|Meow Meow Meow Three, Two, One, MEOW!!!|
If you've participated in Relay For Life of Second Life for a significant number of years, you may recall a dual purpose for the Activity sims.
First: TEEN ACCESS
They were General rated and accessible to minors at a time when a Teen Grid consisting of 13-17 year old residents migrated over to the Main Grid. Back then those sims were the only accessible regions on the track, so it made sense that they offered robust content.
Second: There were ACTIVITIES!
We're not talking about auctions or vending machines or performances. Performances are events. There were rides and amusements - interactive fare - which varied according to each year's designer. Visitors were never disappointed and it attracted those who otherwise may not have visited the track.
Snail Racing on Relay Weekend
RacerX Gullwing was one of Relay For Life of Second Life's earliest participants, having started in 2006 with his team Giant Snail Relay. When Relaying and Relay Weekend participation grew beyond the grass roots level, RacerX Gullwing's Giant Snail Races - the grid's longest running sport - moved over to the Activity sims and became a highlight, with several epic races throughout the Weekend and one televised live via TreetTV.
These were intended to be scaled down versions of his cross-country races of 80+ Mainland sims leading up to a 4-sim odyssey on Relay Weekend. They promoted what the Activity sims had to offer with an incidental tour. Naturally with only 4 sims the Tiny racing snails were introduced. These events were televised live and were an epic battle of skill and determination against extreme lag. (look for links below to relive some of them)
In about 2013 as part of the RFL 10th anniversary theme of RFLofSL someone on the committee had a special track fashioned just for the Tiny Snail Races. By then the last of SL's minor residents had grown up and activities in the sims were limited to performances, ceremonies, auctions and a marketplace. And the Tiny Snail Race. The race was restricted to the custom track. This marked when perhaps the sims should have settled into their new collective identity as Event Sims. With the Snail Race track limited to a space within one sim there were 2 races held, one for the Tiny Snails and another for the Giant Snails.
|2016's Tiny Snail Races track. Approximately 140-150m long|
Then came 2017
Relay Weekend, a time to remember those we lost and bring everyone together in the spirit of hope and strength and challenge, which annually turned to its Event sims for inspiration at the opening and closing ceremonies, respite from stress in the form of live acts and DJs and some shopping, suddenly found itself in the hands of a designer and not a member of the committee.
Remember the 3 Mile Island debacle of SL10B? Desolation, destruction, harm - all those aesthetics a cancer suvivor or caregiver should never have to experience more than they already have - this is who they picked to design the "Activity" sims.
|"Q*bert's Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland"|
It is a terrain of desolate blocks or grimey concrete with sections anally carved out for Auctions, stages, a Gotya Garden (they really should call it a Trench), with the only green at the center for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Because we still don't know whether tomorrow's Fight Back ceremony will be there or rudely block Relayers - Remember them? They're the ones we are HONORING by having a Relay Weekend in the first place - from running their laps by having it held on the track.
Why do I put "Activity" in quotes?
Well, remember the Tiny Snail Races? Remember past cramped space alotments of 1/2 x 1/4 sim for the track? They designated barely half that this year! I truly don't think these people have ever seen a Snail Race to qualify them. And they need to ask TINDALLIA for any needs and NOT RacerX since she is their builder. Tindy is extremely creative and has made do as less and less space has been given to this Relay legacy and become more and more disrespected.
With the limited parcel given them and difficult concrete block terrain to traverse just to take a seat or walk off the track, Tindy rallied and added a dash of colour and optimism in what is an otherwise bleak environment. Please offer her kudos and support for the hard work and many hours she put in to please everyone while still come through with what is sure to be a worthwhile competition.
|This year's race track|
Now for your enjoyment and nostalgia are a list of past Relay Weekend races...
2010 with Wiz Nordberg
2011 with Saffia Widdershins
2012 with Elrik Merlin and Saffia Widdershins
2013 with Saffia along with Fantasy Faire's Zander Greene and Dave Abbott
2015 with show hosts RacerX, Tindy, Mae Best and Shady Fox (no guests. Treet no longer covered the Weekend)
2016 RacerX, Tindy, Mae, and Oodleme Noodle (no guests)
Shady Fox passed away from cancer following a late diagnosis earlier in the year. This annual event has since been renamed the "Shady Fox Memorial Tiny Snail Race"
|My connection with Giant Snail Racing began as host of a viewing platform |
during a cross-country race. This was the day I learned of RFL: April 14 2010