So the celebrations of SL’s 10th have come and gone and once again it’s time to cast a final personal look back at the event, as is my habit. Well, actually, it’s an overdue look back, considering I had intended to get this piece out a week ago; but as the famous saying goes, In proving foresight may be vain: The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ Peys Gang aft agley, or so Robbie Burns wrote. Honest.
SL birthday events tend to be a fair mix of the good, the bad and – it has to be said, I’m afraid – the downright ugly. The builds are many and varied, the entertainment generally rich and diverse, the regions expansive and seemingly never-ending, the crowds numerous and, as a result and despite the best efforts of the Lab and the organising team, the lag ever-present and waiting to mug you at almost every turn.
All of this is to be expected enjoyed and, in the case of lag, countered. In this latter regard, kudos to the organisers for not only providing people with clear and concise instructions on limiting the impact of lag on their experience, but also for provide a set of “low-lag” and retrospective freebie avatars to adopt if one wished. Ah, Ruthie and friends, how we’ve missed you! I admit, I didn’t use any of the supplied avatars although I did wander around as a Primitar for the part of one visit.
There was much to be admired and enjoyed this year; so much so, that my own reports only really scratched the surface of things as I explored the regions. If your own piece didn’t appear in my updates, my apologies. It doesn’t necessarily mean I didn’t like it – rather that time was frequently against me and I didn’t actually get to see everything.
This year’s celebration installations were especially good. I’ve already waxed lyrical in these pages about Flea and Today’s magnificent A’stra main / live stage, and will resist the temptation to do so again because, quite frankly, all of the stages were magnificent. I loved the echoes of SL9B’s lake stage within Kazuhiro Aridian’s mesh lake stage, which was simply awesome and brought something of a new meaning to getting high on magic mushrooms, with people dancing up in the air and over the water on the huge mushroom cups…
Marianne McCann’s History Walk was simply stunning, offering many of us who have been involved in SL for a good while a trip down memory lane, and was another part of the celebrations I found myself returning to on a number of occasions.
The theme for this year’s event was Looking forward, looking back, the idea being for people to look back at the last 10 years of SL’s history, or to look ahead to what the future might bring – or both. One of my personal criteria in exploring the regions was to seek out exhibits which reflected all or some of the theme and presented it in a unique or fun or immersive or personal way. I also kept an eye out for exhibits which, while not obviously reflecting the theme, offered an eye-catching, fresh and clever insight into Second Life or the community / persons behind the exhibit.
And it is here that I had my first feelings of disappointment. Walking through the SL10BCC regions I found myself coming across exhibits which I’d more-or-less seen before at SL9B and / or at SL8B and in several cases even as far back as SL7B. Some made little attempt at redressing themselves. Others had a thin veil of “retrospective” painted across them which, for me, did little to hide the fact that they were retreads.