Great Expectations


It is with a heavy heart that I report to my readers news I received from Sachi Vixen of Adam and Eve last night. Due to the understandable need to reclaim resources as Adam and Eve continues to expand, she and her partner Damen Gorilla must dismantle their charming Victorian shopping district, Dickens by the end of the week.

This is a build I will be very sorry to see go, but of course understand and sympathize with Miss Vixen’s dilemma. I know for a fact she agonized over this choice for some time. I am very grateful that she and Damen built Dickens at all and supported it for more than a year on their Island, Genesis. I have reposted here a story I did many months ago for the Metaverse Messenger concerning the build, along with some pictures (and an idea) to remember her by.


Dickens (above) from the air

A Christmas Carol All Year ‘Round

Dickens features a new approach to shopping areas.

As Second Life approaches its third birthday, more and more creative experiments in the design and use of Sims are coming to the fore. One of the best examples of this is the new Dickens build located in Genesis Sim.


Dickens was first created in December 2005 as a Christmas–time shopping area, based on the Victorian styles found in Charles Dickens’ immortal “A Christmas Carol”. This initial creation, built in cooperation between sachi Vixen, Rav Torgeson and Katie Bergman proved so popular that once the holidays were over, Vixen chose to rebuild it for year around use. The new Dickens was created by Vixen and her partner Damen Gorilla.

In describing the new build, Vixen explains that…”Dickens is a Victorian themed area with interactive features that also has some shopping with excellent vendors who are all here by invitation. It is also to give something back to a game that we love and enjoy. It is a way of sharing our ideas and creativity with others.

Gorilla agrees, adding “I had immense fun building Dickens and hope that the shopkeepers and visitors don’t just see it as a soulless mall. I tried to incorporate that thing called heart into it…”

Gorilla did the majority of the core building, according to Vixen, as at the time she was involved with moving her flagship Adam & Eve store to the same newly acquired Sim. Overall however it was very much a collaborative effort.

“I wanted to place my signature on it too so to speak,” says Vixen, “so I made the interior for the church and the organ. I wanted to make the organ playable so I had a chat with Craig Altman of Bits and Bobs and we came up with an adaptation of his piano playing animation. I also added animations to the pews, and tried to be amusing by making some poses eager looking and some look as if they were gazing out the window in contemplation. I built the lectern and pestered Craig for an animation for it.

Animation legend Altman was a key figure in the creation of Dickens, according to Sachi. “He and I chatted a lot during those weeks and as I had other ideas, he helped me bring them to life. Like the free candy in the sweet shoppe that you can eat. Damen had been making pots and I wanted to make him a potter’s wheel. I made the objects and sent them to Craig, telling him what I wanted it to do and he made an animation and a script that made the wheel work.

With so many shopping venue’s all over Second Life, thought was put into making Dickens really special.

“I think the atmosphere draws people,” says Vixen. “Dickens has a nice feel to it and there are things to see around every corner if you explore. There is even a small graveyard behind the church wall with a ghost. It’s also a fun place to come for a quiet evening with someone special

What’s next for Dickens? Not surprisingly, this question has already occurred to Vixen and Gorilla.

“I’d like to expand and add things,” she says. “When we were making it we talked about a school house and I did make a bell and a chalk board. A Victorian park would be nice too. I think that themed areas are about fantasy and people are inspired by past times and want to recreate the richness of history because history shapes who we are now to a great extent. There is also an innocence to the past, particularly to the Victorian age that touches many people. Victorians were great lovers of art and amazing explorers/discoverers. It was a very inventive age.”

That inventiveness is well reflected in Dickens. The famous author would indeed be proud of his namesake.


The Phoenrah Toy Shoppe (above).

As a way to remember Dickens as well as a way to thank Sachi Vixen and Damen Gorilla for their hard work on the build, I STRONGLY urge all Caledonians to drop by the area before it is gone forever (meaning ASAP). Have a last look around and stop by the Phoenrah Toy Shoppe and pick up one of the commemorative Snow Globes there for a mere 75L. Not only does it beautifully depict the lovely Toy Shoppe itself, but it is a way to thank it’s creators and to show them you appreciate all that Dickens is.

The Toy Shoppe can be found at Genesis (38, 229, 22).


The Snow Globe itself (above).


Outside the Pig and Whistle (above).


Tending bar at the Pig (above).


Preaching to the converted at the Dickens Chapel (above).




  1. Oh how sad. I, too, will miss Dickens, which has been one of my favorite places to visit since I discovered it over the Christmas holiday season.

    I hope to get there once again before it is all gone.

  2. Oh, no! Oh, this little village will indeed, be sadly missed–I’ve gone there many times since last winter, walking the quiet streets. Many of my landmarks trace back to small village shops.

    I’ll gather a snowglobe forthwith; it’s the least I can do. And send my condolences on to sachi and Damen, but I too, understand the necessity.

  3. I am very very sad to be parting with Dickens but my mmain store pays the bills and it needs the resources that are currently used for Dickens.

    However, I have decided to keep the church, pub, sweet shoppe and toy shoppe somewhere on my holdings of either Genesis or Revelations so visitors will be able to see them and get the free candy or buy the dolls and globes.

    We are also planning an exciting new build that relates to our project work which I think people will enjoy. It will be a one off period build with some fun and exciting interactions, so I’ll be inviting the Baron for tea when it’s up and running!

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