Birthday Bits #3

stationLast post for now on SL12B, since the entertainment schedules have come to an end, the great stages have fallen silent and all those who made it through the after-party are now making their way homeward, bleary-eyed and somewhat the worse for wear.

It was fab… but it’s not over yet!

Even though the entertainment is over, the builds will stay up and open until 4th July and, in many ways, the next few days are the ideal opportunity to go exploring, particularly if you’ve not had the time yet, or the demands of full sims and crowded regions have scuppered your computer up until now. The second week is much less demanding in every way – lag peters off, things rez so much more quickly, the queues for the toilets have gone, and you have the chance to grab some great pictures too – especially on the vacant stages, where you can pretend to be a superstar DJ when nobody’s looking!

There’s still an awful lot to see too – all those builds you missed out on the first few times around; there’s the Time Capsules too, (oh how I wish I could get my grubby hands on the contents of those babies… I’d be in SL historic bliss!). Maybe you’ll want to check out the various art installations commissioned for the celebration, or have another bash at the SLBig Hunt, or perhaps you fancy taking it easy and jumping on one of the pod tours and take a look around from the comfort of a plushly upholstered personal conveyance? There are still lots of things you may have missed, small details such as the SL12B roads… each named after master science fiction writers.

Then again, you may not be interested in the small details and instead want to think BIG, in which case, you might just want to make your way along to my absolute favourite bit of this year’s celebration which I’ve purposely left until the end, even though it’s really the start…

station5_001Hat’s off to Faust Steamer, who came up with the awesome Welcome Area: A deceptively simple leafy clearing that cleverly contrives to hide both the wider vista of SL12B from the arriving guest’s inquisitive eyes, and the magnificent creation that lies just beyond, down a long, dimly lit stone stairway, culminating in the dramatic and eerie Railway Station.

There is something synonymous with trains and SL for me – I’ve spent many happy hours trundling the tracks of the SLRR, and several of my own builds have incorporated railways or trains in some form or other, I even run my own little branch line around Nowhere Land, with its own station. Trains have also regularly featured, in various incarnations, as part of the birthday celebrations too and I’ve always been impressed by the quality of workmanship that goes into them. This year, however, has blown my virtual socks off!

station19_001You descend the stairs to enter into a dark and brooding world; you can feel the impatience in the air – but it’s not the interminable wait of anxious passengers, as they hope for the arrival of their long-delayed train… rather, it is the dreadful and and unwholesome impatience of an express that longs to tear free of its constraining tracks and burst into the night, dragging its carriages protesting behind it. Come close to the engine and, amongst the hiss of steam and throb of pistons, you’ll hear it muttering and grumbling in agitation at the delay. For this is no ordinary locomotive: This is a beast… just daring you to book a reservation!

station26_001It is builds like this that inspire me and confirm, without a shadow of doubt, that SL designers are capable of truly amazing creations, and that – in a nutshell – is what SLB is all about: This amazing virtual world, and the people who’ve made it what it is over the course of these last 12 years.

So, if you’ve still not paid a birthday visit, now’s your chance – the clock is ticking, and soon it will all be packed away and it’ll be time to start planning the next one.

I can’t wait!

station25_001

s. x

Ninety tons of thunder
Lighting up the sky
Steaming red hot pistons
See the wheels flash by
Saxon – Princess Of The Night

 

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