Fantasy Faire: A fabulous one-week event to aid the fight against cancer

As of Saturday, 20 April, Fantasy Faire 2013, a week-long event in aid of the Relay for Life of Second Life (in alliance with the American Cancer Society) initiative, has been in full swing and will stay open today as well and until Monday. In the days before the event, renowned machinima creator Draxtor Despres aired a special episode of his excellent “The Drax Files” focusing on the event as seen through the eyes of Zander Greene, one of the movement’s principal driving forces. I must say that, of all segments in “The Drax Files” so far, this is by far my favourite, as it goes a few steps beyond providing a deep and moving insight into the event and what brought it to life; beyond showing what the true heart, soul and and even power of Second Life is, what it can represent – it is a very intimate portrayal of the event, narrated and described by one who, moved and inspired by his father’s battle with cancer, started Relay for Life in Second Life. As such, this narrative speaks to the viewer’s heart, especially people who have lost loved ones to cancer. I really wish I could have written a piece on this excellent event earlier – much earlier, but I guess “better late than never.”

Zander’s remarks, combined with his explanation of the immense potential that Second Life has, are precisely what really makes this episode of “The Drax Files” stand head and shoulders above the previous ones (which were absolutely excellent, mind you).

As Zander explains, “Relay for Life of Second Life is probably the most cost-effective fund-raising effort on the planet.” This speaks volumes of Second Life’s capabilities as a practical medium. “You can’t imagine the scale of something like Fantasy Faire being done in the physical world. The cost would essentially be the cost of nine big-budget feature films plus a nine-day convention. There is no overhead [in Second life] except the time we donate, and we’re bringing thousands of people together who are separated by so much distance, we’d likely never have even know of one another’s existence … and a virtual world just erases all those barriers and gives us the means to do something that is really good,” he adds.

In speaking of Fantasy Faire, he made some well-aimed comments that should provoke thought and, in the light of Linden Lab’s recent ill-advised attempt to bring the “Become Your Avatar” campaign back from the dead, are worth thorough discussion w.r.t. the way Second Life should be presented to the public at large, which, as I explained in my previous post, has a severely distorted view of this virtual world (and others as well).

Now, I believe I have already written enough about the event’s relation to the public’s perception of Second Life. Now is the time to tell a few things about the event itself. As I have already mentioned, Fantasy Faire is an event that takes place to aid the Relay for Life in Second Life; it is a fund-raising campaign to aid the battle against cancer. As its name implies, Fantasy Faire celebrates all things related to fantasy and fantasy role play in Second Life and the regions that host the event are appropriately themed.

This year, Fantasy Faire takes place on nine gorgeous regions designed by some of Second Life’s top designers; these regions are shopping areas in which products from numerous content creators from all over the grid are sold; part of the price paid for each product goes to benefit the campaign against cancer. The builds themselves are absolutely stunning to behold and I highly recommend visiting them while the event still lasts, even if you are not a fan of fantasy role play, because snapshots and descriptions do not really do them justice.

NOTE: Fantasy Faire is a very high-traffic event and, since the region designs make very extensive use of mesh builds and high-resolution textures, you need to not only be patient while they rez, but also be considerate, courteous and polite towards other users and refrain from being loaded with excessive amounts of scripts and mesh attachments; do not add undue lag, because this will only detract from others’ experience of the event.

Fairelands (designed by Saiyge Lotus)

Fairelands - photograph by Exotix (Inara Pey)

Fairelands – photograph by Exotix (Inara Pey)

You can start your journey through Fantasy Faire from Fairelands, a lush forest with teleports hidden within tree trunks, ready to send you to any of the other eight regions. Here, you may also take a rest from all the rushing around Fantasy Faire, enjoying the serenity of the forest. The other eight regions are:

Lotus Valley Dream (designed by Marcus Inkpen and Sharni Azalee)

Lotus Valley Dream

Lotus Valley Dream

A gorgeous region, inspired by the mystical cities of the Far East. It is described as a place where “[t]he spirit world touches the material plane in this garden of bonsai trees and waterfalls surrounding an ancient pagoda.  With such mystical elegance everywhere you look, this is a place to still your mind and connect with the magic within.”

Lotus Valley Dream

Lotus Valley Dream

It is sponsored by The Looking Glass.

Lumenaria (designed by Kayle Matzerath)

Lumenaria

Lumenaria

Lumenaria is a large city within a castle that seems to have been taken straight from a fairy tale, with colourful houses and shops – the main streets meet at a square behind the castle’s gate. It is described as “[a] tribute to the sun and all the golden harmony it brings, the city of Lumenaria is a beacon of hope to any who seek refuge from the dark.”

Lumenaria

Lumenaria

It is sponsored by: Solarium.

Magnificat (designed by Alia Baroque)

Magnificat - photograph by Exotix (Inara Pey)

Magnificat – photograph by Exotix (Inara Pey)

In Magnificat, the visitor will find the summer palace and gardens of the Relay Royales; visitors are kindly invited there for a week of diversions, plays, games and leisure to celebrate life and magnify their souls.

It is sponsored by Fallen Gods Inc.

Ravenshard (designed by Mayah Parx)

Ravenshard - photograph by Exotix (Inara Pey)

Ravenshard – photograph by Exotix (Inara Pey)

“Where beauty has lost its perfection to a collection of twisted shards reflecting the wondrously literalistic minds of Burton, Pratchett, and Dahl. The lands will be distinct. The shops anything but square, and some may even have feet! Be warned. It’s funky, it’s fun, and it’s anything but straight!”

This region is sponsored by Epic Toy Factory.

Titans Hollow (designed by  Elicio Ember)

Titans Hollow - photograph by Exotix (Inara Pey)

Titans Hollow – photograph by Exotix (Inara Pey)

“The cliff city of Caras Calar dangles high above ground, suspended from the fickle rock formations. The Structures are made of a filigree of crystal, wood and metal, and hung with gigantic chains from the columnar cliffs giving the appearance from below of huge floating lanterns. The sunken valley over which the city hangs is forested with strange vegetation and irrigated from waterfalls plunging from the sheer cliffs. Legend has it a battle between ancient gods created this strange scenery.”

Titans Hollow is sponsored by Cerridwen’s Cauldron.

Crimson Fields (designed by Laufey Markstein)

Crimson Fields - photograph by Exotix (Inara Pey)

Crimson Fields – photograph by Exotix (Inara Pey)

“The field of Oblivion will be built as an homage to Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” series, and will feature a central, gothic and ominous dark tower, in a wide open field of overgrown thorns and scarlet red roses. The store builds will hint at the long-gone remains of similar gothic structures, roof-less, with time-eroded stone walls entwined in overgrown rose thorns.”

This region is sponsored by TRIDENT.

The DragonSpire (designed by Khyle Sion)

The Dragonspire - photograph by Exotix (Inara Pey)

The DragonSpire – photograph by Exotix (Inara Pey)

“A barren land of stone and crystal, hiding its lavish secrets beneath the shell of the earth. The native Goblins, Drow, Dwarves and Nixies reside in the fruitful tunnels, lorded over by a Dragon and his horde. Veined with phosphorescent ores, freshwater streams and exotic fungi, these deep caverns hold remnants of a lost civilization.”

It is sponsored by: The Arcanum.

Evensong Woods (designed by Searlait Nitschke)

Evensong Woods - photograph by Exotix (Inara Pey)

Evensong Woods – photograph by Exotix (Inara Pey)

“Resting in the treetops of Evensong Woods is the elven enclave of Yuale Nura. Bathed in moonlight, the homes glow warm in the deep blues and purples of a winter’s night. A light dusting of snow gives the impression of undisturbed slumber, but perhaps all is not as quiet as first impressions suggest.”

Sponsored by Roawenwood.

Acknowledgements: I would like to thank Exotix (Inara Pey) for kindly allowing me to use snapshots from Her coverage of Fantasy Faire 2013.

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Mona (formerly slutrix)

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See also:

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Shortlink: http://wp.me/p2pUmX-8x

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First posted at: http://wp.me/p2RycE-8x

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