Monday, December 26, 2016

Scenes From The "Jolly Holiday Crawl" And The Linden Snowball Fight

By Bixyl Shuftan

On Monday December 19, Second Life had it's "Jolly Holiday Crawl" followed by the Linden Snowball Fight. The event was organized by Linden Lab, and had a number of Lindens taking part. This was the virtual equivalent of a bar crawl, in which people spend a little time at a pub then head to another one on their list. But instead of bars, the people would go to noted places in the virtual world.

The idea of an inworld venue crawl got started last year with the 2015 "Creepy Crawl" on Halloween. The event was so popular, the Lidens organized another this year, and decided to follow up with a Christmas-themed one. This would be a shorter crawl, with just four stops in a two hour period. It was probably just as well, as some residents were itching to toss a snowball at Linden Lab's finest.

The event started at 10 AM Second Life time at the Arctic Express at Moonlight Sonata (197/141/23). Unfortunately, I didn't get there early enough, and found myself with a few others in the adjacent sim trying to teleport over every so often. After several minutes, I gave up and headed to the next stop on the list.

Kate's Whirl was the second stop of the Holiday Crawl. Located at Luscious (205/53/11/), the most noticeable part of the place was a brick and iron bar maze.

Already the place was filling up, even though I was twenty minutes early. The crawl was attracting quite a number of people. One commented, "Do pardon if I bump anyone I'm lagging, plus I derendered a ton of stuff."

 Xiola Linden soon arrived.

Not far behind was Warp Linden.

Whitney Linden demonstrated even Linden Lab's finest go Away From Keyboard.

 Next was the Winter Ice Christmas Festival 2016 in Rebel Yell Concerts (49/62/27/).

 It took a considerable amount of time for the avatars to rezz, but the scenery was pretty.

The final stop in the Holiday Crawl was Frisland at Liebe (192/152/22/)

The lag was less of a problem here than in the last place.

Torley Linden was there in his off-duty account, complete with trademark watermelon colors. He described the thing on her head as a roast beast which was a reindeer crossing the road that ended up freezing at the sight of oncoming headlights.

Zig Linden looked like a "Transformer" or a "Robotech" fighter, or with his name, perhaps a fighter from "Zero Wing," the poorly translated Japanese game that led to  "All Your Base." Actually, Zig did admit, "That's where the name came from," but, "I'm less of a fan of the game and more of a fan of the video." Did anyone ever ask him to "Move Zig?" His response, "It happens from time to time."

Tommy Linden tries a Santa look, but it was reminding me more of the Red Spy in "Team Fortress 2."

Noted resident Loki Elliot was also there.

Xiola Linden soon rezzed, but Steeltoe Linden remained steel gray.

 Finally as 12 Noon approached, it was time for the event we were all waiting for, the Linden Snowball Fight. But I made the mistake of using an old Portal Park LM.

 So I checked the Newser for the SURL at Portal Park 1 (175/118/52)

Heading to the portal to Winter Wonderland.

Getting to the snowball arena involved getting through some scenery.

I forget who this Linden is, only that he was one.

There were a few sights on the way to the "freeze-for-all."

To get the weapon hud, one had to click on the display at the glass case. Then a HUD would appear. For most players, they had a choice between a snow rifle with a high rate of fire, or a kind of pistol that produced snowballs that would knock someone in the air for a bit but had a five second recharge. naturally most chose the second option. The Premium players, and presumably the Lindens, also had the option of a "snowzooka" which fired snowballs that could trap someone for a few seconds.

Unfortunately I ended up crashing after just a few minutes of snowball scrapping and lost my gun. But rather than go and get another HUD, I went to the tallest spot in the place and took pictures.

The avatars of all kinds showed up, such as this centaur.

Marianne Mccanne was there, with her snowzooka.

Squishy Mole coming back down after a snowball threw her into the air.

Keira Linden's hands in the air looked confusing at first. Was she giving up?

Not exactly ...

 She had taken a seat onto the Loch Ness Monster, "It Liiiivvessssssss ..."

 This guy was prepared to sleep it off if he got knocked out.

Rider Linden, with his steampunk look and hovering sled, enters the fray.

Bianca, Dee, and Xiola Linden bunch up with Torley in a ditch, Xiola shouting, "Could we make it any easier? There is a nice, whole, pocket of sitting ducks, er, Lindens, over here!"

As expected, they got a number of snowballs tossed their way, and broke up. Xiola earlier commented she didn't mind the snowballs too much as it gave her a chance to enjoy the view from above. But still, there was one person she felt overdid it earlier, "Where is Marianne? I owe her from last time! ... ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO LINDEN!"

Shimmy Mole gets caught in a Snowzooka's trap. Kona Linden tries somersaults to dodge the snowballs.

This guy coming down spread out after being hit. No sign of it slowing him down.

Magic Mole in a tiny avatar, of which one guy commented, "These Lindens are cheating, they made themselves smaller."

Or maybe he was talking about Derrick Linden, who was in a small avatar of his own.

Quartz Mole and Kona Linden survey the situation.

There were a few residents whom were "jellydolled," even though I had set my Firestorm to the max in avatar rendering. Even the most decorative avatar designer in my virtual community doesn't have this problem with me.

At 1PM SL time, fireworks went off around the arena. It didn't really stop the action, but for those whose computers could handle it, it was a nice sight.

I never did see the end of the "Snowball Showdown," but no doubt the fun went on for a while. For those interested in a snow battle of their own, the arena should be up there all winter.

It was a fun event in Second Life

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, December 9, 2016

Bay City's Tree Lighting Party

By Bixyl Shuftan

On Saturday December 3, Bay City held it's annual Tree Lighting party. The event ran from 1 to 4PM SL time in the Bay City Fairgrounds in the North Channel sim. For locals and visitors alike, it was a chance to have a little Christmas fun, and perhaps donate a little to charity.

For the first hour, the music was provided by DJ Gospeed Racer. About the time I arrived was when Christov Kohnke was singing while playing his guitar. Third was Zachh Cale, who did his singing while his fingers went across his electronic keyboard. Next to the stage where they played were a bunch of Christmas presents, whixh prompted someone to joke,"Are all those presents on the stage for ME?"

While some people just danced where they stood or with a partner, "Joining in with the cool guy dance." "(laughter) or the sad dad dance," most went into the circular conga line, which has been a part of most Bay City parties in the Fairgrounds, going around and around. Even April Linden, whom has been dropping by Bay City events for a while, got into the act. "Christmas is my favorite time of year in SL each year," the furry Linden told everyone. Someone was dancing while having their pet sheep still at their side. "Why wouldn't there be a bunch of sheep in the conga line?" April mused when others brought it up. Other personalities showing up included Kenny Luckless and Pygar Bu.

There also a newcomer to Second Life in the audience, "This is my friend Foomf," Kain Scalia (Maus Merryjest) told me, "I finally corrupted hi-er, convinced him to join Second Life today." Foomf commented, "Yes, it's all Mausie's fault." Kain retorted, "It is *always my fault*." Not everyone was dancing. One upright chimpanzee dressed in a Christmas outfit had a tree over his shoulder, "I'm really impressed you've been able to carry that tree around for the last couple of hours," he was told.

There were a couple kiosks on stage to dontate to the Child's Play charity, "Please take the time to donate to the kiosks either side of the stage - Bay City is raising funds for Child's Play - a charity who provide toys and games to children in hospitals and shelters - a wonderful charity indeed." When Zachh was playing, a friend of his pointed out to the crowd, "You may notice too that Zachh does NOT have a tip board out - he has asked that you donate to the charity please."

Besides the party, there was also a "silent auction," with a number of items up for bid. ( "I think Anthony is just shocked by the bidding on the train," Marianne Mccann, mused. One guy responded, "I like the train.  I like trains in general." The auction was already over 49,000 Lindens when I arrived.

Eventually, it was time for the main event, Marianne McCann announcing, "Who's ready to see the tree light up?" And a number of people answered yes. And so the lights on the tree as well as the star lit up, with a few fireworks going off. Besides the lights, there were a number of ornaments on it, Marianne saying, "(the) ornaments were all donated by Bay City residents." One resident mused, "I somehow expected a fire." Someone else joked back, "That's Burning Man Christmas you are thinking about."

When the event ended at 4PM, so did the Silent Auction, which raised thousands. Among the items was a "Singularity of Kumiko arcade game" sold to Artistik Oluja with a final bid of 10,000L. Marianne announced that the Childs' Play kiosks would be staying up for further donations.

And so, the Bay City Tree Lighting was over. But it won't be much longer until the next big party here. On New Years Eve, Bay City has their annual "Prim Drop," when a giant prim goes down a pole at one minute to Midnight.

Bixyl Shuftan