Second Life beckons you onward to the virtual seas and beyond….
The Third Annual Gathering of Second Life’s Steamland Navies took to the virtual waters at Winterfell this week, November 13-19th.
The events varied from a shipbuilders’ exhibit, submarine and windjammer races, epic ironclad and tall ship battles, and a uniform ballroom dance, as well as other activities. The Fleet Week organizer was Oriella Charik. I thought the best way to start this blog on Steampunk in Second Life was to jump right into one of the major annual festivities. I brought along some friends, Phusion, Belinda Barnes and Kara Trapdoor, to explore the shipyard and activities. Second Life is an interactive, immersive environment, ideal for exploration. As a social platform, SL is a perfect fit for experimentation and reinvention of times gone by.
This particular gathering, Fleet Week, is held in a virtual world where the residents are the creators; thus all are inventors to some degree. The SL shipbuilders paid careful attention to details, attempting a sense of authenticity, borrowing ideas from the Age of Sails and the Age of Steam, and adding some imagination in the mix from The Age That Never Was.
The ships were docked at piers and wharves of Winterfell Absinthe and Winterfell Laudanum, with the best awarded trophies. Residents were asked to vote for their favorites. The Bright Star Gallery hosted an exhibit of naval themed photography. The opening ceremonies included Dancing Around The Fleet at En Garden Island in Winterfell, which was also the headquarters for the week’s activities.
The Epic Battles on the Virtual Waters
The Iron Melee was one of the highlights of the week, taking place Thursday November 17th, and described by the organizers as an “epic naval skirmish….slugging it out on the open ocean.” The final battle was between the Caledon and the NT Stingray. The battlefield comprised an expansive area, encompassing two sims, Winterfell Undertow and Winterfell Libris. Charik narrated the Fleet Races’ chat to the onlookers.
Charik noted, “It is ONE NT Stingray against the hefty Caledon ship!”
Gabrielle Riel (Gabi), Admiral of Les Corsaires from New Toulouse, was the driver behind the Ironclad “Stingray.” The NT Stingray was designed by Loken Jewell and scripted by Sidney Arctor.
A number of people among the Winterfell crowd cheered for the Admiral.
“Go Gabi! Go Gabi!” several of those in the audience shouted in chat.
Charik announces, “The Grand Winner is Caledon.”
The Caledon was impressive, but the crowd appreciated the extraordinary performance of the Stingray, a smaller vessel.
Litta Nightfire, like so many others, stunned by the Stingray’s performance, exclaimed, “Were you guys able to see that? Gabi was amazing!”
As one of the Fleet Week’s organizers, Cee Edman reminded the audience to attend the award ceremony to be held on Saturday, November 19th. Edman thanked everyone for coming out for the show, saying, “It has been an honor to have so many of you come to see our little show. I’m so glad it was an interesting — yea, exciting – event. And I do think that our brave Gabi will get more than a drink as Honorable Mention.”
Nathaniel Lorefield states, “This means we shall have to begin designing for next year. We certainly have the capability.”
Edman announced, “As for the Caledoon crew, I congratulate them. They did a nice job of reducing their power for the event. If you’d like to see their ships in full regalia and power, there are two examples in the display along the channel in Winterfell Eventide. Again, congratulations to all the winners, and all the losers. You all put on a great show for us.”
Jedburgh30 Dagger asks, “Where to now, oh my brave crew?”
Week’s Wrap Up
Some of the concluding events were Friday’s Fleet Review, the Steamlands’ Navies sporting their finest regalia in the open waters to nearby audiences along the shore, and the New Toulouse Ball in the Winterfell Embassy followed.
The final day events, Saturday, November 19, included the Windjammer Race and Submarine Race. The nautical themed Uniform Ball wrapped up the week’s activities at Piermont Landing in New Babbage with an award ceremony and dance.
For now, back to my virtual world.
Soni, reporting from Second Life -:)