June 16th, 2012 by Marianne McCann
I am so very proud of my co-collaborators at SL9B.
When Linden Lab posted on their blog that they were not going to host the land for SL9B this year, a lot of people were very disappointed. Even though SL birthday events have been plagued with controversies — SL4B and Mature content, SL5B and kid avatars, SL6B and theme, SL7B and “Barbies,” SL8B and purple hats — and have shown a declining interest in the last few years, it was still part of Second Life’s culture. It was a touchstone in the Second Life year. And now it was seemingly gone, replaced with shout outs on the Second Life Destination Guide.
On my mySL feed, I put forth a proposition. When SL5B “respectfully declined” child avatar participation, kid avvies were understandably upset. We considered boycotts, protests, and all sort of actions to vent our displeasure. Then we got creative. We made our own celebration, Kids5B, and packed all the awesome we could muster into two regions. It was epic. And even though SL5B did eventually move towards full inclusion of kid avvies, we in the SL kid community still had this incredible, positive, amazing thing that brought our community together.
So, I said, ” I wonder if the same could apply to SL9B. What would be a good way to turn this negative into a positive?”
That same day, or close to it, Crap Mariner put forth a proposal to have the LEA and others chip in some space, and hold our own event. Saffia Widdershins started to ask around and see if a separate sponsor could be found (this lead to DreamSeeker Estates being so heavily involved). Doctor Gascigone and I both began to ask about, as I’m sure others did (if I forget anyone, it’s not intentional – mea culpa).
Many began to offer space. A parcel or two here and there. Pallina60 Loon jumped in, offering a big chunk of the LOL region. Others too. Then an anonymous private owner stepped in offering six full regions to me for the event. Then DreamSeeker Estates ponied up 10 more. Later we’d get two from Fruit Islands and two from KittyCatS. All of a sudden, we had 20 regions and as big as the last two Second Life birthdays. The event was a “go.”
Volunteers stepped up. : greeters, moderators, exhibitor assistants, and more. Builders submitted applications — over 450 of them, far more than any previous birthday event. Last year we had troubles filling all our spaces, this year we had to turn people away due to the sheer number of requests. The stages filled with amazing acts from all over. We still have people wanting to perform, and even added a fifth stage to help make that happen.
Tomorrow, the SL media and press will be in to see our works for the first time. The builders have done great things. The volunteers too. In spite of a blog or two attempting to gin up controversy and claim this year’s big drama, things have been pretty smooth. Smoother than I’ve seen before, and I’ve been at the SL birthday event since the 3rd. The builds are at an all time high, and I’m not just talking about the build height. They’re great.
In the blog post that started it all, Linden Lab said, “No one throws a better event or party than the Second Life community!” In our own way, we proved that to be 100% true. We did not do it for them — but for us. This is one for the record books, and one we — as a community — can be very, very proud of.