Second Life: Araxes Roleplay
Second Life is an online virtual world created by Linden Labs and release in 2003. If you have never heard about Second Life let me explain why it’s not just an advanced Sims game.
When entering Second Life you choose your avatar; you can later edit and change yourself. If you aren’t very good at character creation then you can always look for shops in world or on the marketplace website. What makes Second Life different than any other game is the ability to create whatever it is you imagine in world. Whether it is a working car or a cool pair of wings, Second Life is only limited to your imagination as long as you are willing to learn. Along with being able to create things players can also script items to run a certain way, like a car. You must use the LL script language which isn’t much different than C++, just with different words.
If you have heard of Second Life then you may draw the assumption that it’s full of weird people that just do adult themed stuff at all times. Though you aren’t wrong there are adult themes in Second Life, it is for the parcels of land called ‘sims’ to choose what they allow. There is an aspect to Second Life that isn’t talked about very often and that is roleplay.
Roleplaying in Second Life is kind of like LARPing without bringing it to the real world. You choose the type of roleplay you want and just jump in after reading the rules. I decided to interview an avatar that goes by the name of Cody Winterwolf who helps admin the sim clusters of Araxes. I wanted to know more about Araxes and why Second Life is different when it comes to roleplay.
GameSkinny: What is it you do on Araxes?
Cody Winterwolf: Personally? You could say I have a couple of things I do in general. During RP I'm a sheriff for the Enclave. I'm also known as a mechanic, salvage hunter, and a cargo handler. When I'm not in RP, I'm an admin for the three sims. I handle day to day things like people who need help with questions about Araxes, dealing with griefers, or repairing something that stopped working; IE script issues, misplaced objects, and things that aren't working as normal.
GS: Roleplay is usually done on forums, video games and board games. What makes Second Life different?
CW: Well, SL is different because it's more fluid and able to change. The stories and quests are driven by the players instead of a pre-programmed system. It allows for players to create their own stories and adjust them to changes based on other player’s responses. Most other games are limited to what was programmed by the creators and drives the player to a single final goal. Here, we can have ongoing campaigns and stories. And unlike forums, we have props and tools to help with the visual aspects of the story. Pretty much everything here is in real time.
GS: What makes Araxes unique?
CW: Araxes is open to a variety of science fiction groups and genres. Mainly, we're on a desert world (No, not Tatooine).... We are located in the Mu Draconus system and have an imperium government. We are also home to a number of groups, such as Firefly, Star Trek, and a few other sci-fi groups.
GS: What is the main storyline of Araxes?
CW: The main story is living and surviving on a harsh desert world where you can find everything from high society to pirating and desert dwellers. The world is in the middle of a corporate, government and local conflict to control the vital essence found here. (It’s like spice... But it’s NOT Dune!) We are not Dune, nor do we condone the use of any Dune related names, stories, or names.
The reason Cody wants players to know that this roleplay is not Dune is because when the roleplay first started it was Dune. Then it switched over to being a self-made roleplay allowing all Sci-Fi’s to come and join the fun. It's because it was rumored the creators of Dune came and gave a cease and desist order.
GS: If Araxes allows all Sci-Fi’s to roleplay how does the sim balance out power, abilities, or weapons?
CW: We have a few rules to follow:
- Jedi can't just wave their hands and alter how someone acts.
- Energy weapons are not used here as it's too overpowering. It’s preferred everyone uses some sort of slug weapon or blade.
- Pheromones are not used to change or alter someone to say, do, or act a specific way.
- Readers... They have to IM (instant message) someone and ask to have info to use.
Mostly the rules are guidelines to help control overuse of powerful things. Most times it’s looking at what’s being used or added then we have to decide if it’s viable for use or too much.
GS: If a fight breaks out what determines the winner?
CW: We use what’s called a HUD for combat. It determines the amount of damage any one person or vehicle takes before they are out of the fight. You can call it hit points. I guess you could say the last group, or person standing is the winner, or survivor. You can use blades, handguns, or rifles. We even have ship to ship combats.
GS: What kind of events get held on Araxes?
CW: During the week there are set events that go on. Every other Tuesday there is the general assembly at the Hall of Winds. Corporate, government and local groups get together to hear the news and to deal with conflicts. Thursdays is Schola, where folks can sit and discuss a topic of the day. Fridays is usually the Haven Bar holding its weekly themed event. And there’s player driven events throughout the week besides. You could run into some intrigue or get mugged... Or even find yourself buying something interesting. You never know.
There are many other roleplays on Second Life like Star Wars and Final Fantasy VII. Each roleplay has its own rules and regulations you must follow. Even if you aren’t into roleplay there are a lot you can do in Second Life. It’s up to determine how you spend your time there.