Seventy-four minutes of roller derby action!
DERBITHON 2013: Derb So Hard!
The season has ended and now the partying can begin. (Of course, some of the hardcore SLRDAers would say it never ends …) But check out the photos from their Flickr group at link above.
Saturday January 19th @ 5pm
- Iron Seat (Aerosmith Cover band)
- Java Joe MacIntyre (live artist)
- Plus a guest DJ and live artist TBA!
A week-long silent auction is going on now until the 19th, filled with awesome items and services provided by some amazing sponsors. Look for more auction items being added over the next few days. The auction boards include the opportunity for unchaperoned dates with real avatars!
A great variety of items are on auction, raising funds for SLRDA!
Auction will include items from Epic Clothing, Razorblade Jacket, M Inc, Seddy’s Creations, Warrior Instinct Nations, Psych0, Cummere Mayo Designs, Overland Choppers, Secrets Of Gaia, Presence, XD Designs, JSF Designs and more!!! Be sure to check all four floors!
Gift cards are also on the auction block.
Pay: This is where the auction is going on?
MizDeMeanor Morpork: yup..and if you buy me. i will totally put out! lol
Club Soma, owner goes by Napayok or Karmatic, is the main organizer for this event.
During my season of roller derby, I came across a small store run by Muse MacIntyre and bought skates for both of my avatars as well as this cute peace ‘n’ love t-shirt shown below. A month or two ago, when I used the LM I had for V&M, it was gone. Search didn’t find a store and perving the group’s owner for an LM yielded nothing, either. But I got a notice last week and rushed to visit the store at Derby City. Muse has been very busy and creative, and Derby City itself seemed to be a very interesting place to visit, so that’s a bonus!
Muse has shown a flair for colorful textures and sk8ter attitude with her designs. Her use of mesh only gives them more pop and spunk. Her prices reflect a generosity to her fanbase of derby girls who probably can’t afford more expensive designers. I am not going to apologize if there’s a flood of non-sk8ters riffling through her racks. They deserve the exposure.
Street Creeper sneakers: L$150
Incredible mesh jeans: L$175
Super tops in two great mesh styles: L$125
I’ve been to Derby City before (as Pay Writer) and am witness to quite an evolution: once upon a time, the roller derby track was incorporated into this punky urban sprawl but now it’s a separate stadium hovering below the main cityscape, allowing for stores to begin inhabiting what is a well-realized urban sim. You can also visit the SLRDA office there. I really wanted to rez my Bigg Wheel chopper and ride the mean streets but maybe it would be more apropos to don my skates. It’s one great celebration of roller derby attitude and what’s not to like about that?
Go Now, I’ll Wait: V&M Store
Q:Hi there. Gave you a prod the other day on Plurk about the SLRDA and sponsorship. Also sent a request to named entities in world but haven't heard back. Can't make the meet this evening (4-6am local) but am still interested. Do you have any details?
Hope you don’t mind the public push on your question but maybe someone from SLRDA is reading …
Funny you should ask, because I asked one of my derby contacts about ads at the rink. Great minds thinking alike? SLRDA Website has some contact names, since you are thinking sponsorship. I hope you can work something out, it’s a great fit, methinks.
Go for it! Love your stuff! *hugs!*
I was delighted to find this notecard yesterday:
I saw your blog post from some time back about the CG Facelight, and would like to talk to you more about it when you have the chance. I really enjoyed the post, so much so that I’m back in SL after a long absence—it is good to hear that people are still enjoying some of the items I’ve created.
Anyway, if you have the time please let me know when you’re around. I don’t have much time to get on SL these days, best time is usually in the evenings 6 SLT to 9 SLT or so, depending on the day. Hope we can catch up soon!
Great write up on SLRDA here.
Also, from a recent notice from cStar Angels:
We’re going to have a recruitment party tonight, Friday night from 8 to 10 pm slt, 5/25. We may have this party at our Angels Arena over Lothlyn, depending on if cStar store is going to be busy with an event or not.
Check out this great group of gals this Friday night!
Oh yes!! The Skin Addiction Showcase open tomorrow!!
Here’s the blog address.
Keep On Rolling!
I had best post this before it fades so far back in time … The 2012 season of the SLDRA opened on April Fool’s Day with a great turnout from fans, an all-star bout featuring the top skaters from all teams but a huge lack of sponsors. The stadium is surrounded by great places to place ads as you can see from this photo. Please consider advertising your SL business at these events! (Kalli at Discord Designs, these are your people. Embrace them!) Check the SLRDA Tumblr site for more information.
Teams are still recruiting so it’s not too late to get involved! I’ve already described in far too much detail my own inability to participate but let me give you some impressions of how much fun it is.
First of all, your team will give you a lot of really cool stuff—uniforms, skates, helmets—everything you need to participate. The SLRDA HUD, which I believe will be going into v3, is amazing. With it, you can manuever around the rink, making the moves to block or get past other skaters.
- The first trick is to lock in run so you skate at optimal speed. Control R is the most common way among the browsers to do this.
- The next trick is to use the keyboard WASD keys to go around the oval track. Resist the urge to use the A or D to move sideways to block or bump opponents. The best skaters use the HUD to make those moves. When you use A and D to block, you take the chance of going off the track, where the HUD motions are more subtle and keep your body oriented as going forward.
Going off the track can either end up with penalties or you bump the rails which can cause you to lose hearts and take a spill. That’s why it’s so important to get to the practice sessions to perfect your moves and coordinate them with the team.
Put all these moves together, and you’re going to have a great time. The big bonus, of course, is the camaraderie of your teammates. And this really extends beyond just your team but to all the girls involved. The chatter conveyed via Voice will brings tears of laughter to your eyes.
You know you wanna do this!
The Indulgence Not Taken
I’ve been writing more about SL than ever before. My first life has taken such a turn that I devote a lot less time inworld than ever before. I have been pondering this matter a lot lately. Let me share some this with you.
About four months ago give or take a week or three, I began relying on my alt avatar, Pay Writer, to follow up on games in SL. It made sense at the time that she has a very short friend list and could spend time uninterrupted playtesting games. This is when I was still writing for Moonletters.com and you can see some of the reviews in my Index. Paypabak Writer has a very long list of friends who already get short shrift when she’s inworld, focused mostly on wife Lisa and exploring SL for her blogging. Those games, for the most part, have drifted … the most recent, the Game That Must Not Be Named,* having completely dropped off the SL map. LOGOS, despite being rather indecipherable to me in terms of strategy, was nonetheless fun and a very fascinating use of SL technology. DiceL was also a very interesting adaptation of a collectible card game, as was Combat Cards, which actually features Paypabak as a character on one of the Splintered Rock cards.
No strain here. When I felt the pull of one of these games, I would log in and the odds were fair, not great, that I could find someone with whom to play.
More recently, as documented in my Tumblr accounts, I elected to roll with Pay as a Roller Derby gal, it fitted her personality. (I’ll return to that statement in just a sec.) The big catch is that she can no longer just scratch this itch when she felt like it. As a member of a team, she needs to show up for practices, not on her own whim. As much as I enjoy the challenge of Roller Derby in SL, I am going to retire Pay’s number and hang up her skates as far as competitions go. If the Angels of No Mercy will have her at occasional practices that would be glorious. To depend on her for actual jams?
That word “depend” is important. It has something to do with integrity. Do avatars in the game world of Second Life have integrity? The ones with whom I associate do. The concept opens a great big can of worms, doesn’t it? In a game, I am free to do whatever I want within the parameters of the game and character class. I can shoot the hostage and face the consequences. In SL, the hostage is a person, and carrying this metaphor forward, I am just as much a hostage to that person as he or she is to me. Got drama? No thanks, but to avoid drama, I need to show some integrity.
Let’s fly up to the 500-meter overview. Looking at the reflection in my monitor, I see a writer, an author of avatars. I share the license to create that every resident of SL can claim. I am pretty much limited to creating avatars, not being much of a builder and not patient enough to do code, even though in first life I used to work with code. I enjoy dressing them up and providing them a modicum of personality. Yes, it starts with a dash of the author’s personality in there, but I have discovered that they begin to take on a life of their own once they’ve made contact with other avatars. I respect the social matrix that arises among avatars in SL. Why not? It’s a pretty amazing thing, actually. It has affected my first life. I can’t prove it but I bet the chemistry of my brain has been altered substantially by these interactions. (Can we all say titty sprinkles?)
I’ve written about this in Moonletters.com
The greatest lesson I’ve learned from SL is something the late Rheta Shan left in her profile still resonates through my combined lives: Reality is not about truth or physics. It’s about crafting a story so persuasive it will be taken at face value. To be persuasive involves integrity, courage, honesty, creativity, and passion. Rheta had that effect on so many people! And we all are woven together by our stories in SL. These stories are wonderful, varied and compelling…
As much as I love the fun of the SLRDA and all the wonderful new friends I have made, I need to get a grip on my various selves and do a time management analysis and an inventory on What Matters Most. This resolution of storylines between my alts has happened before and Paypabak Writer always wins. She is more embedded in a much larger, complex, rich and absolutely amazing matrix of avatar friends. Lisa has been willing to cross into the Land of Pay Writer but I don’t think the Author part can handle it. Plus, if Pay Writer starts taking up more of what has already become limited SL time, I am neglecting responsibilities to Judy, to Sassy and Vanni, and to my Moonletters friends to mention just a few of the consequences.
Pay Writer is my game avatar, relegated to short excursions in which Paypa cannot or dare not indulge. She’s my Lara Croft, available for adventures but not to make sustainable connections. I am really sorry to Pay’s friends in the SLRDA, particularly the Angels, Maiden Darknness, and MizD, but she cannot come out to play in the capacity on which you all depend. She can hang out, cheer, and maybe add a body to a practice, but don’t depend on her for meaningful bouts.
The temptation this time has been overwhelming, much more so than the siren calls of Firefly sims and Splintered Rock of the past and even of the present because I am aware of the wonderful things that continue to go on in those places. Roller Derby in SL is REALLY amazing fun, not just as a sport within the game but because of the wonderful avatars who make it more than a game within the game.
*For the record, Time Battles.
As MizDemeanor Morpork of the Psycho Riot Bitches is fond of saying, “Roller derby is the most fun you can have in SL with your clothes on.” Well, torn and ripped they may be, but with helmet and pads, the well-dressed roller derby girl is a sight to behold as I have shown in previous Tumbls. Distinguished in at least two ways, roller derby is fun and unique in simulating a first life sport as realistically as can be done in a virtual environment. (Per Wikipedia: “Roller derby is played by more than 1,000 amateur leagues on every inhabited continent.”) It is most definitely a contact sport.
One distinguishing factor is the use of two cleverly designed HUDs to regulate play. Each player wears a HUD that fills the screen as you can see from the screenshot below and is prompted first to choose Home or Away. Then you are given a choice of three positions in the sport: jammer, blocker, or pivot. That choice determines which actions you can use (see the illustration) as you are skating. It also causes your helmet to appear as it would in first life: a star on the jammer, stripes on the pivot, and blank on the blocker, so everyone knows who to take down as you speed around the track. (In first life, a stretchy nylon cover goes over the helmet.) The other HUD isn’t worn but placed within the interior of the skating rink, henceforth called the track. This HUD is used by officials to start and end the various phases of the two-minute session of skating called jams. In an actual competition (called a bout) there are two thirty-minute halves in which any number of these jams can be run.
This is the Blocker configuration, not the plain helmet. Also note the greyed-out icons representing moves that the jammer or pivot can do but the blocker cannot.
Each team has one pivot who leads and groups her three blockers as they skate around the rink. Following the pack are the two jammers, one for each team. The jammers are required to pass through the pack of blockers and pivots after a staggered start signal, then circle around the rink and go through the pack again to score. Scoring is a bit complicated. As you might guess, however, the blockers do not want the jammer from the other team to get past them. Did I mention that this is a contact sport? Take a look at the first photo above and see what really makes SL’s version of roller derby stand out: BOFF! You go down comic book style! Try that in first life!
Here’s a practice at the Hell Razor’s track. For the fun of it, we indicated one team over the other with the KFC boxes over their heads.
That animation is a product of the wonderfully designed HUDs that also let you perform certain motions depending on your role on the team. Jammers can jump but only to get over fallen skaters. They can also use a gesture to end the jam as a scoring strategy. Blockers have left and right blocking motions as well as two illegal moves that should put someone on their tushies. (Only illegal if you get caught! as my sister is quick to point out.) But everyone shares the hands over the head victory skate pose.
The other distinguishing factor in roller derby is the need for using Voice. The refs need to call out penalties and who the lead jammer is, and the pivots need to guide the blockers in opening routes for their own jammer while shutting down the opposing jammer. The jammer can help her cause by vocalizing how she plans to make her moves but until the group chat makes this work better, a silent jammer stands as good a chance of not telegraphing her moves and concentrating on avoiding friend and foe alike to shoot past them all. Defense and offense happen simultaneously in this sport, making each jam unique and very challenging.
This is the other “HUD” that is placed somewhere in the inside area of the track and is used by referees to regulate the jams.
I have never really experienced the use of Voice in roleplaying situations. People prefer text and are fiercely prideful of it. I’ve heard presentations and readings, and it’s a wonderful aspect of SL. I have written about how the Time Battles game required Voice to make it go faster but I never really go a chance to play. This use of voice is so necessary and compelling, adding much to the enjoyment of our practices. (So far, my Sister/Alt has not been in a bout.) In between jams, the jabbering and joking that goes on is very refreshing and brings you closer to those who are speaking.
Sometimes, you can hear a dog bark or a child talking at Mom while she is “playing.” Once, I heard a husband ask, “Where are the keys!” It adds another layer to the experience of the reality of the avatars participating in this game within the game. I’ve got so much going on in my Paypabak universe, I put this activity in my alt’s basket and now it’s a wrestling match who is logging in on any given evening. Roller Derby is that much fun! I truly fear that I will need to give it up …
If you have never seen a roller derby, use the links provided below to see it in either life you prefer, but you will be rewarded if you attend. I saw a local bout in a skating rink like any other you’ve ever been in: it was a gas. Girls of almost every age and size were out there having a blast. If I were a younger gal … OMG! I recall those years of skating on 2x2s before in-lines were ever in vogue. I would be sorely tempted.
In SL, please strip down your scripts to a bare minimum as you know how that can adversely affect performance, particularly when you have almost a dozen madwomen on wheels and at least another half dozen officials in the center of the arena. Watch the SLRDA Tumblr for announcements.
First Life Links
Second Life Links
Immersion = titty sprinkles
Not everyone hears MF reading the words, but I get the concept. Our brains do funny things.
You have seen variations on this fact more crudely put with the “fcuk you” poster. The new Neal Stephenson book title also illustrates this (title is at the bottom of the cover):
Thank you, Amazon! Go buy the book, I’ll wait.
Our brain acts like an interpreter and seems to have a biological imperative to make sense out of what it sees even if what it sees makes no sense. It will suggest that because we have heard Morgan Freeman’s marvelous voice and really trust what he says, we mimic it as we read. I’ll bet you even chuckled in his voice as you understood what that picture was telling you.
The immersion experience of Second Life is like this. Those of us who have been doing this for years … yes, in a way this is my fifth Rez Day celebration article … KNOW about the flexibility of our brains and how they interpret immersion in our “cartoon” world. Making the distinction between Real Life and Second Life is bullshit for us. Second Life is real; the experience changes the chemistry of my brain as fundamentally as my experience of First Life. I make the distinction as what comes first in priorities: my actual body has needs that come before my pixel body. That’s it. My pixel friends are just as important as my actual friends, and that often makes SLife hard.
But anything worth doing is worth working at. We residents of Second Life should be proud of this work even when first life friends give us owlish looks of perplexity. It’s so interesting that second life friends understand completely when first life interrupts an appointment, but first life acquaintances get tripped up when I say: I’ve got roller derby practice or I promised I would meet someone in SL.
I could reminisce yet again about all of my varied experiences over those past five years, but instead, I would like to share what went on yesterday (February 11 to be exact and considering the queue of articles I am accumulating). I will confess to hoping that buying a paint job for Lisa’s Rascal would lure her into SL and it worked! We hugged as we usually do in our living room in Writers’ Rest (see pic below), then agreed to teleport down to the backyard to spray paint the car (see the can on the hood?).
That accomplished, we drove all around the Lithe sim, where we live. Oh, yes, we saw Demonia, Lisa’s seal point kitteh and took her along for the ride.
That’s Writers’ Rest in the background, with my airship, The CyberWitch, tethered above our wonderful treehouse. Note the green paint job on Lisa’s Rascal.
Once we got tired of running around the island, I suggested we could motor about at Penny Lane, the sim owned by Shauna Vella, editor of Moonletters X. We teleport, Demonia still along for the ride and me feeling like my kitteh, Shae, is going to be very jealous. We drive around Penny Lane and what a terrific sim this is. We are chatting the whole time, a mix of what’s going on in first life as well as SL adventures. We are both writers. While she mostly writes about all this research she is doing, I write about SL, so it’s mainly MY SL adventures. This amazes my SL wife just as her writing amazes me.
We then stop and ride the merrygoround. At one point, Lisa chose the riding backwards position which cracked me up. I feel right now like I am absolutely failing to convey the most important aspect of this little narrative: the absolute delight we take of each other, of being together virtually, enjoying the fashions we wear, the look of our hair, the ability to drive around with a big beautiful cat in Lisa’s arms, jumping from one sim to another …
Well, we end up in the Killing Moon Pub. And we dance. I am sure we are doing moves that we’ve never pulled off quite so well or in defiance of gravity in first life. Every once in awhile, we click on the Fnordian Magic Mirror:
Fnordian Magic Mirror: Paypabak Writer, you have the most lovely toes in the universe, and I think I’m in love!
Fnordian Magic Mirror: Lisa Hitchcock, you have the smoothest skin in the universe, and I so want to touch it!
The atmosphere in Shauna’s club is wonderful! It holds such fine memories, including our wedding reception among our European friends. We dance and continue to delight in each others company until we both need to log off.
And that’s my story. Very simply, SL allows me a chance to reach out and touch, and to be touched, in inexplicably marvelous ways. My brain translates, my soul accepts, my heart dances.
So I have this idea that on February 24, some virtual friends may want to help me celebrate or at least mark the occasion of five years in SL, what I want to say to my first life acquaintances, who may look askance, is … titty sprinkles!
I’ve got so many pictures! Great memories already of good times in the rough and tumble sport of roller derby. So many new friends, and I can only post ten pix! This should give a good representation.
I still have a post to make about the SLRDA HUD and other gadgets that make the whole roller derby concept work so marvelously. This is the sign up season, so if you want to join, look up the SLRDA HQ and do it!