Commencing at 12:01 AM on Saturday, June 27th is a special 24-hour event celebrating historical role-play and educational communities in all their forms throughout Second Life.
Decades is a collaborative event involving a core team of 12 people who have come together to develop and build an incredible region of event areas, builds, exhibits and landscaping in which no fewer than 19 live and / or interactive events will be held over the 24 hours (see the schedule below) amidst a total of 11 exhibition and activity spaces.
describing the event when inviting me to a special preview of the region, Sister (SisterButta), one of the organisers (and the co-conspirator in the original idea from which Decades grew, along with Freda Frostbite), said, “Most of us can think of at least one historical and/or educational region or RP community in SL that has been lost forever due to difficulties of financing these very precious and specialized builds and communities. We hope Decades can play a part in stemming the tide, increasing awareness and build bridges between people from all around the metaverse who celebrate history of whatever era.”
Throughout the event, people will be able to join-in with activities, tour exhibits, enjoy live performances, and more. There will be balloon rides and pony rides, even a zip line. There is an historical ship to explore and an aerospace museum which – I can honestly say – is perhaps the best of its kind I’ve seen in Second Life; put together in less than 3 weeks and incorporating the guiding hand of a genuine NASA engineer.
Donations and funds raised through the kiosks scattered across the region will go directly to Historical Communities and Royal Courts, which is designed to be an umbrella website for historical communities in virtual worlds, with the intent for it to become a clearing house for information on communities, events and activities. A place where people throughout the metaverse with an interest in historical RP and education can brain-storm and which can provide resources to for educators and historians in the use of immersive virtual environments.
Decades actually started quite modestly just a few weeks ago. “Originally, Freda and I thought, ‘oh, let’s have a dance to raise money for Royal Courts,” Sister told me as we wandered through the gardens of the region. “Then I said, ‘I’ll do an art exhibit of paintings from different time periods…’, and then…and then…voilà. it grew! Fast!”
As it grew, so Decades attracted more and more support, with Jacon Cortes de Bexar, Cloee Heslop, LadyFandango, Merrytricks, Robijn, Claire-Sophie de Rocoulle, Aldo Stern, Heximander Thane, Serenek Timeless and Lucerius Zeffirelli all playing key roles in establishing the region and its associated activities, together with Freda and Sister.
Touring the region, I couldn’t help but be taken by the care with which everything has been put together and presented. As already noted, the Regional Air and Space Museum in the north-east corner of the region is simply mind-boggling in the exhibits it offers, drawing on content creators from across Second Life – and it is something I’d love to see preserved well into the future.
Towards the centre of the region there’s the main pavilion, with a display of historical horse-drawn and road vehicles, again from creators across SL, to one side, as well a a small display of vehicles of war from Da Vinci and the two World Wars; and an art display on the other. And that’s just the start – there really is a lot to see; I’m only going to make passing mention of Merrytricks’ delightful House of Cards maze, the fashion pavilion, the observatory, and the arts and period exhibitions going on throughout the event – so if you want to know more about them, make sure you set aside time on Saturday to visit Decades!
The schedule of events, possible last-minute alterations allowing, is as follows (all times SLT):
|00:00||DECADES region||Official opening|
|01:00||Pavilion Stage||Live music: Ceci Dover brings music and song from all eras|
|03:00||Observatory Cafe||Coffee break! Come dressed from your favourite period for a chat (in character event, text), hosted by Puss Applewhyte|
|04:30||Observatory Underground||Freda Frostbite reads her poem, Lamentations of The Sabine Women, based on the mythology and history of early Rome|
|06:00||Observatory Cafe||Coffee break! Come dressed from your favourite period for a chat (in character event, voice & text), hosted by Trolley Trollop|
|07:00||Pavilion Stage||Live music: Mar Biddle sings|
|07:00||Observatory Cafe||Coffee break! Come dressed from your favourite period for a chat (in character event, text), hosted by Saraphen Colliope|
|08:00||Observatory Underground||Poetry from the last 2 1/2 Millenia with Sabreman Carter and Freda Frostbite|
|09:00||Pavilion Stage||Live music: Madmax Huet with his great mix of rock and blues|
|09:00||Observatory Cafe||Coffee break! Come dressed from your favourite period for a chat (in character event, text), hosted by Mary Von Hardenburg|
|10:00||Observatory Underground||18th century physician, Dr. William Greymoon, will discuss advances in medicine and herbology. (In character event in text)|
|11:00||Observatory Cafe||Coffee break! Come dressed from your favourite period for a chat (in character event, text), hosted by Lady Aph MacBain|
|Noon||Pavilion Stage||Decades Ball in The Pavilion. Freda will provide an eclectic stream of dance music from many, many time periods, from the time of the Pharaohs to the time of Lady Gaga. Come decked out in dance garb from your favourite time period.|
|14:00||Observatory Cafe||Coffee break! Come dressed from your favourite period for a chat (in character event, text), hosted by Hester Lynch Thrale Piozzi|
|14:30||DECADES Fashion Tent||An all-star fashion show produced by Algezares Magic of aQuarela Models in Second Life will feature formal attire for both ladies and gentlemen from ancient Rome right up today’s haute couture offerings|
|16:00||Observatory Underground||Live Theatre in voice, featuring performances from ancient Rome, the Brownings, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, all by some SL’s best known and loved RP and spoken word talents.|
|17:30||Pavilion Stage||Wald Schridde takes the Decades Festival Stage for an hour of Renaissance and Medieval music – and possibly more!|
|18:30||Observatory Cafe||Coffee break! Come dressed from your favourite period for a chat (in character event, text), hosted by Puss Applewhyte|
|19:00||Observatory Underground||Caledonia Skytower of the Seanchai Libraries will share her unique talent as a storyteller when she performs historical prose|
|20:00||DECADES region||Closing fireworks|
Following the Decades event, it is hoped that a smaller permanent home will open, with the observatory building forming a hub for information and offering teleports to different historical / educational regions and exhibits. It’s also hoped that Decades galleries can be established, where creators, designers, builders donate one-of-a-kind pieces either 100% or 50/50 split for the on-going fund raising for Royal Courts and whatever else develops. Ideas on the future are very much in flux, and I may well be keeping a further eye on this project as time goes by!
In the meantime, if you have an interest in historical role-play and / or education, or are simply curious, do be sure to mark Decades in your SL diary for Saturday, June 27th. It promises to be quite an amazing event.