PostHeaderIcon It's Not Your Owner's Collar Anymore

When asked 'what do you do in Second Life'? - a bevy of answers will be returned based largely on who it is you ask. When asked "what is there to do in Second Life?" - again, a multitude of different answers. There are the common ones we all know of already: Build things, Visit places, role play.


When it comes to role-playing, most will think of the common genres such as fantasy, vampires, medieval, middle-ages. There are very large communities of the Roman Empire and everyone's favorite subject: Gor. It seems there is so much "role play" that involves collars and leashes and latex and leather. In fact, if you search places for "Role Play" or "Roleplay" the majority of results always seem to involve Gor or BDSM, then more regarding some sex club or something.

After which you will find a lot of "Medieval" and then of course there are the requisite"Vampires", "Star Wars" and "Star Trek". And any time you see "Fantasy" it can go a lot of different ways, primarily leaning toward "Faeries and fantasy" beings or toward the indescribably 'bedroom' genres. However, there are other communities rarely spoken-of, a little harder to find (if you aren't sure what you're looking for) and yet have been around since early-on in the life of the grid. I have read about them and not really given them much thought until recently.

Playing a 16th century profiteer puts me into the middle ages as for theme and this is a time rife with piracy, slavery, sword-play and political maneuvering. In order to prepare myself for my newfound role, I had to equip myself in the appropriate costume and regalia and this included a "tall ship" - you know the kind: two or three tall masts with all manner of sails.

There are a lot of tall ships to be had in SL, the most common is the 'static' decoration you will find all over the grid - in fact most Gorean and Medieval role-playing sims force you to land on one when entering their sims. These are simple prim "props" that do nothing but look good. Then there are "vehicles" that you drive, like a car or an airplane. But these aren't much fun for "tall ships" or sail boats in general because it just isn't very realistic at all - hit the wrong button on your keyboard and you'll swear Peter Pan dropped some pixie-dust onto your sails. It's fine for motorboats and yachts, though.

But then there are those that actually sail - using the wind on the grid (you do know there is wind on the grid, don't you?) These are physical vehicles scripted to react to the wind simulated in Second Life, meaning that you really must learn to use the wind in order to move about - and try not to get stuck in the "irons angle" (turned into the wind where you can't move.)

So I purchased a couple ships from TSS and SPD. The real sailing kind. I've read about the sailing community but had never really taken much interest in it. But I hadn't known there was a Pirate role-playing sub-community. Second Life has become interesting for me again.

One of the problems with the grid in it's current state the way I see it is the congregation of like-minded people, especially in role-play genres. There is a lot of water to sail on in SL, but it can be difficult to find others to sail with - or so I thought. It turns out the sailing and pirate communities are quite active. So I joined the "Pirates of SL" group to keep up on notices. Eventually I might actually join the group (of people) proper and perhaps make some new friends and acquaintances.

I remember reading about the new Linden Lab-sponsored "Blake Sea" - a series of a dozen or two sims, primarily water-based put onto the grid specifically for the sailing community. So I plop my Corsair, Ketch or Galleon into the water and enjoy a leasurely sail exploring the area - and there really is a lot to see and explore. Of course my cannon must remain silent through these excursions lest I be reported for "griefing". Then this news comes across the wire:

From MarkTwain White, United Sailing Sims Director, Captain of the Blake Sea
An Open Letter to SL Pirates and Ironclad Sailors,
My name is MarkTwain White. I am the official liaison between the United Sailing Sims and Linden Lab in regards to the Blake Sea area of Second Life.
The United Sailing Sims (made up of nine sim owners) are working in conjunction with LL to provide the Blake Sea area of SL. The principal purpose of the Blake Sea is to provide support for furthering the development of SL sailing not only in a dedicated area, but also throughout all of Second Life. The secondary purpose of the Blake Sea is to provide activity area for all SL groups needing access to large unencumbered areas for marine activities (and aviation for that matter).
A number of pirates have contacted me regarding the possiblities of pirate battles in the Blake Sea area. Thanks to all of you that I have meet with or chatted with concerning Blake Sea pirate activities. I wish I could contact each of you directly in order to update you on the future of pirate activities in the Blake Sea area. Unfortunately the notecard I was maintaining that listed those interested parties has been eaten by the LL inventory system (I know, I know, what is the likelihood that SL would ever lose inventory items, right?).
Therefore I am sending out this open letter to what pirates and Ironcladists can identify in world and asking you to pass it along to the leaders of your various pirate groups.
In the very near future a section of the United Sailing Sims, presently occupied by the Lilliput and ZATZAi sims will be converted into "CONTESTED WATER SIMS" to support pirate and ironclad combat activity. In addtion to that, four Blake Sea Sims will be designated "CONTESTED WATER" sims as well.
These CONTESTED WATER sims will operate under a strict rules of engagement. Armed vessels will only be allowed to fire on other armed vessels or parcels designated by the community as "contested", i.e. combat enabled. Rezz and object entry will be turned on in these sims.
You can read all about the Contested Water sims here:
For those who enjoy 'fighting' in SL, whether be as a futuristic soldier, combat in the middle ages or even attacking a city in Gor, it all comes down to a bit of excitement in the 'up-close and personal' melee. I'm not of that sort. However, the strategic requirements of ship-to-ship battle with cannons and sails... now that's a real challenge.

Just when you think you've seen and done it all in SL, stop and look around. There always is something new that will strike your fancy for certain.
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