Friday, February 7, 2014

Gone Daddy Gone

"Beautiful girl lovely dress
Where she is now I can only guess"
Violent Femmes, 'Gone Daddy Gone'
One of the most difficult parts of getting the list together has not been the sims to visit, but sorting out the ones that are no longer there. I managed to slip back by VWRT Central, and while I was sorting out the mail and trying to find where they stashed the coffee filters, I caught a hint of a familiar sound coming from the back of the office. It was the barely audible sound of keening angst (hey, I have RL teens.  I KNOW what that sounds like) emanating from the intern’s desk. There under a mound of paper I found our resolute student laborer hammering away at a spreadsheet with a highlighter while madly flipping pages in an atlas. After a quick trip to the chocolate stash for a suitable dosage, I was able to determine the issue after a few minutes. She finally handed me the working sheet of locations, and I noticed that there was quite a bit of pink marker on it where I hadn’t expected there to be.

I know, the VWRT is supposed to be about destinations. It will be, as soon as I get this off my chest. Second Life is by its very nature transient and volatile on one hand. Things are there, and then disappear. When I got the original Adventure Brigade list, it already had some missing sims by the time it went into distribution. Given the state of the economy, and all else in the world, it is to be expected. I may put the Gone list up after a bit just in case some of the businesses have moved and I haven’t heard where. The trip continues…

Friday, January 10, 2014

Destination Titanic

RMS Titanic at Port (Titanic 126,192,33)

Timeframe: Edwardian (Modern)
Access to Visitors: Open
Character Tags/Titles/HUDs: No tags
Avatar Restrictions: Extended
·         No child avatars
·         Only human avatars
·         Formal wear only in certain areas of the ship

The staffroom at VWRT Central was abuzz with chatter. The question at hand was which sim on the list should be covered first from the list that had been compiled over the last few weeks. Finally it was decided to visit the recreated RMS Titanic, so we dressed up one of our staffers and sent her on her way.

(The running joke was that if the project doesn’t work out well, the Titanic may be a role model)

There are 3 main areas in the sim once you arrive, the docks, the ship itself, and the memorial to the people who were killed onboard. The docks area has a stage, a dance  floor, and several clothing shops selling modern clothing. The teleporter to the memorial is near the forward gangway of the ship.

There are several signs and greeters that will inform you of the sim rules. Onboard the ship the dress code is enforced as formal in the ballroom and aft sections of the ship.

The ship itself is the length of the sim and there are lots of places to explore and see while you are onboard. There are additional shops inside the ship as well, primarily selling formal wear.

There are a few things that came to light during the visit. For starters, the sim is not primarily an RP venue, and is not currently locked in the period time frame, so keep that in mind. While it may be possible to conduct some low-key RP onboard, remember that this is a working club and music venue. Also it is not a strict historical sim, so expect to see some modern clothing. The overall feel of the build and the look of the infrastructure is looking a little dated. That is not intended to take away anything from the overall experience, but building state of the art has progressed and some of the areas could do with a touch of TLC and updating.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Things to know before you go

One thing I did find out when I began working on the list is that several of the sims in question are dedicated roleplaying sims, and as such have rules for visitors. Others may not be as restrictive on one hand, but may have other rules that would be good to know before you get there.

I will also give the following information on any of the places the VRT staff visits...

  • Access to Visitors
    • Open - Anyone can come and go as they please
    • Restricted - Must go through greeter area or some restriction to access sim
    • Limited - Must wear tag or more to enter
  • Character Tags/Titles/HUDs
    • No tags - Visitors can freely mingle with residents
    • Yes - Visitors must wear titler/damage HUD in the sim
    • Yes-OC - Visitors 'fresh off the boat' must wear Out of Character tag/Visitor tag
  • Avatar Restrictions
    • None - Any type avatar, any era of dress
    • Limited - Recommended dress code or avatar restrictions 
    • Extended - Enforced dress code or avatar restrictions with broader scope
    • Strict - Enforced dress code or avatar restrictions with narrow scope

Plus, we will endeavor to point out where the visitor information is located, point out a few things worth seeing, and other tidbits of information that seem worthwhile of passing on.

After passing the idea around a few friends, we will also add the maturity rating of the sim, and if there are any Adult themes or things of that nature.  I will also make sure the staff mentions anything else relevant along those lines...

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Timeframes and Eras

Because we will be dealing with lots of different time frames, I made a short list of eras...some of you will know or understand what the different names mean, but I wanted to make a working list just so we're all on the same page. This is a working list because it will be subject to addition, amendment, and editing as we go on...

(Just to head off any pitchfork and torch mobs, I self-associate with both of the initially listed "*punk" genres, so please, please do not get all bunched up over my descriptions)

  • Steampunk    
    • late 1800s typically, normally showing an influence from science-fiction
  • Dieselpunk    
    • Typically 1920s-1940s
    • Influenced by science-fiction/pulp novel/film noir
  •  'Lovecraftian' or HPL
    • Typically late Victorian to 1920s, based on the associated literary works of H.P. Lovecraft and others.
  • Georgian Era
    • 1714-1830 (Era of the American Revolution 1775-1781)
  • Regency Era  
    • 1811-1820
  • Napoleonic Era 
    • 1799–1815
  • Victorian Era    
    • 1837-1901
  • Edwardian Era    
    • 1901-1914 
  • Art Noveau
    • 1890-1910
  • Belle Époque    
    • 1890-1911
  • Gilded Age
    • 1870-1900
  • Art Deco    
    • 1920-1940s
  • Fur Trade or 'Mountain Man' Era    
    • 1803-1840
  • US Civil War    
    • 1861-1865
  • Old West    
    • 1865-1912
There is, as you can see, a bit of overlap on the historical periods. Hopefully this will get you in the ballpark as far as the clothing and material culture goes for the places being visited.

In the beginning..

Welcome to Day 1 of the roadtrip. The genesis of this started last fall when a group I belong to in Second Life posted a list of vintage/adventure sims.  I made a few visits and found out several things very quickly...some of the landmarks were out of date, some of them were no longer valid, some were no longer themed the same, and some required the visitor to jump a few hoops to get in.

After discussing my trials and tribulations with the list a friend gave me an idea that I have just now seized upon and brought to light. Since I have been living a digital Steampunk existence for several years now I felt it was very fitting to produce my own travelogue to assist any and all interested parties. Without dropping the names of their real-life counterparts, I plan on making a travel guide for "the list" that I have, with pertinent information to assist the traveler in getting there, fitting in, and making sure that the local customs are observed.  (In other words, do you need to shop for period-correct clothes, do you need a visitor tag, do you need to change avatars, etc). I will also be sneaking out of Linden Land and exploring a few spots in Inworldz and OSgrid.

I have also assembled (or press-ganged, dragooned, conscripted, bribed, cajoled, and threatened) a crack team of explorers to assist me in this endeavor so as to get the best possible perspectives. There are a lot of spots just waiting to be seen, so let's get on the road!