A press release has been received from Desmond Shang of Caledon with some exciting news:
"For the first time ever, the micronation of Caledon will establish a Crown Colony on another world. Within a few days, a preview of this colony will open to both Caledon citizens and the native Blue Mars population. The colony has been named Caledonia, a largely forested temperate highland surrounded by the deep waters of this recently terraformed new world."
Desmond Shang, Guvnah
Guvnah's Mansion, Victoria City
Independent State of Caledon
This exciting project has been underway for some time now, and Desmond has been working with a team of designers from Second Life Caledon since April 2009 to create an exciting and challenging environment for people who love the Caledonian experience.
"I see a lot of potential with Blue Mars," says Desmond, "more than potential, actually; it already does a lot of things very, very well for a new platform."
And there is certainly a lot of land to explore ... Caledonia is already a mini continent of about four million square meters, with forests, meadows, mountain ranges, and themed towns. And like Caledon itself, the Guvnah is expecting its citizens to play an active part in developing the new colony. It's not hard to be a developer - there's no need to be a member of a huge corporation. Nor does one need to buy a fantastically expensive graphics package to access Blue Mars; Desmond and his team have been working with the free programme Google Sketchup, which he warmly recommends (and he suggests people watch this demonstration to see how easy it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCqr3ZJ8Igc). The tools, he says, are fairly accessible and intuitive.
"The common wisdom about Blue Mars seems to have been that it is 'inaccessible except for developers, only high end content creators need apply as developers' so far ~ but that has been the complete opposite of my experience," he says.
And he is eager to encourage merchants to come to Caledonia - where they will be able to sell pretty much anything they want, as long as they keep structures steampunky or Victorian themed.
He is also determined that this new development will be an opportunity for the Caledon in Second Life, and not a problem.
"Caledonia is our colony on Blue Mars, and the original Caledon isn't going anywhere, of course," he says. "Initially we may see some 'cross over' as high end content creators from Second Life are attracted to new, wide open markets. That would happen regardless of having a colony on Blue Mars or not."
And he believes that both worlds will benefits from the Caledon/Caledonia presence.
"My hope is that wherever one of our 'citizens' goes they feel free, at home, and proud to be part of the spirited, whimsical empire that is bigger than all of us ~ and most especially more than I could ever dream to do on my own," he says. "I'm sure the new people we meet on Blue Mars will wonder about Victoria City back on the main grid, as well, and consider travel and trade back and forth. All that interaction will stimulate commerce and a vibrant world for everyone, everywhere."
A fuller version of this interview with Desmond Shang will be available in the new issue of The Primgraph - to be published shortly.
Access Blue Mars at: http://www.bluemarsonline.com/
You can see more about Caledonia at: http://sites.google.com/site/caledoniamars/