First of all, apologies for the lack of posts this past month. I have been dealing with the legal and financial processes following my father’s death, and recovering from months of carer duties.
Last week, a call went out in the Gorean Whip Radio staff channel for DJs to cover some coming events in Second Life for the station. As it happened, I now have a bit more flexibility in when I can broadcast, so I offered my services, much to the delight of Lucy, the Whip’s head events organiser.
The first of those was this past Sunday, at the City of Besnit in Second Life. The brief was that they were going to hold a sword tournament, with a series of arena fights and prizes for the winners. After some inquiries on my part, I worked out that I’d need to stock up on rock songs to play during the event, and would be providing commentary to the listeners not present at Besnit.
I had some trepidation in the days leading up to the event, as I’ve not been to many Gorean sims in Second Life, and am aware that I tend to stick out due to being a blue, rainbow-speckled alien. One place I visited wouldn’t let me broadcast from within the city walls due to my appearance, and I worried that the same might happen again. But I was reassured by Irish, the head of DJ management, that I’d be welcome at Besnit and that they were relaxed about my appearance.
Before the event, I got some pointers from Tristan, another Whip manager, who’d broadcast from Besnit the previous day to cover their dance contest. It’s just as well he did, otherwise I’d have gotten lost pretty quickly.
Fighting in Second Life isn’t a natural thing. By default, the most your avatar can do to others is shout at them or push into them, although the latter can be disabled by the owner(s) of the sim you’re in. (There are some other ways of attacking people, collectively known as ‘grieving’, but those are strictly prohibited and you’ll find yourself turfed out pretty quickly.)
In order to do a sword fight, each combatant needs to have a meter attached to them, which registers when they are struck by a sword and indicates how much damage they took. The meter’s display is visible above the combatant’s head, showing green-yellow-orange-red depending on how wounded they are. Once they’re critically wounded, they are forced to the ground. There isn’t any gore or blood as such, apart from the swords showing blood on them after dealing damage.
Another aspect of Second Life that I need to explain at this point concerns the camera position relative to your avatar. By default, this is a short distance behind and above you, but it can be moved and panned around independently. It can also zoom in and focus on something other than yourself. And there’s a particular function that I needed to use, which was the ability to make your camera track another avatar. This was what I ended up doing so that I could track the combat and tell the audience how the combatants were faring.
As it turned out, I needed to do this a lot, because the contest proceeded very rapidly. Eight men started the tournament, with four preliminary rounds, two semifinal, a runner-up final, and then the grand final. Then there was a special round where all eight men had to fight it out at once, with a prize for the last man standing.
And I was doing the best I could to follow all of this, talking as I went. I ended up doing that for over an hour, and needed about 20 minutes after to get my breath back!
This picture was a screenshot I took at home in Second Life, of the outfit I wore to Besnit. I ended up ditching the veil, as it just didn’t fit my face right and I couldn’t edit it. While there are lots of stores selling Gorean clothing, not much of it is designed for blue, rainbow-speckled aliens.
Here is the recording of my show from Besnit, if you’d like to hear what I sound like when I’m working my DJ magic. 😀
(*Last Sunday was also the NFL Super Bowl final, so we had some competition for people’s attention.)