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And the Theme for SLB 19 is . . . Steampunk????


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I know what I'm about to say is going to annoy some people, but . . . seriously? Steampunk?

SLB is supposed to be a reflection of and showcase for ALL of Second Life. I have nothing at all against Steampunk -- in fact, I think it's one of the cooler RP types here -- but this is a niche theme. Themes like "Community" or "What Dreams May Come" or "Crystal" are broad enough that nearly anyone could likely find a way to contribute. This one excludes pretty much anyone who isn't into one particular flavour of role play. It's not representative of SL as a whole, and it's also going to seriously cut into attendance, I should think.

I was actually considering, for the first time in 10 years, submitting a proposal. There is literally no way I can do that now.

What we're going to end up with is not a showcase for all that SL has to offer, so much as a Disney attraction.

Not impressed, LL.

 

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Aaaaaand once again I thought this year will be the year they'll have  theme that would make me want to attend SLB. And once again I am disappointed. In all the years (nearly 2 decades!) I've been in SL I've been to a grand total of one SLB.

Well... so much for my bucket list. It's blank now. 😒

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4 hours ago, Arielle Popstar said:

Meh, Steampunk is getting passé in my opinion. It's been beaten to death for a few years now.

Possibly -- I'm not really in a position to comment. Certainly, there are still lots of people who are into it, and I'm sure those who exhibit in this theme will do a really great job.

My point really is that this is waaaaaay too narrow a focus. Even a theme around "RP" generally would have been pretty constrained, but this focuses upon one community within even that larger group. It's not just that it limits the interest of the event; it also limits the exhibitors, or at least those who stay on theme. 

And it's a really non-inclusive showcase for an immensely diverse platform.

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1 hour ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

And it's a really non-inclusive showcase for an immensely diverse platform.

   Steampunk is about as diverse and inclusive as anything can get. People not getting it, is something different. 

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5 hours ago, Arielle Popstar said:

Meh, Steampunk is getting passé in my opinion. It's been beaten to death for a few years now.

It's true that there are many of us who lived and did rp in the Steamlands years ago, and for some time, so it isn't exactly a new thing for us.  I just hope, as others have said, that people wanting to take part in the celebration don't feel excluded by not being able to fit in, and that old hands feel revived enough to create something new.

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Just now, Orwar said:

   Steampunk is about as diverse and inclusive as anything can get. People not getting it, is something different. 

Yes. Unless you're not into Victoriana, science fiction, the gothic, Eurocentric themes, or role play at all.

In terms of diversity and inclusivity of its roleplayers? -- well, I'm absolutely sure that Steampunk is very open and welcoming to participants from a wide variety of backgrounds and identities. I'm sure there's a "gay Steampunk," a "women's Steampunk," and maybe even a "trans Steampunk." And that's great.

To reiterate, I have nothing against Steampunk at all, per se: in fact, of all the forms of RP that I know, it's probably the one I find most personally appealing. I'd have made precisely the same kind of objection had the chosen theme been anime, or cyber-dystopias, or any fairly clearly defined form of RP.

But the aesthetic, the cultural assumptions that it makes, the foundational "narrative," are all fairly niche. I'm sure it's a BIG niche -- Steampunk seems fairly popular. But it's not something that anything like the majority of SL residents are into. And it's so tightly defined, relatively speaking, that it's kind of hard to imagine someone whose interests and aesthetic are not goth, historical, and European being able to find a "place" here.

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As I've said elsewhere: 

In-world, boots on the ground; I'm finding a lot of variety under the "steampunk" label. I'm seeing used as a backdrop for other things (such as readings) to being full-on immersive.

The other point I'd like to make is that it is as a theme a suggestion; if you want to make an exhibit about the history of Ancient Egyptian literature or the influence of Buddhism on ancient Gnostic thought I'm sure they'd be perfectly happy to take your exhibit. 

The diversity is more than skin deep, in my mind. It isn't just the participants that are diverse but to my very casual eye that there seems to be new approaches to expressing what is and is not considered steam and new ways to blend it.

I'm excited for this theme and I love it a lot more than some crappy vague theme like "crystals" or whiskey tango foxtrot it was in 2018...

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19 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Eurocentric themes

   Your very narrow definition of what constitutes Steampunk really shows how little insight you have. There's a ton of Steampunk fiction and creations set in and inspired by different cultures, from Japanese and East Asian in the east to Steampunk Cowboys from the wild west. 

   Perhaps instead of whining about how something you don't understand is somehow exclusive, you should take this opportunity to explore the vast diversity of the subject?

   Or to put it in 21st century rhetoric - go educate yourself! 

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Just now, Orwar said:

   Your very narrow definition of what constitutes Steampunk really shows how little insight you have. There's a ton of Steampunk fiction and creations set in and inspired by different cultures, from Japanese and East Asian in the east to Steampunk Cowboys from the wild west. 

   Perhaps instead of whining about how something you don't understand is somehow exclusive, you should take this opportunity to explore the vast diversity of the subject?

   Or to put it in 21st century rhetoric - go educate yourself! 

Sure.

How about you address my main point, which is that this has at best niche appeal?

Also, how about doing your best to at least pretend at being civil? I've insulted no one. I've not even denigrated Steampunk.

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11 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

How about you address my main point, which is that this has at best niche appeal?

   As opposed to what, exactly? Crystals? Yeah, because there wasn't anyone at all who felt that was weirdly niche. Sweet Sixteen absolutely wasn't at all US-centric and completely unrelatable to anyone on the other side of the pond, right?

   But do enlighten me, for I am genuinely curious; what might be a universally appealing theme? 

   Even if people don't identify as 'full-time Steampunks', it's a genre which most people are familiar with. Some enjoy it, some don't. Would you clank down on someone throwing a Harry Potter-themed party because 'witches are a representation of evil'? Because, honestly, that's pretty much what you're sounding like, whether knowingly or not. 

23 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Also, how about doing your best to at least pretend at being civil?

   Yeah, no, don't force your niche RP on me, thanks. 

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I am not "clanking down" on anyone. Indeed, I've said, several times here in fact, that I quite like Steampunk.

But a theme like "community" or "crystals" is applicable across a far wider range of interests and aesthetics. It's that simple.

6 minutes ago, Orwar said:

Would you clank down on someone throwing a Harry Potter-themed party because 'witches are a representation of evil'? Because, honestly, that's pretty much what you're sounding like, whether knowingly or not.

Um, what?

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1 hour ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Eurocentric themes

You clearly haven't been exposed to enough Steampunk if you think all of it consists of Victorian England/Western Europe. 

Here are only a few examples of other styles of Steampunk.   That took me literally 5 minutes to look up. (Thanks Pinterest).  That you put Steampunk in such a small box says more about your lack of understanding about it, than anything else. 

 

African Steampunk.jpg

East Indian Steampunk.jpg

Asian Steampunk.jpg

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3 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Um, what?

   Oh, my bad. Harry Potter is this book and film series about a young boy who finds out he's a wizard and attends a school for 'witchcraft and wizardry'. I'd highly recommend it, unless you find it 'too niche' for your tastes?

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1 minute ago, Catrie said:

You clearly haven't been exposed to enough Steampunk if you think all of it consists of Victorian England/Western Europe. 

Here are only a few examples of other styles of Steampunk.   That took me literally 5 minutes to look up. (Thanks Pinterest).  That you put Steampunk in such a small box says more about your lack of understanding about it, than anything else. 

 

African Steampunk.jpg

East Indian Steampunk.jpg

Asian Steampunk.jpg

That's terrific, Catrie. Thanks. I've already said, well before this, that I accepted that Steampunk is "inclusive" in terms of cultures and identities, but please . . . consider me "educated."

None of this responds to my central point: this has niche appeal. Just as any particular flavour of aesthetic or role play would.

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18 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

I am not "clanking down" on anyone. Indeed, I've said, several times here in fact, that I quite like Steampunk.

But a theme like "community" or "crystals" is applicable across a far wider range of interests and aesthetics. It's that simple.

Um, what?

My problem is that the crystals theme was so vague that it meant nothing. At that point you might as well just say "eh, fck it build whatever we don't care".

I prefer "fck it, build whatever we don't care but if you want a suggestion -steampunk"

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