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Friday, May 01, 2009

The fascination of decay

What's the fascination with decay, crumbling dystopias and abandoned or ruined urban landscapes?

The answer, dear readers, is mystery.

"Unspoiled" nature and everyday-use urban settings are what they are. Something abandoned or in ruins, however was something, and it may not be immediately apparent as to quite what.

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What is this place? What was it? Why was it left? How did it get to be in that state? (It's called Universit√© de Dubois, though that is a pseudonym. One of the lecture halls)

As we look at the world, the mind forms stories around the mysteries it sees to try to answer the questions. And there's no better source of those stories and that intrigue than the familiar fallen into disuse and ruin.

As a species, we love this sort of thing. So much so that we create new ruins in virtual environments like Second Life, from dilapidated buildings to crumbling cities and abandoned subways. These settings are a treat for the imagination, and a delicious dessert for our logical and speculative faculties.

Check out Opacity, Action Squad,  or Forbidden Places for a taste of more.

(Thanks to Bill Harris for publicizing this shot)

2 comments:

  1. Very insightful post, loved it!

    And if there's anything more mysterious than decades- or centuries-old human ruins, it's the eons-old ruins of a race of incomprehensibly alien beings from another universe, buried in the most remote reaches of the globe!

    *runs off to read some Lovecraft*

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