Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Journeys Across the SL14B: Dragon Island and the Stages

By Bixyl Shuftan

From Sunday June 18 to Sunday June 25, the main event to celebrate Second Life's fourteenth anniversary, the Second Life Fourteenth Birthday, also known as the SL14B, is taking place. The event has had it's drawbacks, notably the lag caused by all those avatars dropping in (and whatever they're carrying) which drives some residents to visit only after Midnight, or the few days after the official closing in which the sims are left up. And some communities don't bother with exhibits, either to concentrate on the Relay for Life or for some other reason.

But despite the troubles "The Birthday" has always been popular. When Linden Lab announced in 2012 that they would no longer be organizing another Second Life Birthday event, following the initial shock some residents stepped forward to try and organize one of their own, and have continued to do so since to this fifth resident-run SLB event in a row (SL3B was organized by the residents but the Lab contributed several sims).

There was too much to see everything in the first few days, but I could get some peeks around.

 The official entrance is at SL14B Impressive (96/122/80), which is called Dragon Mountain."Here Be Dragons," says the sign, and there certainly are.

There's one dragon standing atop the mountain, breathing fire.

There are also flyable dragons you can hop on and ride.

The mountain had a welcome center.

 And inside one could find teleports to various places on the SLB grounds.

 Ever get the feeling you're being watched?

The SL12B had a noted train build. The train for this one however was off the rails.

And the mountain had a balloon one could get on.

However, it landed on the road where the air bag vanished and the basket turned into a pod.

Leaving me to go about the exhibits.

 On Press Day, I had some trouble getting in. But it was taken care of by Doc Gascoigne. I waited a while for a tour, as every year before there had been one. But when I finally asked, I was told there would be none, later told that from their point of view the writers and bloggers had been going their own way rather than take one. But Treacle Darlandes

 The biggest structure at the Birthday grounds is the Cake Stage. Once again, it has been designed and made by Mikati Slade. She has been the "Baker" four times in the past six years.

 As a build, "The Cake" is massive, taking up four sims.

The build looked different in ways from Mikati's previous stages, but still retained her style.

 "I think more each year, it looks really fab," Terrace commented.

The reason the Cake Stage is so big is so that larger numbers of people can listen to a single performer in the four corners where the sims meet.

In theory, over thirty can dance in each sim for an audience of over 120.

Treacle next took me to the Live Stage at , SL14 Incredible, "I like this build its quite an urban feel."

There were some people nearby who soon came out on stage.

Treacle told me, "These nice folks are stage staff and greeters."

I also noticed some "soap bubbles" which floated around, and were still around when I checked the place later during events.

Next she took me to the DJ Stage, in SL14B Astonish. It resembled a fancy top hat.

Getting up there meant going up a ribbon, of which where you stepped a hexagon would briefly glow, leaving a trail as you went up.

 Near the stage were a few small amusement part attractions.

I would later drop by here during an event (note, my appearance then was due to a Relay "Bid Me" event).

 Next was "Stage Left" at SL14 Stupendous and Mesmerize.

 This enormous build resembles a Chinese lion sculpture, though with three heads, which move around, and occasionally puff smoke. It was build by Faust Steamer, "This is the 3rd year this builder has been at SLB I think. or maybe four."

It's a little unnerving when one looks down at you, as if contemplating having you for lunch, in a bad way.

There was quite a bit of detail.

Sitting on top of the lion is the stage.

Which was where the parties were held, the performers just in front of the curtain in the back.

That's it for now from the SL14B. Stay tuned for more pictures, of the "Max Mystery Land," the resident exhibits, and more.

Bixyl Shuftan

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