SLB10 – The Reluctant Tourist

I don’t like amusement parks or mega-exhibits. I’d be the last person on earth to want to visit a World’s Fair. (Unless of course I travelled back in time to one from the 19th Century.) So, I’m not the guy you want to go to the annual Second Life birthday bash with.

In SL years – or should that be inSL years? – I’ll be six next month. I went to one SLB in previous years. For about 15 minutes. It was all dayglow colors and flashing lights and lag. So I left. No desire to ever go back.

But a 10th birthday for any enterprise in this fast-changing world and bizarre economy we live in, is a big deal. So I figured I’d have to say something about it on this blog. Which meant I’d probably have to go to it.

A while back I saw they had a pre-opening press day. I figured I had enough cred as a blogger at this point, that I could probably get into that. The idea of possibly running into some other bloggers I like to read was enticing but that was the only thing that made me give it a thought. I’ve never mentioned this here before but in RL, I’m a member of the press. I’ve been to more than my share of pre-opening press days. Enough to make me want to puke. So I really can’t get excited about a virtual pre-opening press day. So I didn’t apply. Plus, I still hadn’t really committed myself at that point to going to SLB10 at all.

The pre-SLB hype is worse than the two weeks of hysteria before the Super Bowl. So I have steadfastly avoided it. But I see the headlines of course. Each one a reminder that a decision about whether to go or not had to be dealt with. Still, I kept putting it off.

Then one day a headline had a friend’s name in it. David Abbot – whom I first met when he was Mieville Ambassador, a friend from New Toulouse, a fellow member of the Time Travellers Guild and a guy who once let me use his TARDIS – David was involved with the SLB bash in a big way and was going to do a daily blog about it. (Yes, that was the one pre-SLB article I did read.) Well, if it’s good enough for David…

Sunday came and it was Day 1 of SLB10 and guess what? Your intrepid correspondent forgot all about it. LOL! Early Monday I was looking at blogs or Twitter or something and I saw references to the goings on at the bash. “Oh yeah, now when is that? Is that this week?” Apparently my steadfastness about avoiding the pre-bash hype had worked pretty well. I was now in: when does it run? how do I get there? mode. Of course, it wasn’t hard to find out.

OK, so now I’m going. What do I do with this? How do I approach it? If I’m going to write something about it, I have to hang in there, I can’t let it overwhelm me and cause me to run home to Winterfell and hide.

Monday afternoon I had some time to venture over there. Where to start? What to see? I don’t want to have to go back and read all that hype I was steadfastly avoiding. I just want to go and get it over with. But I need some kind of direction, otherwise I know what’s going to happen – I’ll be leaving after 15 minutes.

Well, it wasn’t hard to figure out where to get a slurl to just jump right in. I went to Daniel Voyager’s blog and just started scrolling until I could find something that either piqued my interest or at least was something I felt I could put up with for a few minutes once I got there.

The link I selected was supposed to take me to an SL historical recreation called Newbie Corral. I didn’t read the article, figuring I’d find out what it was exactly once I got there, just saw the picture and said, ok, let’s go there. Click. I arrived at the bottom of a canal. I thought they said Corral? Canal, Corral, whatever. No Newbie Corral, no surprise. I hate this already.

The region was called Astonish, I think. I looked at the map. Let’s see, do I want to be Astonished or Dazzled? Astounded, Enchanted or Pizzazzed? Hmmm.

As I crawled out of the canal, most things were gray. Rather than start complaining about lag, I immediately turned my draw distance way down. I should add that I was using the official SL Viewer just for the occasion. Kokua has been my viewer of choice of late but it just seemed appropriate to follow the party line while at the party.

I wandered around aimlessly along the streets, from sim to sim while chatting with a friend who had IMd me to discuss other matters on other grids.

I think I was in the Dazzle region when I spotted a train. A classic train of yesteryear. I love trains! OK, here’s something I can investigate. Oh, I’ll take a pic for the blog…

SLB10 Train

According to the edit window, the train was made by Donpatchy Dagostino, class of ’07, just like me!

Danko SLB10 Train

When the train pulled in to my stop (just RPing a little there:), I disembarked and walked around the neighborhood some more until I spotted a spaceship…

SLB10 Spaceship

A classic 1950’s idea of a spaceship, created by Prim Composer, class of ’09. And complete with Little Green Men, who appear to all be members of a union…

SLB10 Little Green Men

This exhibit was called Area 51.

At this point, I’d had enough. I TP’d home and immediately began a debate with myself about whether that was it for my explorations of SLB10 or whether I was somehow obliged to go back. I lost the argument.

Tuesday morning, I was back.

I tried to go to a dance at 4:30a SLT. Figured if I’m going to a birthday party, there needs to be some partying involved. Also figured there would be fewer people at this hour and less lag. I actually went to the official SLB10 website and looked at the events schedule and used a slurl.

Upon arrival, I received an auto-message that said something like: This sim Monitors Scripts. Preferred limit: 25 Yours: 50. My first thought: Must be the shoes! I usually am wearing color-change, texture-change shoes with color-change laces. K, I’ll just hop to the sim next door and change shoes. Went back, same message and my rating didn’t change. AO! Of course. I was just sipping my first cup of coffee for the day so I was still in a morning haze. I shut off the AO and then thought: This music – a dance/pop track was playing – is a little much for me right out of the box, maybe I’ll come back later. The DJ was awfully cute though. Didn’t write down her name. Princess something-or-other.

OK, so I’m here, standing next to this nuclear power plant cooling tower in which the dance was taking place, where to? Since I had that official SLB10 website called up…let’s find that daily blog that David Abbot is doing. It’s called, The Long Walk…

I scanned his latest entry and decided to pull a slurl from it. He mentioned in passing an exhibit by Inside Art which he wrote was one of his favorite stops of a year ago and that they were here again. Good enough for me, let’s go…

Danko SLB10 Inside Art 2

I didn’t read anything about this exhibit, just saw that you can stand inside the picture and take a picture. So I did…

Danko SLB10 Inside Art 1

Guess I could crop that and make it look “real.” Maybe later.

Wandering some more. Walking, flying, TPing via the map. In no particular order. Going forward, backtracking, whatever, wherever.

I’m looking at these child’s building blocks surrounding some kind of plant…

Danko SLB10 Fruit Cream Tree

Walked away, then thought, hey, what’s inside that thing? Fruit and cream.

Danko SLB10 Fruit Cream

I’m a banana split or a fruit salad or something.

Next. I double click the world map on the Mesmerize region….and land in the Wonderful World of Meeroos, standing next to a giant Meeroo. If I had Midnight setting on, it would have seemed like I was in a horror movie, The Mutant Meeroo Meets The Steampunk Explorer. I’m not into the whole meeroo thing but hey, some of my best friends are… So just in case one of them is reading this and wants to see…

I forget how but I entered the Stupendous region and bumped into…ta-da… the Steampunk Museum. Now THAT’s what I’m  talkin’ about!

Danko SLB10 Steampunk Museum

Outside on the grounds were a hot-air balloon, a time machine (I assumed, didn’t take a close look) and a TARDIS. Inside there were a few items on display and a lot of reading to do. Since I already know what Steampunk is, I skipped the reading part and took an LM for Faversham, which I’m guessing was the sim sponsoring this exhibit.

As tempted as I was to go off and explore Faversham right away – just to escape – I decided I mustn’t be sidetracked and, like a good Doobee, I marched on, in search of more! Plus, I must have been to Faversham before, mustn’t I? Well, I tucked that LM away for later.

Back to wandering…err, exploring. Walking, Flying, TPing from the map…lots of dayglow colors and flashing lights and…well, the lag wasn’t so bad really. I guess things are improved since my last SLB a few years back. And turning down the draw distance helped. I probably didn’t know how to do that back then. K, I’ve had my fill, time to escape…

…back home to Winterfell. I think I’m done with this SLB10. Yeah. I suppose if there is going to be anything meaningful to readers of a blog article, I should publish before the bash is over so people can use the slurls or the region names or the photos to find some of these places if they’re interested. Otherwise it’ll just be a whole lot of me whining about going to this thing with no payoff to the reader. Okay. I got down to business at my writing desk in my little cabin.

This should cover me for SLBs for awhile. Maybe if both Second Life and me are still around for SLB20, I’ll try again.

Oh, btw, I didn’t get the free bear or the t-shirts. But if  somebody makes a “I survived SLB10” shirt, let me know. I’m in.

About Danko Whitfield

writer, explorer of virtual worlds. semi-retired time traveler.
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12 Responses to SLB10 – The Reluctant Tourist

  1. Wizzy says:

    my six year Retrospective is on my parcel at SL10B here:


  2. pattypoppy says:

    Well done, Danko. I can relate to this article in so many ways! Thanks for sharing. Oh! and btw, SL, Happy 10th Rez Day!!


  3. Jamie Wright says:

    Good read. So if I venture out to this I should set up the client side AO on my Singularity? Been meaning to do that anyways.


  4. I found myself nodding in agreement as I read along. On the one hand, I feel as though I ought to visit some of the exhibits. On the other hand, the lag – oh, the lag! – always puts me off. And I’m not amused by the lag-reducing tips along the lines of “Use the default duck walk and look like a bald, barefoot person wearing a system t-shirt and pants.” I find my fingers itching to hit Control-Shift-H.


  5. DJ Frenzy says:

    Can’t decide to go… I am not even 6 months old.. Feel outside of the greater community as yet.. But great post 🙂 🙂 🙂


  6. hack13 says:

    This kinda surprises me, the quality of almost everything looks opensim. Not to say that is a bad thing, just saying that it surprises me, and makes me feel that much more satisfied with opensim.


  7. Inara Pey says:

    There are some highlights scattered throughout; I personally like the Cake Stage – and you really should pay a visit to the 2-sim A’stra (live / main) stage build by Toady and Flea of Grendel’s fame. It really is well-crafted and has some amazing touches, large and small. It’s also ideal for photographing with ALM enabled. I happily spent the better part of 5 hours roaming it, post-build,pre-opening, and I’ve still not found everything hidden on, around and in it…

    That said, I have to add that I’m somewhat disappointed in many of exhibits. There are far too many which, and only with minor variations, attempt to cloak themselves as “looking back” or “retrospectives” are the same as appeared at SL9B last year (and you actually have images of one here – no. I’m not about to name it!). some either go back further than that. And if they don’t smack of the same ol, same ol, they’re frequently little more than ads for in-world businesses without hint of trying to fit the theme of the festivities.

    A good way of sorting the wheat from the chaff is to take a gander at Crap Mariner’s Brutally Honest guide:

    I don’t agree 100% with all his “green” and “blue” assessments, but I found his “yellow” and “red” assessments to be pretty spot-on – so it’s a handy way of avoiding the disappointing when Tping around.


  8. It seems appropriate to do a *Retrospective* or a *History* at an event where the theme is Looking Forward/Looking Back. While one can’t predict what one will create looking forward, one can ruminate on what one created looking back; all the while hoping that some sense of progression can be seen, and the hope that that progression will continue in originality, skill and quality of execution.


    • Inara Pey says:

      Where the effort offers a genuine retrospective, then it is worthwhile, and I never said otherwise. What I did said, however, is that sadly, a good number of exhibits don’t so much offer a retrospective as they do a feeling of, “Oh no, not again.”


  9. Doing a retrospective is one thing; rehashing the stuff one presented new somewhere and then reused elsewhere and re-reused else-elsewhere is just lazy. There’s a time and a place for retrospectives. BTW, so many people created marvelous builds specifically for SL10B. Why couldn’t some others do the same? Oh, I think I should rephrase my question: why couldn’t some others bother to do the same?


    • no it’s not. it’s a retrospective for the benefit of those who haven’t seen your work. and it’s totally appropriate for the theme.


      • Your argument is invalidated by the simple fact that in SL10B there were others who not only showed their past work, but also produced new works specifically for the event. Or, in some cases, went not only one extra mile, but quite a few and produced a new build in which they incorporated their old work (or part of it).


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