Monday, 28 November 2011

Nuke Tableau

This blog is not a lonely planet guide, but, occasionally, I find myself drawn to singing the praises on certain sims I have stumbled across. Please, bear with me. 

Ordinarily, I ignore the Destination Guide. The Destination Guide is a kind of lonely planet guide of places Linden Labs thinks are cool, or that just seem to be popular with the SL populace right now. But it seems to be a little too much like an instruction manual, and, like any good student, I have an instinctual loathing and complete disregard for anything trying to tell me the rules. 

Often, too, this "popularity" is quite a tricky statistic to deal with, because there are so many inhabitants of SL, and so many sims, that fifty people visiting one can make it rocket right to the top of the "What's Hot" list. In defence of this list, I am not sure I would willingly go to a sim that was populated with fifty other avatars. My laptop isn't capable of holding that many pieces together all at once, and I'd imagine that lag would be through the roof. 

To get to the point: at some point last week, I decided to be a rebel and take a look at the Destination Guide, and I found this place: Tableau. 

Aside from being a well-decorated, sun-baked little town, the sim is also home to its own theatre; a charmingly decadent proscenium arch balanced on the sand before only a couple of rows plush seats. The whole is rather reminiscent of Baz Luhrman's "Romeo and Juliet" and, loving that film, and in particular that image, as I do, I was immediately drawn to the stage.

Finding theatres within SL is always a little thrilling, and seems to back up the sense of the centrality of the theatre to society. What most theatres do not have, however, within SL and the real world, is an unexploded nuke for a backdrop.

A (nuclear) plague on both your houses!
Oh, you know the non-manual reading rebel in me loved this!
The juxtaposition is quite a strange one, though such stories of bombs being dropped but not going off, and instead just hanging in the rafts of various buildings, are not so rare. Did such not happen to St.Paul's Cathedral during the Blitz? I am ashamed that I can't remember.

The post-apocalyptic aesthetic is one that holds hands quite nicely with the rest of the baked/desert/South American feel of the rest of the sim, and the gilt skulls that are scattered around.

The best thing about this little theatre are its puppets. In the little wooden chest you can just about make out on the stage above are a whole host of puppets that you can pick up, for free. And they are wonderful!

I don't know much about puppet theatre, and the quick search I ran on the names of each of these figures turned up precious little, but I am half in love with these. Each is bigger than the standard-sized avatar (which is taller than people are generally irl) and held up and moved by a pole attached to the head. The fabric hangs down to simulate the body, and also to hide the puppeteer behind.

Puppet show for a non-existent crowd
The potential with such a little set-up is kind of exciting. Would it be possible to put on a little something here with these puppets? Where would we get an audience from?

If anything comes of it, I'll let you know.


  1. Cool puppet idea....I think I love to read your blog simply because I love to read your writing - whether I like the subject matter or not it is always well written and easy to understand which is a wonderful thing - hopefully it is a skill that will appear in ones younger siblings too, although at this stage I very much doubt :-P


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