Thursday, October 29, 2009

Two Bucc Chuck

I've been remiss in keeping up with the Second Life trivia scene—partly because I'm spending less time in-world, but mostly because I'm spending that time wrapping up projects and "doing work" rather than hanging out with friends and having fun. But I definitely want to highlight the most recent Buccaneer Bowls, the team-based trivia events that are the highlight of the Second Life trivia scene every month.

For folks who don't know, the Buccaneer Bowls are played by up to ten teams of three to four players each, rather than being a free-for-all like most open-chat trivia games. There are five rounds of five questions each, with the first three correct answers scoring points for their teams. At the end of each round, the team that scored the most points is eligible for a bonus question: if they get the bonus, the team gets more money, but if they lose the money is distributed to other teams that placed in the round. And the money is pretty substantial in Second Life terms: $10,000L is up for grabs in the game. That's only about $40 CAN, but it's enough to ensure the top trivia players all show up if they can. (Plus, as teams, they can gang up on each other! Rumble!) But even with the fierce competition, no one has to go home empty-handed: in an effort to keep lag down, avatars with an Avatar Rendering Cost (ARC) under 500 get $100L just for showing up (ARCs under 1000 get $50L).

The Buccaneer Bowls have been running since January 2009, with Lette Ponnier, Lillian Shippe, and Thornton Writer ably running the ship, herding the cats, doing all the logistics, writing the questions, plus conducting and scoring the games. The ninth and tenth Bowls took place in September and October, respectively—and they took place at a location near and dear to my heart, Jez+Sinn+Mandy's club [MonoChrome], where I host my Lou's Clues trivia game most weeks. The September Bowl was held in the Club proper because of a last-minute snafu with the planned venue: Jez volunteered the club when the planned location turned out not to be available. And it worked out pretty well–lag didn't seem to be much of a problem, so the Bowl came back to [MonoChrome] in October…although for October there was time to roll out a schooner (supplied by Karmel Kips, I believe) for the Bowl's nautical theme.

The Frivolous Corsairs in September:
me, Olmstead Fanshaw, and Rain Ninetails

During October, the Frivolous Corsairs fielded a team of three: me, captain Rain Ninetails, and special guest star trivia giant Olmstead Fanshaw. Unfortunately, Olms wound up carrying the weight (I was almost useless with a migraine) but we still managed to tie for a fourth place finish out of eight teams. The almost-unstoppable (but very deserving) Triviators strode away with the month's crown.

Frivolous Corsairs in October:
me, Rain Ninetails, Glimmer Mattercaster, and Lebn Bucyk

In October, the Frivolous Corsairs fielded a team of four: me, captain Rain Ninetails, trivia titan (and original Corsair!) Lebn Bucyk, and rising star Glimmer Mattercaster. And we did pretty well, managing third place out of (I think) nine teams again—BoomFireCirceSchism managed to come out on top as the champions for the month. It sort of seems to be the Corsairs' fate to be second fiddle when we do well: I think we've landed in second place three or four times, and we actually had a real shot at coming in first this month…at least, until I biffed a tie-breaker for the last bonus question.

Nonetheless, a fabulous time was had by all, and I'm already looking forward the next (the 11th!) Buccaneer Bowl! What's sort of amazing about these things is now everyone is on their best behavior, and while there are lots of japes and jibes and snarky comments, they're all made in good humor and everyone works to make the events a success. And of course, a tremendous thank-you to Thorn, Lette, and Lillian for putting these events on every month, and keeping the bar for quality and fun so high. Huzzah!

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