Ever looked forward to going somewhere and then, when you finally get the opportunity, it doesn’t quite live up to expectations? Somewhere new and different, yet you come away with the overwhelming impression that you’ve seen it all before?
Maybe it’s just me – after all, I’ve not been in the most positive of moods about SL13B just recently, although I’ll be the first to admit that’s entirely my own fault, and nothing to do with the celebration itself. Even so, after wandering around the showcase sims for a good few hours yesterday, I can’t help thinking that the whole thing is a little lacklustre in comparison to events of recent years.
That might be a bit disingenuous of me, particularly considering that my own contribution this year is – to my mind – somewhat below par, and the casual visitor night go away with a completely different impression, but for me there’s a distinct lack of the wow factor this time round.
Granted, I’ve not yet had the opportunity to work my way around the whole site yet, but much of what I have been able to explore has something of a sense of familiarity about it. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m all in favour of recycling, and I completely understand that creativity doesn’t necessarily mean starting from scratch every time, but there do seem to me to be to be a surprising number of exhibits that seem terribly familiar this year. Concepts, ideas, compositions and build elements that I’m certain I’ve seen in previous years keep crossing my path and feeding an ever increasing sense of deja vu.
That strikes me as a bit of a cop out and I’d argue it flies in the face of setting a theme for the event in the first place. ‘The Shared Adventure’ is, of course, a broad topic that can encompass any number of interpretations, but I’ve been hard pressed to make that connection to the theme with many of the exhibits I’ve seen, particularly those that seem so terribly familiar to those of previous celebrations.
And it’s not just the exhibitors’ pieces that seem oddly familiar. So far I’ve made it to four of the performance stages and I have to say that I haven’t come away with anything like the sense of wonder and awe that I’ve experienced in previous years: Another massive candy coloured, cake stage 8-bit tribute… Seriously? The space turtle is a nice twist on a recurring theme, but since the interior is pretty much the guts ripped out of one of the stages from last year, (and I’m apparently barred from going in unless I submit to the stages’ Experience Keys – no thanks), it’s a bit of a let down. And the Boaty McBoatface stage… I seriously thought it was the pirate exhibit that makes an appearance every year, only supersized!
Speaking of supersized, what’s with vast expanses of unused land – or rather water – that feature around two of the stages? It would have been nice to have something to explore, even just a coral reef or two, the odd mermaid, or underwater grotto… But no, nothing, just featureless, empty water. It seems to me half-finished, or simply just half-hearted. Having said all that, what some of the stages lack in flair and detail is more than made up by the tree platform DJ stage… it is, actually, breathtaking and I couldn’t get enough of it.
One final rant, I’m afraid: Fake people. Masses of them! It seems that no exhibit this year is deemed complete without its complement of fake mesh statue people. I’m pretty sure that some of them at least are ripped from games, but even if that’s not the case, they just don’t float my boat I’m afraid, and SL13B seems to be suffering from rather an excess of them!
Anyway, all of the above is simply my own opinion – as always, I suggest you check things out for yourself, rather than taking my word for it. There’s still a wealth of great stuff to be found at this resident created festival of celebratory goodness, and you really should get your butts along there and enjoy what’s on offer. Don’t let the disjointed ramblings of a jaded old hack put you off, if anything, come right back at me and prove me wrong… I’ll be more than happy to be persuaded that I am!
At street level, real people saying repeated sequel
Rock and roll fall to the floor like last night, yesterday morning
And the night before and the night before
The Streets – Street Level