BURN2: A Carnival of Mirrors in Second Life

BURN2 2015
BURN2 2015

Please note that all SLurls given in this preview will not be generally open until approximately 12:00 noon SLT on Saturday, October 17th, 2015.

BURN2 2015 opens its gates on Saturday, October 17th and will run through until Sunday October 25th.

As with previous years, the festival is spread across six regions, all in the familiar desert look, surrounded by sandy hills that add to the atmosphere and give more of a feel that the event is connected with the real life Burning Man festival.

The theme for this year is “carnival of mirrors”, with the announcement of the theme noting:

This year’s theme is about mirrors and masks, mazes and merger. It will be a kind of magic show that takes the form of an old-fashioned carnival. This Carnival of Mirrors asks three essential questions: within our media­ saturated world, where products and people, consumption and communion morph into an endlessly diverting spectacle, who is the trickster, who is being tricked, and how might we discover who we really are?

Classic carnivals, as theatres of illusion, upheld a very strict dividing line that separated carnies, cast as showmen, from members of a naïve public who were labelled chumps and suckers, marks and rubes. Our carnival, however, will perform an even more subversive trick — its motto is Include the Rube. The wall dividing the observer from observed will disappear, as by an act of magic; through the alchemy of interaction, everyone at once can be the carny and the fool.

The Man (by Danger Lytton) overlooks the carnival theme of the playa
The Man (by Danger Lytton) overlooks the carnival theme of the playa

The Festival will  commence with a Lamplighters procession, which will set out at 12:00 noon SLT on Saturday, October 17th, with a further procession taking place at 19:00 SLT.  There will be similar daily processions at 12:00 noon and 19:00 each day of the event through until Friday, October 23rd.

Saturday, October 24th will feature three burnings of The Man, at 06:00 12:00 noon and 18:00 SLT. On Sunday, October 25th, the Temple will likewise burn at 06:00, 12:00 non and 18:00 SLT, but each of these burnings will be preceded at 05:00, 11:00 and 17:00 respectively by Lamplighter processions, which will each include a Fire Dance performance at the Centre Camp. Note that different LMs will be in operation for The Man and the Temple during the burnings, and that you can keep track of all BURN2 activities through the event schedule on Google Calendar.

To ease your explorations of the regions, don’t forget you can pick up a ride at the Department of Mutant Vehicles. This is  also the place where visitors can join a guided tour of the event, which will take place twice daily throughout the week, at 14:00 and 22:00 SLT respectively. The tour will include descriptions of Juried plots, invited artists, theme camps and more. Hot air balloons also offer tours of the regions at any time.

As with previous years, participants have fully entered into the spirit of the BURN2 theme, and the six regions offer a tremendous carnival atmosphere, with Today Nakamura’s Temple build beautifully and brilliantly capturing the essence of the theme and the playa as a whole.

The Temple, Toady Nakamura's theme-capturing buil
The Temple, Toady Nakamura’s theme-capturing build

About BURN2

BURN2 is an extension of the Burning Man festival and community into the world of Second Life. It is an officially sanctioned Burning Man regional event, and the only virtual world event out of more than 100 real world Regional groups and the only regional event allowed to burn the man.

The BURN2 Team operates events year around, culminating in an annual major festival of community, art and fire in the fall – a virtual echo of Burning Man itself.

Related Links

All SLurls will be open to the public from approx: 12:00 noon SLT on Saturday, October 17th, 2015.

Entering the darkness of a Château Village in Second Life

WOD: Château Village; Inara Pey, October 2015, on Flickr WOD: Château Village (Flickr) – click any image for full size

Note: this vision of Pandora Box of Dreams has closed.

Miza Cupcake Verlack, partner to Lokhe Angel Verlack (Jackson Verlack) of Pandora’s Box of Dreams fame, recently contacted me about a new role-play environment she and Lokhe are developing. Given I’m very much an admirer of Lokhe’s region designs, I was keen to accept her invitation for a personal tour of their new realm.

World of Darkness: Château Village, as perhaps the name suggests, draws its inspiration from the World of Darkness universe. The intention is to provide an immersive story-based environment with its own flavour of background, events, races and characters. Formal role-play won’t actually commence until after the Grand Opening, but there is currently an open invitation to those who are curious to visit the region and its accompanying website and find out more about the environment, races, factions and various back stories already created, and perhaps enrol as a player and formulate a character of their own.

WOD: Chateau Village; Inara Pey, October 2015, on Flickr WOD: Château Village (Flickr)

To get a flavour of the setting and intent, it is easiest to quote from the introductory notes:

The World of Darkness: Château Village, resembles the contemporary world, but it is darker, more devious and more conspiratorial. The dichotomy between rich and poor, influential and weak, powerful and powerless, is much more pronounced than in the real world. Decadence, cynicism and corruption are common. Humans are unwitting victims or pawns of vast secret organizations of supernatural creatures. Vampires, werewolves and wraiths – among others – struggle with internal factionalism and against other species in secret wars of intrigue for control of reality.

Thus it is that Château Village is a place cast forever in the twilight times, where the sun never rises and day never quite comes. A contemporary 20th / 21st century island town located just off the coast of France, it is at first seemingly an ordinary place. Houses are lit from within, warmth and light spilling from windows, and the streets are illuminated by lamps which cast aside shadow and increase the feeling of normality. However, all this is just the surface calm which barely conceals the maelstrom of intrigue, rivalry, the supernatural and magic, the foundations and structure of which are carefully defined through the Château Village website.

WOD: Château Village; Inara Pey, October 2015, on Flickr WOD: Château Village (Flickr)

In terms of the physical environment itself, this has been beautifully crafted by Lokhe and makes superb use of the available space within the region. So much so that in exploring, it is hard to escape the feeling that it is a place occupying more than a single region.

Architecture and environment are important here, serving to define the various factions occupying them. The Camarilla clan of vampires, for example, occupy a mansion of quite contemporary design located overlooking the main town. The Sabbat, a clan of vampires with a very different philosophy, occupy an older part of town, one perhaps reflective of their more archaic approach, and their desire to stand aside from (and rule over) others. Meanwhile, the Garou (lycans) live in a more rural area suggestive of the edge of town, and close to the woodlands and wilds.

Given this is a world very much of secrets, magic, and hidden powers, there are also hidden places accessible only to those who know the way (or those fool enough to ignore warning signs), and which lay up in the sky or are hidden underground, again making further adding to the expansive feel to the various locations in which RP might take place.

WOD: Chateau Village; Inara Pey, October 2015, on Flickr WOD: Château Village (Flickr)

Touring the region, the level of love and attention which has been poured into it is evident; as is the desire of Lokhe and Miza and their team to make this a community-driven RP environment.It’s also highly photogenic – and I did spot Loverdag exploring while I was there!

I understand the Grand Opening is to take place – appropriately enough! – on October 31st, although details are still TBA at the time of writing. Therefore, and as mention, of you are into supernatural  / dark powers RP and are looking for something new, why not drop into Château Village and have a look around and peruse the website. Should you be interested in signing-up, you can find the application form on the website.

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