Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Themed Plus and Where the CodePoet talks of his origins as a Caledonian

There has been much worry in my head about whether or not Caledon is a Themed experience or a Role-Playing experience. While sitting at the Anvil in Tam, Miss Karin McElroy came up with the perfect description for Caledon and I for one will be using until such time a better descriptor comes along: "Themed Plus".

I think it perfectly describes Caledon, with its STRONG theme and its LIGHT role play (with the occasional bout of Heavy Role Play -- though always in a temporary manner).

Which leads me to what was preceding the birth of this phrase. That is the fleshing out of back stories for our "characters". This is something I will not be doing. Firstly I am more interested in my forestory. Where I am going, the stuff yet to be written, and enjoying the present moment in Caledon. The second is that I don't really have a character. I am just Zen. A Zen that has grown as one with a bit more politesse with his time in Caledon, but essentially still Zen the Code Poet.

How did I come to Caledon? Well I knew a bit about it from knowing Puck Goodlife during my time on the mainland, him being the best friend of my first serious SL girlfriend. So I knew a teeny bit about it. A couple girlfriends later, we were looking for a place to explore, and the name Caledon floated into my head. I had ONE suit (the morning suit I wore to the Haiku Duel) that would work, so I dressed up, and promptly landed in Caledon II.

We looked around from the hub and fell in love with the charm of the place. We noticed the giant chessboard, and decided to play a game. I won in about 7 moves. We hung around the chessboard and someone came up to us (I think another tourist) and asked how the game was going. I pointed out that it was in Checkmate, and then told him that I had lost. Then, a few minutes later I met my first Caledonian in his native habitat. Mr. Bastillion Bachman. He came offering a prize for the winner of the chess game, my lady friend would not let me lie again, and told him that I had won, where then Mr. Bachman gave me a hat. Which I still have to this day. He also gave my lady friend a gift as well for a game well played.

Bastillion was so kind and polite, it was truly unlike any experience I had previously had on the grid. He was so warm and inviting, and gave me several notecards about Caledon. Told me some places that were good to explore in the then 8 sims and we were on our way.

This was during a brief time where I was homeless, so I ended up logging out there in Caledon near Bastillion's shoppe.

I logged in the next day, still happy to be in Caledon, and it was there I met my second native Caledonian, Lady Amber Palowakski. She was offering discounted Tarot readings in celebration of Samhain, and I took her up on the offer. For those that do not know, Lady Amber has a gift with the cards. She gave me the best reading I had ever had up to that point. She also gave me the gift of a walking stick to go with my morning suit and hat.

I was smitten. I was in love. No, not with Lady Amber, with Caledon. I made it clear that I was, and as fortune would have have it, Lady Amber was wanting to divest herself of some Land in Caledon On Sea. Why she thought I would be a good recipient of the estate after only just meeting me, I think it must have been that 6th sense of hers. Well in a few days time, we arranged the transfer and I was landed gentry. A Caledonian. I had found a home.

So that's my story. Not much adventure, not much grandeur, but its mine, and its the truth.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I'm retired

I for one am now glad to retire my commission in the Caledon Militia. Putting my brief military career behind me, I also hope to put to bed the hurt feelings my service has caused in me and in others. It is my hope, that conflict will never again come to Caledon's shore. Oh I am sure I will dust off the uniform for the occasional parade or machina or what have you, and if the call ever goes out I probably will answer and be reactivated.

But for now, I would like to think my fighting days are behind me.

If I may step through this wall separating us for a moment, I do hope we have learned our lessons for RP events in Caledon. Despite all the urgings that it is "only a game" the emotions stirred can be o too real. Anything that pits Caledonian against Caledonian, be they a secret police force, a werewolf, or a red or blue member will be divisive. Even the silliest of pretenses seem to gain a foothold in our hearts. Not that Caledon needs to be a place where we all agree and always get along (well no, I take that back, we SHOULD always get along, even when we disagree) marching in step.. no. I know what it is we should do.


Caledon is an ideal, lets come together again and start living that ideal once more.


Colour Sgt. ZenMondo Wormser (ret.)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Calmer words

I blogged mad last night. I am mad so rarely that when I am so, I seem to revel in it for a time. I am doing my best to calm down now, but I should make some things clear.

First, I do not hold the referees accountable for the disaster in any way.
They did the best job they could given the circumstances. They did there best to try to assure fair play, which brings me to point two

Secondly, I have an overdeveloped sense for fair play, like that of a child.
I know that the world is not a fair place. I know that unfair things happen all the time. In most circumstances I do not expect things to be fair. But in a game, in a competition, I expect fairness, and its directly tied to my ability to enjoy the game. To have had things so skewed last night robbed me of the opportunity to enjoy the play. Even if I am to accept that it was third party griefers that was doing the pushing and caging, (and I now recant the last post finding out that both sides were griefed) there was still unsporting behavior on the Blue Side. As it has been pointed out this was a GAME, but I expect games to be fair. If I play battleship, I expect my opponent to put all his ships on the board, not hide the two hit PT boat in his pocket to make a situation that cannot be won. In short there are situations where fairness can be expected and when my expectations are not met, I get very angry like a petulant little child.

Which brings me to my third point, When it was clear that the conflagration was a disaster, it should have been called "on account of rain [griefing and lag]" fixed and rescheduled or just given up, instead Mordecai Scaggs touted his "victory". We (red team) didn't have the whole story at the time, and while I understand the desire to wrap it up and put it behind us, Scaggs was unwise in his manner and words in doing so. Where Scaggs could have been gracious, he chose to be pompous. As to the players that were in our camp early, I have since learned that they were not in the group to receive the orders to return to starting positions, not their fault, I give them full pardon, but do believe it was the oversight of their leader, again Mr. Scaggs who should have seen that they were added to the proper groups, or at least inform them that they needed to be. Scaggs still took the points of the unfairly captured flag to count towards his "victory".

I am not mad at the Blue Team as a whole. I am not mad at the referees. I am mad that something I had been looking forward to for a week was robbed of any enjoyment. Like I said it is rare that I get my Irish up, and I thought writing this would help put it behind me. But the feelings still linger.

Of the three major RP events in Caledon, there have been hurt feelings every time. I don't think conflict-oriented RP is a good idea in Caledon, and we should just quit. Although its hard to ignore that in all three instances there was something in common in the middle of the conflict, I will leave it as an exercise for the reader to find this common thread, though I have given enough clues in this post to make it most obvious.

Conflagration In Caledon

I'd like to write this in character, but I do not have it in me tonight. We were to put to bed tonight all the war and fighting of the militia, in a week long event of RP and skirmishes, to be decided in a grand game of capture the flag.

It was to be a battle with agreed upon rules and weapons, though such things were thrown out the window.

Firstly The Blue team started prematurely and those on the blue team disregarded any orders to return to starting position, so the result of this is that the blue team had kills and had players in the red camp BEFORE the game even started, and succeeding in capturing our flag seconds into the game.

Secondly the Blue team rezzed several decoy flags, and when those were removed, the remaining flag was not capturable by the red team, the first is unsporting, the second another "bug" in favor of the blue team.

Thirdly Blue Team seemed to use illegal push weapons, and several players on both teams were orbited. I even had report of Blue Leader Mordecai Scaggs orbiting Red Leader Edward Pearse. The pushing got so bad, that Red Team retired from the field, for they could not KEEP TO the field, so really what was the point?

There were also reports of caging, apparently only Red Team Members were caged.

There are unfounded rumors that there were three griefers on the field, wrecking havoc. No one on the red team spotted anyone on the field that did not belong. Supposedly the Red Cross has three names, but they have not been made available to me.

So we ended the RP at the Anvil, and Scaggs had the gall to say "[0:11] Mordecai Scaggs: It matters not who won or lost - though we did win - but that we fought, everyone of us, hard and fair"

This was NOT a fair fight by any means. Even if the Blue Team did not cheat all the events that lead to fiasco, all the grievous situations favored the blue team, I used to believe in coincidence, but this is a hard one to swallow.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

WHEN is Caledon?

I have been germinating on this post for a longish while, and I hope that it has ripened enough that I can finally put it down.

The use of dates always seems troubling in Caledon. The introduction in our Covenant states, "Caledon is a 19th century Steampunk Victorian nation-state!" So that is the clue right there. 19th Century. Victorian. Well Hmm. The Victorian Era took place from 1837 - 1901, dipping its toe in the the waters of the 20th century. To convert the real date to a Victorian one is not simple math. If we subtract 100 years, we are in the Edwardian Era, 200 years and we are way off. 150 years? Puts us 20 years in the Reign of Victoria, but introduces a lot of anachronisms. Caledon as it exists is a pastiche of the entire Victorian Era, with some bleed over from the Regency as well as Edwardian Eras, with a good sprinkling of a past that never was (but don't we sometimes wish was?). In this humble CodePoet's opinion this is a good thing.

When I first came to Caledon, I soon learned that what we had here was not the Victorian Era as it was, but perhaps, as it SHOULD have been. Many of the attributes of the Victorian era are absent. The misogyny, the bigotry, oppressive colonialism (our version of colonialism is fun!), and lets face it, the sexual repression are all absent in Caledon. Also absent is the Servant Class (except for those that choose it). We have something different, we have taken the best parts of Victorian culture (such as civility -- well everything else derives from THAT doesn't it?) and created something NEW. I hesitate to use to use the term Neo-Victorian, as it has a definition already and it is is not Caledon. Truly, the best word to describe it is CALEDONIAN.

So still, the question remains : when is Caledon? I say Caledon is firmly rooted in the 21st century. It is for all intents and purposes 2007. How I see it, is that Caledon exist in the 21st Century, but the citizens choose to live in such a way that HEARKENS back to the reign of Victoria, but through a 21st century lens, improving on the original. Using the technology of the 21st Century (namely our computers, and Second Life itself) to create this nation, collectivly and create what is a most ENJOYABLE Victorian, Steampunk existance. We use the tools of today to live in an idealized version of the past.

We are able to live out our Caledonian lives however we see fit, yet we restrain ourselves to the mode of the period because it appeals to us (I am sure the actual vicotrians would have raved late at night had it only been invented yet). I like the things best that blend 21st century technology with a Victorian experience. How they would have done it if they only could!

The example that springs to my mind, is the Dance Card system we have used at balls in Carntaigh (though admittedly not all have enjoyed it). There was given to me the task of realizing the very Victorian practice of a dance card, but making it work in Second Life, which I did with a scripted object. A Victorian Experience, realized with 21st Century Technology. Straddling Two Centuries, being in both at once. That is Caledon to me.

But in truth, Caledon has no Queen, though Victoria is enshrined in our hearts, perhaps like Aurthur just sleeping somewhere, and will return to us in our time of need (in the meantime we have a Vicereine to perform the duties of a monarch), and we have created such things as a "working class aristocracy" (which I think I belong to). Being free from our labors, except those we choose to pursue for our own enjoyment, there is no need for oppression. We are all pursuing our dreams, living our (second) lives in an ideal, Victorian Steampunk setting. There is nothing like it (to my knowledge) anywhere else. I love being a 19th. Century Gentleman in 21st Century Caledon.

Monday, July 9, 2007

I am inflamed beyond the power of modesty!

In Caledon we take the best of Victorian society and make it our own. We really are an amalgam of the best of both 19th and 21st Century attributes. Though its always nice to bring 21st century tools and experiences and give them a 19th century flavor.

So I wonder how this would carry over to love making (tut tut, now we are all adults and surely it happens in Caledon, though its not too polite to mention such things -- pardon me gentlefolk for my frankness and boldness) but really just WHAT would a Victorian cry out in passion?

Well if you get stuck you can go ye unto the Victorian Sex Cry Generator.

"Oh! such rare and exquisite provocatives!"

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Its Official.

Though most of my dealings, a handshake deal is enough, in the welfare of Miss Tempyst Lane, I wanted things to be a bit more official and binding. So I sought the services of Caledon's Jurist, Miss Bryndal Ellison to draw up the appropriate documents, submitted for you here as a matter of public record.

The text reads:


File No. 1023

In re Adoption of Tempyst Lane, A Minor Doll.


And now, July 1, 2007, the court being satisfied that the statements made in the annexed petition are true, and that the welfare of Tempyst Lane will be promoted by her adoption, and that all the requirements of the Caledonian Adoption Act of 2007, having been complied with, and it appearing:

THAT the petitioner herein, Sir Zendmondo Wormser, is a person of respectability and character, fully willing and able to maintain, educate, and rear the said Tempyst Lane.

The Court hereby decrees that the said Tempyst Lane shall be in law the adopted child of Sir Zendmondo Wormser and shall have all the rights of a child and heir of said petitioner, and be subject to the duties of such child, and is hereinafter named and known as Lady Tempyst Lane Wormser.


I, Bryndal M. Ellison, officer of the Caledonian Court and Counselor of Law, do certify that the above and forgoing is a true, correct and entire copy of the Decree of Court, re: Adoption of Lady Tempyst Lane Wormser, a minor doll, file number 1023;

so full and entire as the same remains of record and on file in said office. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand affixed the seal of said Office, this 1st day of July A.D. two thousand and seven.

Bryndal M. Ellison, Esq.