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A few thoughts on SL8B

June 26th, 2011 by Marianne McCann

I find I did much the same last year, finally blogging about SL8B as the event wound down. There’s still one more week to see the builds, though, so please, by all means, do so.

I want to talk about my own builds, but first I want to talk about SL8B in general. This year, the overall mood of the event was much brighter than it has been for years. Probably back to SL4B. That was my second SL birthday event, and one I still look back at fondly. It had this whole basis on history, with two sims (one moderate, one general) for every year SL had been around since the end of Beta. I got to see a lot of cool, old stuff.

It is probably what made me an SL history nut and – given my druthers, I wish I’d had the chance to go back and see it all again. I’m sure there were things there that would only be relevant to me now.

Then SL5B hit, and I don’t think I need to even mention what a drama that was. I think it was bad for everyone, not the least of all for Second Life as a whole.

SL6B was on a dark, always-nighttime asteroid. Cool, but not exactly a cheerful birthday party due to the very nature of the theme. Also, it happened right at the height of the big Zindra/Adult content move.

SL7B had its own dramas too, not the least of which was Linden Lab shedding a large number of staff members and losing their CEO during the buildup and run of the event. That really cast a pall over the event, as people went to the graveyard in Rogue rather than celebrated.

This year is different. While it is not without its dramas, including the loss of more Linden staff members, a content theft issue, and other troubles, the whole mood is a lot more positive. This is reflected in the builds. While the last couple years contained some a few grains of wheat amongst a lot of chaff, this year is full of many good things worth seeing. Everything from trick performing dolphins to builds that form before your eyes. Brilliant and beautiful stuff. It’s not all home runs, but you’ll find a lot more of them thanĀ  you might have in previous years.

If I had a complaint, however, it would be this. Much like Lalo Telling said in his own blog, there’s a lack of history to the event. One of my builds is next to the time capsules, which haven’t really been promoted or mentioned, and which last the creative display of some of those time capsule’s alluring contents. There’s nothing to thank those who came before for getting us to where we are today, nor displays that show where we came from.

I’d also love to see some attempt at grouping similar builds together. There’s four kid-themed builds, but they’re each in different, not nearby, regions. The Bay City build is some six regions away from the Nova Albion build, when these sister cities could mutually benefit by being closer.

That said, these are relatively minor issues, and I don’t offer them to tear down what is/was the best SLxB is many years.

One thing I don’t think of as minor, however, was the lack of front-facing Linden involvement. Yes, there was some, sure, but I think it would have been better for Rodvik to make a speech of at least some nature. Cheer us on. Ditto Kim, who’s somewhat rushed-feeling 90 second speech was a shock to many, given the much longer presentations by Philip Linden and others in the past.

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