SL9B is the celebration that should never have been… if ever there was an occasion that critics and cynics would say was doomed from the outset, it was this year’s birthday event.
In her keynote speech – which incidentally, i thought was excellent – at this year’s opening, Saffia Widdershins described how Linden Lab basically washed its hands of this year’s celebration – a move which to anyone rational observer would have been the undoing of any kind of real community project. Certainly, some would have gone ahead with their own small celebrations, but the coming together of the sl community in one huge celebration seemed doomed. However, as Saffia continues, what could have been the biggest kick in the teeth, turned out to be the sl community’s greatest empowerment – freed from the constraints and ties that trying to work with the Lab would have entailed, the community rallied and, out of what seemed to be the morass of inevitable failure, something incredible occurred. If i may quote The Angel of Death, a.k.a. R. Crap Mariner – someone who freely admits to be have been one of the aforementioned cynics and critics – only to have become one of SL9B’s staunchest supporters…
“The residents could have just thrown together disjointed builds and events in a catalog run by Linden Lab, but the need to come together and collaborate and socialize in a centralized space was too overwhelming, and the dedicated team from SL8B refused to give up on that vision.”
… And that’s when the magic happened.
When i say magic – SL9B certainly didn’t come into being overnight, with a wave of a magic wand. An inestimable amount of hard work, dedication, self-sacrifice and time has been invested into making this year’s celebration a reality – and let’s not forget that hard work and investment is still going on… everyone, from the SL9B Team, the sponsors, those who gave Sims, the exhibitors, builders, entertainers, greeters, assistants, speakers, stage managers… the list is endless, they’re all still working to ensure that this year’s birthday party is not only the best it can be, but pretty much the best ever! And none of it would have happened, if the Lab had their own way!
Who needs them anyway, figuratively speaking? As long as they fulfil their basic role – that of platform provider – then, as a community, do we really need them to get involved in what they have always insisted is ‘our world’? Do, for example, the Facebook community expect Mark Zuckerberg to exchange pleasantries with them and help them out with the layout of their profile page? – of course not, and why should the Lab be any different?
Perhaps we expect them to be different because there was a time when they were, however the days of Uncle Philip wandering amongst us and ‘office hours’ for residents being ten-a-penny have long gone, i’m afraid… but is that really such a bad thing? My gut feeling, having seen what the sl community have achieved with SL9B, is that we can actually do things bigger, better and brighter without those meddling Lindens, and Saffia nailed it when she said: “it’s not their birthday. It’s ours.”
In the last nine, and more, years one thing has constantly stood out as a constant – especially when times get tough – and it is this: When the sl community comes together, with a common aim and the determination to see things happen – nothing, but nothing, can stand in their way! You’d better believe it too.
Another quotation, this time from the SL9B Greeter Lead, Honour McMillan:
“It might sound corny but I think this year’s event proves that residents care about this world and that bodes well for its future. We build and live in local communities large and small. This event celebrates the fact that Second Life is made up of people representing a wide variety of passions and pursuits. No matter what our local home might be, we form part of the mosaic that is this grid and we have created an amazing world where everybody belongs.”
That pretty much sums it up!
In a way, i feel sorry for the Lindens – just look at what they’re missing out on… but, to be honest, if they don’t really want to be part of our world, that’s their choice and there’s not a lot we can do about it.
That doesn’t mean we can’t poke a little fun at them, though! – One of my favourite exhibits so far has to be the ‘Church of Rosedale’ – a light-hearted nod to Philip & co, perhaps hearkening back to the days when relations with the Lindens weren’t quite so strained. Apart from a distinctly Torley-ish carousel and some rather amusing features scattered here and there, you’ll also the most amazing waterslide, which is as far as i’m concerned a whole load of wet and wild fun! Don’t believe me… check it out below:
Better still, go and try it in person! If you haven’t yet been to visit the site – why not? You owe it to yourself, the community of sl and all those incredibly hardworking folk who’ve made it all happen, to at least go and see what it’s all about.
Do it! Now! 🙂
I like all the different people
I like every kind of fair
In the crowd, you bet I’ll be there!
The Breeders – Saints