‘Lands of the Whistler’ was just one of a number of game worlds I had played in the past and the moment I logged on to the game world, the words ‘Welcome to Lands of the Whistler!’ sprung up before me. The words soon disappear and my avatar appeared in the game world. I open my eyes and my first sight was a sakura petal falling before me. I instinctively followed the sakura petal as it float slowly to the ground. I raised my head and saw the town of Peaceriver Lodge.
I had materialized at the edge of the bustling town and was immediately assaulted by the sounds of bells and whistles that were coming from the town. In the distance, steam was billowing out from a hundred chimneys and a large airship floats over the town above me. I began walking towards the town center and tried to remember where I was when I last logout of the game. Peaceriver Lodge was one of the small towns that dotted the game world and l was pretty sure I wasn’t near the town when I last logout out. Did the game had a function that automatically port you to the nearest safe zone? I don’t remember and decided it doesn’t matter. I needed to go to town anyway.
Like all game worlds, players could go on quests, missions, and raids in the game world but almost no one in LoW bother. You don’t come to The Old World for the gameplay; you came for the atmosphere. You came to see towns and cities that remind you of the time of the Meiji Steam Era or Clockwork Paris. You came to see the sky filled with smoke and steam. You came to see a clockwork horse pull a Japanese style carriage across a dirt street. You came to see men with clockwork backpacks flying in the air on rotors. This is ‘Lands of the Whistler’. Designed and created by the DH Corporation, LoW is what people called a fictional historical game world. This means that although the world was imaginary, the historical machines and vehicles you see in the world were real. It is a sandbox game world for people nostalgic for a simpler, freer time. A time when big government was non-existent. A time when no one was able to track your life through an army of drones and cameras. The main rule is that no technology from the Rocket Age and beyond was allowed. This is a world where old technologies still rule. This was The Old World!
My avatar walked into Peaceriver Lodge without incident; no retinal, fingerprints, or DNA scans required. I walked along the main street enjoying the sights. The streets were dirt and the houses were made of wood. It was refreshing. A rickshaw pulled by a clockwork drone raced past and on the seat of the rickshaw was a woman in a red/white kimono wearing a straw hat. She was not alone in her love of the old. In the short time since I entered the game, I had already walked passed a man wearing a beskap, and two women wearing cheongsams. All around me, handsome men and beautiful women were wearing traditional Asian clothing. If I had logged on to the game in the Western Hemisphere, the men would be wearing tuxedoes and the women wearing corseted dresses. If I was from Africa, the people would be wearing traditional African clothing like the kanzu and habesha kemis. My avatar was no different of course; he was a handsome teenager wearing a Zhongshan suit.
I enjoyed the atmosphere as I continued down the crowded street. Although I was never really into the game, I knew where I was going. All the towns and cities within LoW has a standard design with the town/city center acting as the main hub. As I walked closer to the town center, the town became more crowded and I passed by several shops set up by other players. Most of the player shops were set up near the town center and they sold all sorts of goods, weapons and machinery. I took my time looking over the items. Several item shops sold strange goods like special gears and scopes for crafters and the weapons shops had a variety of pistols, revolvers and rifles on offer. The two machine shops I passed sold different things. One sold mounts like clockwork horses and steam-powered carriages while the other offered items like steam-powered jetpacks and clockwork drones. I paid special attention to the machine shops as this could be a way for me to sell me Steambot. Having a shop front in the game world could give my Steambot a personal touch that my design shop is missing. Right now if someone want to buy my Steambot, they could just access my design page and buy it after reading the specs. I could upgrade my page of course but all that would cause DP and having a shop in LoW with a virtual shop front and a NPC shopkeeper would definitely be better promotion than a static design page. Sometime for me to consider in the future. For now, I have a job to do.