I would not have predicted this but last night I had one of the single most entertaining experiences of my Second Life at the VWE Edge (One Year Anniversary). I'm going to get to the juicy bits in a minute. First let me give you what, in my opinion, is a very cool feature of the last few V2 Beta's.
I had received a notice that this event was going to happen and figured "What the heck, I've never been to wrestling in Second Life" and thought I'd go check it out. First I had to find it and then remember it. So I went into events and searched in sports and, yes, found it. If you open the event and click on "profile" you get a new little window pop up. The first button on the bottom is "notify". I clicked on that and then closed the search windows.
A little over two hours later I got a notice about the event with a teleport button. Yay! Now as long as I know about an event and can find it in search I won't have to rely on my aged memory to actually remember to attend! I don't see this function in the production version of V2 but it is in the Beta. Love it!
Now to the "event". I'm not a devotee of wrestling in the physical world and I've never been to any of the inworld wrestling venues before. I can't compare this organization to any others in Second Life but if they're even 1/2 as entertaining, polished and, to my ears, pitch perfect as the VWE they must be amazing. I invited some friends to join me and once they managed to squeeze into the full sim they enjoyed it as much as I did (actually in one case more than I did but we won't go into that).
I managed to take this shot of the venue before it all started. The lag was something awful and so really good photos were impossible for me but the event worked in spite of any technical difficulties.
This is one of the most well thought out experiences I've encountered inworld. The build is gorgeous and the "extras" are numerous. You can get a free folder of a large number of gestures allowing you to clap, cheer, chant, boo, heckle etc. Signs are included to allow members of the audience to show their loyalties (or hate the ref).
On the ground next to that barrier around the ring are footprints. As a spectator you can "stand" on them and animations then allow you to interact with the wrestlers as they pass by (or land on you when thrown out).
So as you look at these photos imagine the sounds of hundreds of people cheering, jeering and applauding. Imagine the commentators voices describing the action. Imagine the sounds of bodies landing on the mat (or floor). Imagine fighting in and around the ring and characters such as the zombie girlfriend of one wrestler arguing with the giant manager of another. Imagine the chat from the spectators (who all have very strong opinions) and the wrestlers. Oh and try to imagine the chat from the referee (who was actually a stuffed rabbit on the back of a female wrestler doing double duty). Please try to imagine all of that because the atmosphere is exceptional and a huge part of what makes this event so much fun.
The action in and around the ring was, well not scripted of course because wrestling is REAL, but well thought out. The amount of incredibly hard work that all of the people involved put into this is evident. There was a sense of "professionalism" to the whole evening and continuous surprises and often so much was going on it was hard to keep track. But that just added to the fun.
There were a series of matches on the "card" and included "Bombshell" wrestlers, tag teams and championships. Because it is Second Life the women can fight the men and inflict a lot of damage. In the shot below she had just kicked him in his "gibblees" (according to one commentator) and then jumped on him from atop the ropes. You could feel his pain (although the men felt it more than I did).
RezzedTV broadcasts the VWE events 3 times a week. You'll get some idea of what it's like by going and see some of the videos. If you can't get inworld you can watch the live stream of the events on the net.
When you do go watch you'll quickly realize that the one aspect of the whole thing that ties it together and makes it successful is the quality of the two commentators. Arawn Ronas and Wildfire Morgwain are outstanding. I've heard enough snippets of physical world wrestling commentators to tell you that they have this down. It's worth going to an event just to listen to them!
I had originally thought I would just drop in and get a taste of this event. I lasted for 3 hours - I couldn't tear myself away. One of the friends who joined me announced he was "never leaving".
I haven't laughed this hard in years. It was at turns exciting, surprising, suspenseful and hysterical. This was their one year anniversary. How have I not known about this? You really really need to check it out. Their next "big" event is on October 22 but the regular matches will certainly give you a terrific taste. :)