Friday, June 18, 2010

"History is the Ship…"

Buccaneer Bowl XVIII

In June, the monthly Buccaneer Bowl team based trivia contest followed only a few week's after May's event, but as always was fabulously run by Lillian Shippe, Lette Ponnier, and Thornton Writer, and had $10,000L up for grabs for Second Life's trivia all-stars. Although the Buccaneer Bowl has its own momentum in the SL trivia community and is well established, please excuse me a brief description: where most trivia events in Second Life are every-avatar-for-themselves, the Buccaneer Bowl is based on teams of three or four avatars working together to get the highest scores…and the biggest share of the $10,000L prize pot on the line every month.

Frivolous Corsairs in June: Lebn Bucyk, Rain Ninetails, and Your Humble Author

The Buccaneer Bowl is divided into five rounds of five questions each: these are free-for-alls: the host asks a question, and all players try to get their answers in ahead of everyone else…oh, and they also try to get those answers right. The first three correct respondents score points (and money!) for their teams, and the team with the highest accumulated score at the end of each round gets to compete alone in a tougher type of bonus question that can add even more money to their collective total. The total prize money onhand for the Bowls is $10,000L, and the way the rules work out a single team could lock down as much as $4,000L of that: on a four-person team, that's $1,000L each, which isn't bad for an hour-and-a-half's trivia-playing in Second Life! However, more important than the Lindens is the bragging rights: you win the Buccaneer Bowl, you've got some serious mojo in the SL trivia community for a month!

Since the inception of the Buccaneer Bowl, I've been playing with the Frivolous Corsairs as much as possible: we're one of the founding teams of the Bowl and are very pleased to continue supporting it. Our original members are me, Rain Ninetails, Nia Jinx—we can't always pull the whole original team together, but we have always been very pleased to have Special Guest Star Corsairs™ on our side on several occasions! And for June, we managed to field three of our four original players…and we did great! The Corsairs managed a second place finish (yow!), with the many-times Buccaneer Bowl champs Triviators earning another well-deserved victory overall. The Triviators aren't unstoppable—although they did manage to win even when I was there to hinder them from within—but they sure set a high standard, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Following up on last month's adorable shot of Rain and Shale Nightfire as...the most underfoot avatars at the Buccaneer Bowl, I offer another shot of Shale and Rain from this month:

Small is cute: Shale Nightfire and Rain Ninetails at Buccaneer Bowl XVIII

Shale and Rain can run around my ankles anytime. I wish I'd managed to get a screengrab of the now-rarely-seen Maelstrom Janus (an original member of the Trumpton Trivials) with them: he was running around as a bear for the Bowl, and was right next to Rain and Shale for a minute: I just didn't get my camera in gear.

Just Married

I gather folks have been forming online romantic relationships in Second Life since about 10 minutes after the grid first came online. Although it's not part of my personal Second Life, I think I can understand how it happens: SL is full of smart, interesting people, and there can be something strangly compelling about being in the same virtual space with other avatars: rather than just being names on a screen, the can express themselves through actions, dress, and their environments. So it's not surprising some folks make very personal connections in SL.

The happy couple: December MacIntyre and Piaget Hax

Last week I was pleased to be able to help celebrate the virtual wedding of my friend Piaget Hax to December MacIntyre. Pia is one of those folks I probably would never have met in real life, but who I've greatly enjoyed getting to know in SL. His experience of Second Life is almost entirely different than mine: he participates in an ongoing role-playing group with apparently very-elaborate stories and events, makes and exhibits fractal art (which—oddly enough—is narrative, rather than merely collections of pretty pixels), participates in other virtual worlds (like EVE), and shares music with me that I probably wouldn't stumble across on my own. I actually met Pia at a music event—an inworld performance duo called Alchemy Unplugged, if I remember—and we've talked and pal'd about a little bit: I recently TP'd him to see a sky-maze a friend is building for fun.

Although I've yet to make it to an actual Second Life wedding ceremony—either they happen when I can't be there or take place in areas I cannot go—I was thrilled to be able to share in a little of Pia and December's celebration. I know their relationship has extended beyond SL—Internet technologies let things like that happen!—and I've never seen Pia happier. It says an awful lot that Second Life can have that kind of positive impact on peoples' real lives.

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