Yep, i am SL11Built! And a good couple of weeks before time too – in fact, most of the work was all but done within a few days of arriving on site, with just a lot of tinkering and a few extra bells and whistles to be sorted out. It has all gone incredibly smoothly, which leaves me with a bit of a problem – what the heck am i going to do to keep myself busy between now and the birthday celebrations?
Well, i do have a cunning plan – which is basically to hang around the celebration sims, wearing my hard hat and steel-toecapped boots, and occasionally tapping away at prims with a hammer, merely as an excuse to have a nose at what everyone else has been putting together whilst i’ve been absorbed in my own build, before all the crowds pile in.
There are slight disadvantages to this strategy, as i’m sure anyone who’s been involved in organising or taking part in any real world event of a similar nature will tell you. First, there’s the compulsion to spill the beans – being given a sneak preview of anything is great fun, but having to keep things under your hat until everything kicks off is something of a chore. There will always be the temptation to set up a WikidipidyLeaks style exposè of pre-event previews, but that would be terribly bad form and an abuse of privilege… so, for now, i’ll be keeping schtum about the delights that are in store!
The other disadvantage of dossing about any festival long before the crowds arrive is one of simple battle fatigue. My plan this year isn’t much different to previous years, where much of my inworld time for two weeks will be spent at the celebration, capturing an inordinate number of images, chatting to anyone who’ll speak to me and exploring until i have pixel blisters, (note to self: wear sensible shoes). Added to that, the no doubt copious amount of writing about the the whole thing that i’ll be undertaking means that SL11B is going to form a major part of my downtime. To throw in an additional spell on site before everything officially begins is just asking for event exhaustion to set in. Moderation is undoubtedly the solution… but it’s not something i’ve ever been good at.
You may be wondering why i make such a fuss about the whole thing. Most people will roll up for an hour or so, have a look around, grab some freebies and then go back to their usual routine. Nothing wrong with that, but i happen to think that this celebration is not just an event to mark the passing of another year – more than that, it’s a celebration and an exhibition that demonstrates the incredible vibrance, capability and enthusiasm at the heart of the sl community.
Add together all the hours exhibitors spend in creating, building, texturing and bringing their ideas into being, the time spent devising, rehearsing and perfecting performances, the sheer effort that goes into presentations and discussions, along with the hard work and time expended in putting together playlists, and preparing for live performances – the sum total must add up to hundreds of hours. The scope of the exhibits is difficult to comprehend, as is the skill and ingenuity behind them. Then there’s the community side of the celebration… a huge exercise in logistics, teamwork and coordination undertaken by willing volunteers from all walks of SLife – quite simply, it is one of the most convincing demonstrations that you could hope to have to illustrate that sl is neither dying, nor struggling – nor anywhere near – it is still cutting edge, still surprising and still brimming full of vitality.
And that’s why i’m so enthusiastic about these birthday celebrations: for all the doom, gloom and moaning that we’re so used to hearing and propogating about sl throughout the rest of the year, it’s exactly what the doctor ordered… fun, entertaining and mind-bogglingly brilliant!
He got roller-coaster, he got early warning
He got muddy water, he one mojo filter
He say “One and one and one is three”
Got to be good-looking cos he’s so hard to see
Come together right now over me
The Beatles – Come Together