Well I didn’t win the Papillon photo contest, but I never expected I would. The winners had flutters that were at least twice the point rating value as mine and well deserved the prizes. I’m really glad I participated though and I hope to enter more photo contests at it gave me a reason to try my hand at a new things, much like this blog project has.
I was telling a friend the other night how proud I was of myself and my pictures and that perhaps I have a creative side somewhere in me after all. After he finished laughing at me, he pointed how I’ve been creating characters and writing stories for them for years. Duh! I guess that IS creative isn’t it? It’s just that this new blog, the people I’m meeting, the things I’m doing are really tapping into a sense of creativity that I never really explored before.
That is a big part of why I wanted to attend Burn2, not just as an item on the SL bucket list, but to see if I could be inspired, find my mojo again.
If you aren’t familiar with Burn2, think of RL Burning Man festival and then imagine a world where anyone can be, do or create anything and you’ll be close. You can read more about it on their website, including the lives stream and the schedule of events. http://www.burn2.org/
It’s important to note that Burn2 is NOT a Linden Lab supported event. It is entirely resident driven which to me makes it an even bigger statement about who and what we are as SL residents. It also means donations are welcome and appreciated.
I read one comment somewhere that compared Burn2 to walking around the mainland. I think that was meant as an insult? I’m not sure, but I have to say there is some merit to the comparison as you can ride a giant tricycle past an abstract object d’art next to a meditation tent next to a towering elephant statue next to an outhouse but that’s the best part! Each individual camp or build may or may not appeal to you, some I admit I cocked my head stared for a while and still didn’t get it, but as a whole these four sims provide a remarkable display of what and who SL residents are.
It is, as should be expected, laggy. I would recommend finding a good central place to stand or dance and camming around. You can also explore the sims using the hot air balloon guided tour or rez one of the many vehicles provided. The only “complaint” I might have had is that it was difficult for me to photograph individual builds that I wanted to show you because of the proximity, but this was one of my favorites.
If you are going to attend Burn2 you need to do more than just look at builds though, you really need to partake in some of the events in order to get the full experience. Experience. Hmmm. You know, that’s the perfect word for Burn2 and it seems like a simple enough word right? It’s quite telling though if you think about it. Although there are many things to do, and many of the displays are interactive, you don’t “play” Burn2 anymore than you “play” Second Life. You experience it, at least I do.
I had the pleasure both nights I’ve attended to catch the lamp lighting procession and subsequent drum ceremony. It was breath taking. If your stream is on, and I highly recommend it, you can also hear the music coming from the various stages, everything from DJ’s to live music.
As I was walking around on Monday the stream changed and I heard this husky sounding guy and a guitar. I was intrigued so I investigated it. I came into tent to see none other than Gypsy Quixote. An odd coincidence to be sure as I follow Gypsy on Twitter, not because he’s a performer, but just because I find him interesting. I’d never heard him perform before and was blown away. I took this picture of him and I’m including one of his videos if you’ve never heard him.
I had so much fun Monday that I returned on Tuesday and this time I managed to drag out a few friends. There is something positively comical about flying in a hot air balloon with a Gorean Assassin. After he left I continued to explore and saw a group of dancers with fire batons. As I approached the stream changed once again and I was immersed in a world of electronic trance music. The music along with the dancing and costumes and being in a desert at midnight surrounded by these surreal builds was just too much fun. Again I had to drag a few more friends out of Gor to join me. They said the needed a moment to change and I had to laugh, because if there is one thing there isn’t at Burn2, it’s a dress code. I have seen every kind of avatar I could imagine and then some.
The group that was having this event were called the Happy Clams and I have to say they were probably the friendliest most welcoming group I’ve ever met in all my years in SL. I definitely plan to return a few more times this week and I’m fortunate that they gave me a LM and a group invite so I can keep up with them after Burn2 is over.
In preparing this blog post and looking at the Burn2 website something caught my eye. The theme this year was “Rites of Passage” which I guess I had noticed but hadn’t really thought much about, not until I read the description.
There are moments of crisis and frisson in our lives which inform us that we’ve somehow crossed an inner threshold and are changed. Thus moving from one state of being into an unknown other obliges us to face our innermost insecurities, and it requires faith, a willingness to leap off the ladder of ordered existence. Our theme this year invites participants to join with others in creating rites of passage.
I don’t think I could have come up with a more fitting tie in to my renoobed project or my feelings about my time at Burn2 if I tried.
You have a few days left to come check it out and I hope you have as much fun as I did.