|Friends Find Fun and Amusements at Prim Hearts|
Text and Photos by DULCIE MILLS
Machinima by PIA KLAAR
For this month's Sim-Seeing, we have decided to continue our summer vacation theme with a visit to one of SL's most popular amusement parks, Prim Hearts. Strap yourself in as we tour this fun attraction.
The sights and sounds evoke childhood memories of summer days. You can almost smell the hotdogs, popcorn, and cotton candy. But although there are booths, you need no tickets or wristbands. In fact, all the rides at Prim Hearts are free and they are all also available for purchase.
According to Sarg Bjornson, builder of the park and all the rides, Prim Hearts was officially open in February, 2007. "At first it was just a bunch of rides: Bumper Cars, Bumper Boats, Go-Karts, an Ice Rink, a Swinging Ship, a Log Flume, the underground Round Trip Ride, and a Water Slide," he said, "From eight rides, the park has grown to 28!" Bjornson went on to explain that, after having a small shop on the mainland selling water slides and bumper cars, building an amusement park was a "natural progression" for him. His three favorite rides are the Bumper Cars, Go-Karts, and Log Flume. "These three, along with the Round Trip ride, are the only ones that have been in more or less the same place since the park opened," he said. "I think the Go-Karts are particularly popular, but the crowd favourite seems to be the Ferris Wheel!"
One attraction that Bjornson is particularly fond of is the Damaged Space Station. "I'd . . . say no one should leave the park without visiting the Damaged space station," he said. "It floats above the park at around 200 meters, though there are several shimmering teleporters lying around, the main one being located inside the Log Flume's castle. It was built for my good friend DamagedRose, hence the name, as a central piece for the first amusement park we built . . . I'd say it is one of the best things I've built in SL since I joined. It is also a tribute to Bedazzle's Gravity Station, though only the oldies will remember that awesome piece of SL's history."
Bjornson believes the key to the success of Prim Hearts, which has outlasted many other SL amusement parks, is its business model. "Absolutely everything in the park is free to ride. All the rides have been configured to work for 0 L$. This ensures a constant crowd of visitors, and many of them bring back friends and relatives, keeping the place well alive. On the other hand, every ride in the island can be bought. So, people come, test all our rides and, if they feel so inclined, they can buy a copy to use it at home."
Prim Hearts is also updated regularly, so one can find something different each time they visit.. Bjornson constantly adds rides, and his future plans include the use of a rez-faux system which would allow him to change and re-arrange most of the rides in the park on a weekly basis.
The one tip Bjornson would like to give visitors beyond inviting them to "explore" and "have fun" is that they should bring friends with them when they come. "Rides are MUCH funnier when in a group, and some of them don't work in single player (e.g. Bumper Cars)," he said.
To keep abreast of new rides and announcements from Prim Hearts, one can join the Prim Hearts Visitors group which has open, free enrollment.