Although, sl had a few surprises up its sleeve that could so easily have put the mockers on my plans. Even so, insanity prevailed and, somehow, my extreme sightseeing – taking in two stages and around 90 exhibits came to fruition. Yes, i really am that crazy!
As soon as i arrived, i knew something was up – region-sized chunks of the cake were missing, and it had nothing to do with anyone’s healthy appetite. In fact, most of the site was missing, and it soon became clear why, as the dreaded ‘This region will restart in 5 minutes’ message appeared in the corner of my screen. Puzzling, because the regions are restarted at 3pm SLT and it was only 11am – then it dawned on me, yesterday was Tuesday, which meant our old friends, the Lindens, would be doing rolling restarts and it seems that SL10B would not escape them.
Without really having any reason, i made a beeline for The Cornfield – it was on my itinerary anyway and, as it turned out, my instinct was right – no restart for the corn. Just as in the good old days, myself and a few hardy others waited it out amongst the maize and watched each region flick out of existence, which left me – once again – in a slightly surreal position. My last visit to The Cornfield had been uneventful, albeit interesting; this time i was, in a way, stuck there. i didn’t want to TP away – after all, i had an itinerary to follow – but there was simply nowhere else to go: The Cornfield was now surrounded on all sides by water, and i was stuck. Suddenly i appreciated what being consigned to the place must have been like for those misbehaving avatars of the past who were unfortunate enough to suffer that fate. It was frustrating, boring and extremely irritating – it seems that the Lindens had come up with the perfect virtual punishment.
Thankfully, patience paid dividends, and the regions started to haphazardly come back online, so i was off on my mission.
Compared to the awesomeness of the previous day, things started relatively uneventfully. Electrify, if i may quote Douglas Adams, turned out to be ‘mostly harmless’ and initially, my enthusiasm was left unrewarded, until i hit a rich vein of interest: Alafolie entranced me, The Broother fascinated me and the Invasion of the Space Dinosaurs was something that simply had to be done… aw, c’mon – space dinosaurs, flying cars, free popcorn… don’t tell me you wouldn’t too! (Just remember to wear your seatbelt!). Things were starting to look up, even more so when i discovered Crap Mariner’s SL Shatoetry Project – another exhibit to which i’ve contributed. Before you ask me to explain the obvious, i’ll go right ahead and do so – Shatoetry is an app that enables you to write phrases which are spoken by William Shatner. Crap asked for people to submit micro-stories which can be listened to at his exhibit, which is – i’ll grant you – a somewhat cynical and pessimistic reflection of the celebration, but somehow the Shatoetry brilliantly counterpoints it, and it all works far better than i thought it would.
By now, the regions had sorted themselves out, so it was time to check out a stage that, until this point, i hadn’t even looked at – The Lake Stage, in Captivate.
If i’m honest, last year’s lake stage, though impressive, didn’t really float my boat (sorry, bad pun). The soaring, metallic mesh structure just wasn’t my sort of thing – this year’s stage – a whimsical, toadstooly, treehouse affair was much more in tune with my tastes, although it comes dangerously close to Linden Realm type styling, which in my book, is not a good thing. Still, you can’t please all of the people all of the time – any Linden will tell you that!
Where were all the wonderful underwater scenes and nautical nuggets? There’s plenty happening above the waterline, but below the surface, the pickings are decidedly slim. Disappointingly, there were a number of vacant plots too, and although the SLB team had decorated them, i couldn’t help thinking it was a shame they were there at all. Even so, i had some fun – you can’t beat furiously paddling a bath in a giant sink, whilst being pursued by an errant toilet!
As the light began to wane, it was time to head to the wastelands of Incredible and Awesome, KT Syakumi’s urban grunge DJ Stage, sprawling over 2-sims, like a festering sore, (in the nicest possible sense!).
The cracked roads, pitted desert terrain and unsavoury pools lead out from the colour and vibrance of the celebration into the concrete, cooling towers and rusting pipework of the stage itself. If grunge is your thing, you’re going to love this stage.
i sneaked in through the side entrance, which takes you on a twisting journey through the bowels of the power station – a trip reminiscent of Tombraider – eventually spewing you out into the interior of the cooling tower, with its stage, viewing platforms and monstrous dance ball rocket thingy, hanging menacingly above the proceedings. My explorations were accompanied by thumping, mind-numbingly intense industrial mixes, spun by a neko DJ who purred like a cat after every utterance – not usually my kind of thing, but it certainly added to the atmosphere.
There’s more to these two sims than just the stage, but it all has a very post-apocalyptic, Mad Max feel about it and, at some point, you’ll probably need a breather and a refreshing dash back to the bright lights and colour of the other sims… good, old-fashioned fun though and definitely worth revisiting.
Tomorrow… Good grief, i have no idea! My brain has turned to jelly and everything is just a blur now, i think a lie-down is in order!
Have we seen the actual reality of a monstrous crime?
Or merely an illusion?
The product of a tortured brain.
Nachtmahr-I Believe In Blood