Monday, February 28, 2011

No Colors Anymore

It's the end of an era—at least for me. Second Life's [MonoChrome] has closed down.

Sitting with Jez at the cleared-out [MonoChrome]

Jez Oh conceived [MonoChrome] as a direct response to the typical SL "club." Most music and event venues in Second Life are tricked out with garish colors, animated doo-dads, things that shoot particles every which way, stuff that take forever to load, gizmos that chatter and nag at you in text or pops up dialogs on your screen…and everywhere bling bling bling. [MonoChrome] had none of that. [MonoChrome] was more of a warehouse basement that the local band used as a rehearsal space…but all the kids hung out and played music when the band wasn't around, then decided to "fix it up" as a real hangout. Posters up on the wall, games spread around, some lights, a plant or two, some nice furniture—but otherwise mostly brick, concrete, a metal-grate balcony.

The motto for [MonoChrome] was "you supply the color." The club itself was purely shades of grey. What was special about the place—what should get your attention—wasn't the build itself, but the people there and what they brought to it. Jez extended the idea past the look of the club to the way it was built: [MonoChrome] was designed to be low-lag, load as quickly as possible, and then stay out of your way.

As such, [MonoChrome] served as one of the touchstones for me and many of my friends and acquaintances in Second Life. It's where a bunch of us held rez-day parties or just turned up for a friendly game of Greedy Greedy (a kind of silly in-SL dice game)—it was our clubhouse, our hang-out, our music venue, and literally my home for quite a while: I had my "home point" in SL set inside one of the club's walls. If you page back through this blog, you'll see lots of screenshots taken at [MonoChrome].

Cygnoir Blanc celebrating her 7th(!) rezday at [MonoChrome] this month
(A winged Lou and Rain Ninetails in the background)

[MonoChrome] was also home to a myriad of other events: Name that Tune games have been running since [MonoChrome] opened its doors, innumerable trivias (hosted by the likes of proprietress Sinnamon Sands, Josh & Circe, and Mako & Honey), as well as a selection of live music shows. And, of course, [MonoChrome] hosted many a Buccaneer Bowl, the monthly team-based trivia event that's near and dear to my heart.

I did a few one-shot events elsewhere, but [MonoChrome] is where I launched my Lou's Clues trivia game and have since conducted 60-odd events. I'll keep Lou's Clues going, although I haven't really settled on how and where just yet. Keep your eyes peeled.

So, now [MonoChrome] lives only in our memories. But I hope it has a lasting influence on the design and vibe of in-world venues, especially amongst the many (many!) of us who spend time there. Jez, Sinn, Dree, Mandy, and everyone—ya done good. Thank you.