In previous years I’ve tried to give you a flavour of the event in various ways, most of which involved an inordinate amount of trekking around the sims, and taking countless screen shots, whilst waiting an age at each exhibit for all the textures to rez. Not so this year… Experience has taught me that there is only one way to truly grasp an event of this scale: Like Woodstock, Live Aid and ‘Nam, you had to be there!
And you should go, really.
To begin with, I may be imagining it, but SL12B seems to me to be better attended than in previous years. Whether this is indeed true, or is simply a result of squeezing the usual amount of people into a slightly more compact group of regions makes little odds, the end result is the same… In crowded areas you will experience lag, and lots of it. That’s not to say you won’t be able to get around, but at times it can be somewhat frustrating. Careful navigation, utilising your map to the full can help you avoid the lag blackspots and make things a lot more tolerable. You can always go back later – the second week is generally a lot quieter and easier to navigate.
The best philosophy is to take your time – it quite definitely is going to take a lot longer to explore than you think – and that’s nothing to do with the lag. You will want to explore a large number of the exhibits you see, simply walking past them isn’t going to satisfy. Many are intricate, with hidden secrets, multiple levels and have a host of things to fiddle with. Enjoy taking the time to look around and don’t try to see everything in one go.
As for the exhibits themselves, there’s going to be something to appeal to everyone, from arty farty to downright prosaic and utilitarian. The builds are as diverse as SL itself, representing everything from real world interest groups to individual flights of fancy and fantasy; some will blow your mind whilst others will have you scratching your head. What you won’t find however is outright commercialism or in-your-face marketing, which can be rather refreshing. If it’s freebies you’re after, then you’re going to be spoiled for choice. There’s plenty of exhibits giving them away, dedicated freebie areas, gift vendors and the massive SL12Big Hunt, which I won’t be indulging in this year, since it took me a good six months to wade through my haul of goodies from last time!
With so much going on and such a massive space to explore it can feel a little overwhelming and impersonal at times, however it’s perfectly possible to find a quiet retreat in an otherwise chaotic and crowded sim where you can relax and escape the crush and spend time just absorbing the atmosphere. You can always invite a few friends round too: On opening day, it was lovely to have a whole bunch of friends descend upon my exhibit, where we had a lovely time just chatting and soaking up the atmosphere. You – of course – are also more than welcome to call and say ‘hello’, I’d love to see you there. It seems the build even made the official blog earlier this week… Fame at last!
All in all, if you’ve never been before, why not put an hour or two aside, even if it means tying the kids/husband up in the corner whilst you take the time to enjoy yourself, and have a tramp around SL12B – it’s a whole load of fun, a great source of inspiration and, if music and dancing are your thing, there’s plenty of that going on too… but that’s a subject for another post.
Hope to see you there!
Sometimes living out your dreams
Ain’t as easy as it seems
You wanna fly around the world
In a beautiful balloon
Des’ree – Life