It may well have all started with a cube, but today started with a cake. The Cake. The big stage right at the heart of things and (as you may recall from yesterday) a source of terror if you’re me. While I did have a few chances to look around while people were setting up, the only time I saw it up close in person was before it had been finished, so this was my first chance to see where I’d be getting my pre-show nerves on Thursday.
It’s gorgeous. Walking up the ramp and in and around and up into the performance area is a treat, so don’t do what I did during setup and just teleport straight in. Enjoy the journey as much as the destination – which is, really, what this whole walking tour is about. For all its imposing nature from outside, the performance area is a very comfortable space and I have to admit that I felt a lot better about things as I made my exit. In fact I was so relaxed that I missed the ramp back down and took a short cut to ground level, landing in a field of icing at the base. I bet there’s an important lesson in there somewhere!
From there, I struck out into Electrify, where I passed an impressive-looking group at the Avatar Evolution exhibit, and on to a celebration of role playing in SL, put together by AineMarie Flanagan. Just north was Antiquity’s place, but to my right was The Cornfield. My route was going to take me there soon enough, but I couldn’t help but stop and take a look at what until this week was a place that I would only ever hear about.
My next stop, though, was The Eternal Present, where I couldn’t resist taking a blessing and some words of wisdom from the All-Mother. “Be still and wait;” she said, “do not try to hurry things up.”
I didn’t have much choice but to press on, though, since today had me facing a challenge to finish my route before the sims were restarted. The Broother was next, an art installation by Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu, where I lingered for a moment to enjoy a little peace among the long grass before discovering The Invasion of the Space Dinosaurs. They had a rocket-car ride and yes, I… um… tested it. Yes, that’s it: tested. Very seriously. I certainly didn’t shout “Wheeee!” or anything like that. Oh no. Ahem.
Mindless hedonism gave way to culture again, with another art stop at the Artists for SL communal gallery (where my wallet breathed a sigh of relief that there weren’t any vendors) and a solid dose of humility with regard to my own efforts at photography. But the last stop in this sim was one I’d been looking forward to since I got the tip that it had been allowed to return…
I have no shame in admitting that the History of Invisiprims is, of all the things I’ve seen in SL, one of my all-time favourites. Even the image in the parcel information box makes me laugh. The whole thing started as a joke last year, but it’s been updated to mesh and brought back in triumph, complete with a new star exhibit (which I treated with appropriate reverence). This is where the All-Mother’s advice came back to bite me, as I must have overshot the mark for my photograph about half a dozen times before I got it right. Enthusiasm’s a killer sometimes.
And all that brought me to The Cornfield. A lot’s been written about it, and I’ve no doubt that a lot more will come from this reappearance, but it was pretty cool to be able to step into something that is, basically, nearly mythological in some respects: a lost land, former prison, an iconic part of a time in SL’s history. I wandered, I watched a little improving TV, and I was rather glad to be able to leave when I wanted to and head up into Stupendous.
I’ve seen a lot of bears so far, and quite a lot of cake, but Sparkle Bear’s Cake Party took the two and went all-out. Time was starting to dwindle, though (note to self: allow an extra half-hour tomorrow), so a brief stop at the 2Lei installation and on to Culture and Fun before a visit to Acheron Atlantique’s exhibit about the joys of learning French through SL. My French is more rust than structure these days, so I might just have to try a visit there to see if I can give it a much-needed brush-up.
And that brought me to Berthold’s Steampunk Museum, at the corner of Stupendous and tomorrow’s triumvirate of Mesmerize, Exhilarate and Captivate. It was my first day right in the thick of full exhibitor sims and marks the halfway point in terms of ground covered for the week since I’ve now covered eleven of the twenty-two sims. Roll on the next eleven!
This is a hunt, and you’re looking for one (or more) of these. They’ll be somewhere on the route but even I don’t know exactly where you’ll find them so there’s no point asking me for hints. Explore! Have fun! Live a little!
If you’re joining us late, you can catch up with the whole thing here.