.
It all began with Tiamo Reef, and on a deeply personal level, I felt more in touch with my Aboriginal roots than ever before.
The memory of my deep introspection of the time, and of the support I received from my land owners as the continent morphed from just a collection of sims into a living roleplay novel, still touches me ten years on.
Not surprisingly, when I built Irukandji v2 on InWorldz six years later, Tiamo Reef returned.
Below you will find more photographs of Tiamo Reef that I took during my travels around the islands.
The fate of the Tiamo natives in 1260 A.D. is told in the story of the Tiamo Reef Historical. It also receives a mention at the beginning of the story, The Matriarch of Manatu.
To explore more of the Irukandji continent, check out the main Islands of Irukandji page.
Andrew Thompson a.k.a. Xay Tomsen
Tiamo Reef Photo Gallery