I like to travel in RL almost as much as I like traveling in SL. So the thought of visiting a site that focuses on the RL epidemic of bed bugs gave me the willies. But since knowledge is the key to solving a problem, I put on my stoic outfit and went to the Bed Bug Hotel located at Morrill3 (63, 44, 24).
The official name of this establishment is The LittleTown Inn. A notecard at the entrance gives out valuable information on how to use the site and is worth reading. Inside are a desk clerk and your suitcase. You’ll need to pick up your suitcase and go to the elevators located to the right of the clerk. A quick click will teleport you to your room.
In the hallway are a few informational signs that you can quickly scan. The real information is inside Room 101. When you go in, you will see a lot of little numbered cards. I clicked on them in order, but you don’t have to be too precise. Each one gives you a bit more information as well as a clue to solving a riddle. I recommend jotting down the clues since you’ll need to be able to see them later. This will save you re-opening a lot of notecards.
The information was helpful and somewhat reassuring. I’m not sure that I will follow the advice in RL, but it’s good information to have. The important things to remember are that bed bugs can be anywhere, even in “nice” hotels, they don’t carry any diseases, and they can be easily killed. That said, they are still creepy and the site might be too much for anyone with a serious bug phobia. If you fall into this category, skip the video presentation. They show slides of real bed bugs. The notecards give you lots of tips and things to do to protect yourself. If you want to learn even more, check out http://citybugs.tamu.edu/2011/
It only takes a few minutes to zip through the hotel room if you don’t hunt for the hidden bed bug. There is only one, and you get a prize if you find it. I love hunts, but the idea of finding even a pixel bed bug grossed me out. I skipped the hunt.
The second contest is a word game that seemed simple to me. I was sure I had it right, but I never got a prize. Good luck and let me know if you solve it.
Littletown is an educational sim created by Cooperative Extension. Some of the residents involved with the project are Thynka Little and DFox Spitteler. Cooperative Extension is involved with interactive learning and is supported by over 70 land-grant universities in the U.S. In RL there are over 3000 county Extension offices throughout the country.
Since visiting the hotel won’t take long, I suggest you take a quick peek at the rest of Littletown. It is a typical American small town. If you grew up in one, it may bring back memories. A good place to start is Littletown, Morrill3 (75, 67, 24).
I found a cute sewing shop, something that is fairly unusual in SL. You can sit for a few minutes and check out some web pages that link to information on fabric, yarns, and sewing machines. A sewing machine near the back wall lets you practice your skills. You can even change the color and type of fabric.
Many of the builds are store fronts only. However, there’s a fire station, a church, a pizza parlor, and a coffee shop that are open. A few places, like the hardware store and the flower shop appear to be under construction. They were open and somewhat decorated, but none of the items were for sale or gave out information. There was another building that was clearly marked with yellow tape and construction signs.There appears to be a carnival at the edge of town and another large section involves agriculture. I didn’t have time to check them out, but I plan to go back soon. It looks like Littletown and the Morrill sim are growing and evolving, which is good news.