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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Relay for Life 2008 - it's over. Cancer lost.

Pictures of my build (Heroes 34 - Twain's Journey) galore may be seen at my Flickr Relay for Life 2008 picture set

OMG.  Relay for Life in SecondLife is over.  We raised about US $215,000 (two hundred fifteen thousand dollars in donations.  Team Caledon was second in the donation standings and of the top 15 relay runners, 7 were from Caledon. 


The second-place finisher, Viderian Vollmar of Caledon Cymru, did his laps with no software assists like power skates, just the normal running pace of a SecondLife avatar.  Yeah, it seems weird to have avatars "running" in a relay that only exists in cyberspace, but you try steering anything for 24 hours.


Last year I did a "scenic" build, in the sense that the main road didn't run through my sim.  This year, though, I applied for and was given the opportunity to build a full "design sim", with the theme being "heroes".  I chose Mark Twain, mostly because I'd been awake too long when asked, and because his stories, including his own, are all about journeys.


If having cancer isn't a journey, then I don't know what is.  The sim offered travelers a few options, the easiest being to stay on the road and just walk around the edge of the sim in a few minutes.  You could walk through the sim, with some difficulty, or you could receive a free miniature riverboat (designed by the talented Carricre Wind) and navigate the treacherous Mighty Mini Mississippi.


Features of the sim included giant channel catfish (designed by the frighteningly creative Virrginia Tombola) lurking under snags, and a swamp filled with wrecks and a dead man with four bullets in his back.  JJ Drinkwater, assisted by Serra Anansi, created another stunning Library exhibit, this one covering quack cures and patent medicines.  As if that weren't enough, he updated last year's History of Medicine plaques and pasted one on every large tree in the entire sim.  It was scary good.  Kamilah Hauptmann loaned a swimming animation rezzer that just spawns parties when you put it out.  Tanarian Davies gave me a swamp mist particle generator that made the swamp atmosphere seen above.  JJ