SL10BCC is well underway, with lots to see and do. Given the size of the event, trying to review everything on offer simply isn’t feasible, and some hardware issues at my end mean that I’m not in a position to do the kind of “region round-ups” I did last year.
So instead, I’m going to offer some personal picks from what’s on display by way of suggestions as possible stop-off points in your explorations.
Main Installations – A’stra Stage
Also referred to as the main stage or live stage, A’stra is the astonishing and brilliant set-piece by Grendel’s Toady Nakamura and Flea Bussy. And while it may seem like I’ve flogged it to death in these pages already (or that I’m possibly on Grendel’s payroll!), the fact of the matter is that A’stra is thoroughly deserving of attention – and careful exploration!
There really is a lot to see here. Some of it touches on whimsy, some of it is intended to raise a smile, some of it touches on th history of Second Life – and all of it comes together in the most marvellous way as one of the most outstanding builds I’ve seen in SL. A’stra is not just a place where you can enjoy music through the week – it’s a place to be savoured.
Just be warned – once you do start exploring, around, over and inside A’stra, you’re liable to keeping coming back to to see what else you can find! I confess, I’ve yet to discover the UFO …
I’m not a fan of huge towers at events and exhibitions in-world. Having too-high a build height tends to encourage what seems to be a “war of the towers” – who can go the highest in order to dominate the skyline, which tends to leave me going “ugh!” rather a lot and wishing organisers would say, “Sorry, nothing over 25 metres”.
However, every so often in wandering something like SL10BCC, you come across something which proves to be the exception and which clearly demonstrates that building up can be done with style, grace and meaning – and which offers a fascinating take on the theme of “Looking Back”. Gwark Allen’s Space and Time Telescope does both absolutely perfectly.
Resembling Seattle’s Space Needle (to my eyes at least), the Space Time Telescope soars majestically overhead, an elegant tower topped by a golden telescope. The elevator is admittedly a bit of a bumpy ride (hardly surprising, given all that is going on), and will take you to an observation platform where you can look out over the vast expanse of SL10BCC (or at least as far as your graphics card will let you before it starts whimpering…), and sit and chat with friends away from the hue and cry below. Or you can ride to the great telescope itself, sit in the comfy chair (yes! the Comfy Chair!), go to Mouselook and look back through time and space to previous SL birthdays.
I really like this build as the imagery involved is very clever as well as very eye-catching. As astronomers know only too well, the best way to get a really clear view of the cosmos is to get as far above as much of the distorting effects of the Earth’s atmosphere as possible – hence the graceful tower. Then, as astronomers also know, to look through a telescope is also to look back in time – the light of the starts they see commenced its journey millions of years ago; so a telescope is a very apt device with which to look back on past SL birthdays…