Sunday, 31 October 2010

Happy Halloween to all!


Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Hallowe'en at the Seraph Club

Halloween at the Seraph Club in Seraph City - SL's only Dieselpunk sim

Come and celebrate Halloween Dieselpunk style!

Dress as your favourite gangster, borrow the Rocketeer's jetpack, or snaffle Bertie Wooster's Halloween duds.

Music, dancing, Trick or Treat

6pm - 9pm SLT

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Sucker Punch Teaser

Take all the movie tropes that geeks love: martial arts, war movies, giant robots, mech suits, hot girls, dragons, Zeppelins, and throw in a little burlesque for good measure. Blend.

No idea what the plot is beyond 5 girls being institutionalised by their wicked stepfathers, but holy crap I want to see it!

Who Knows About Your Second Life?

(*Stolen from Zaida, who stole it from SLuniverse*)

Who knows about your avatar?
Only a few friends know my AV specifically, but most family and friends know I'm on SL.

Who doesn't?
Work. Uni. Although my Uni had/has a sim in SL I don't think they ever did much with it.

Are you 'proud' to have a Second Life avatar?
Not proud, but not ashamed.

Are you proud enough to tell your friends?
Have done. A few have even come into SL and met the AV directly. Even discovered one Babbagite was an old RL friend because I recognised her voice on a sound file.

Are you proud enough to tell your family?
I've told them I play SL (though Mum's probably forgotten). My mother has enough trouble working out how to save a picture attachment from email. I'm not about to explain the intricacies of a virtual world.

If you do tell, how do they react?
A few friends have tried it but it didn't grab them. Omega and Grrbrool have been in SL but have moved on.

Do you think their reaction is because something is wrong with having a SL avatar or that they're daft and closed minded about your game life?
No. Most are busy with their specific hobbies, be it Lego, Star Wars, or whatever. I had a couple of friends who came along to the last Doctor Who podshock and have listened to my Breakfasts in Babbage without being in SL but nothing beyond that.

Greg Merryman's passing a few months back has made me think I need to organise a "If I'm dead" file. No-one else has access to my email and I don't have a partner who could pass on that information. And I do my best to encourage the cat to stay off the computer.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Steampunk is not a lifestyle

So many people seem desperate to add things to Steampunk that aren't there or that are parts of other subcultures they like. Steampunk is, at it's most basic, a nostalgia concept. Nostalgia for the Victorian era. This is not a new concept either. Looking back at a time where manners were arguably better, where goods and clothing were made to last (even the ones that came off a production line), where war was something you might read about in the paper but there was little chance of it arriving on your doorstep, is something that people have been doing for decades. "The Good Old Days" always have a heavy rose tint about them and will ignore or gloss over the poverty, vilification and abuse of the time.

Steampunk tries to incorporate the nostalgia of the past with the social conscience of today. Racial slurs are out, exploitation of the poor is a bad thing, and trampling on foreign countries because you have more guns is *bad*. We've added to that the SF elements of a more advanced technology, so we can have our computers but with bevelled edges and lacework, or our rayguns, or we learn how to say thank you.

There's no DIY ethic in Steampunk. Sure some of the people involved love learning how old tech works. But Fred Dibnah was not a steampunk despite being more DIY with steam engines than anyone I know. Most of the DIY is simply practical. If I want my computer to have old typewriter keys then I have to do it myself because the local Radio Shack doesn't sell them that way. Any "anti-corporate" and recycling concepts would vanish under a deluge of credit card purchases if Dell brought out a "pre-steampunked" laptop.

Railing against human rights abuses, globalisation, working conditions and equal opportunity are also not Steampunk. Yes steampunks may have views on those topics but so do most politicians. The current US President is trying to get a healthcare package through so that poor people can get access to basic medical attention. Liu Xiaobo won the Nobel Peace Prize for trying to bring democracy to China. Neither of them are steampunk.

I'm not sure I'd go so far as to call steampunk a fetishism of 19th century technology but it can be close. The high nostalgia element is certainly there as I said. But that doesn't make it punk. Choosing to not eat meat because you dislike animal cruelty makes you a vegetarian, not a punk decrying the Establishment.

People who claim steampunk is a lifestyle are mistaken. Steampunk has no political agenda. There is no "steampunk world view". Choosing to wear waistcoats or button-up boots 7 days a week hardly qualifies for a "lifestyle". It's like being a sports fan. You have your chosen sport and often a specific club that you may be passionate about but there's no "Red Socks Lifestyle" or "Manchester United Lifestyle". It's just called being a fan.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Breakfast in Babbage - Spooky Edition 2


October is the time for all the ghouls and ghosts to come out of the woodwork. It's also a couple of days shy of my 4th RezDay! So dust off the fake angel wings, pull out a clean sheet to cut eyeholes in or cut off your very own head and join us for the spooky edition of Breakfast in Babbage!

Join us at The Clarendon in New Babbage.