Thursday, February 21, 2008

Space Colony Necronom - A dark role-playing extravaganza

I do not condone rape or violence, especially of the non-consentual variety. Ultimately, I do not care as long as the participants are willing. My interest in Space Colony Necronom is in its content as a fantasy build, but the creator's motivation and goals are intriguing, nevertheless.

Oni Horan (rez: 8/7/2007) got busy in September of 2007, whipping together a sci-fi fantasy build that - until that time - existed only in his dreams. Sorely limited by a parcel allocation of 3,000 prims, he toiled away until October, when he flung open the doors of Space Colony Necronom VI (teleport directly from here), an "interactive adult roleplaying environment."

Apparently believing that oft-quoted cinematic line "If you build it, they will come," he did little to promote it... but it worked. Yesterday's traffic numbers were 22,826, which I contributed to, I might add. (Mom, if you are reading this, I only went to check out the build!)

Oni says that the Space Colony was "formerly known as Colony Necronom VI, but today this place is abandoned, overtaken by alien lifeforms that have used the colonists for breeding. The only thing that can be found there today is madness and death."

Interestingly, Oni has not created any role-playing rules or grounds for banishment, other than that he does not allow "full functionality of weapons."

Bettina Tizzy: Tell me a little about your decision to make it hardcore. Did that decision come first or later? (Space Colony Necronom describes itself as a place for rape, monsters, BDSM, and then some).

Oni Horan: You mean sexual? It is said that two things are needed to sell a medium: violence and sex. Now if you look at the gaming industry of today, it is clear which path has been chosen to follow. While I certainly won't argue about the aesthetic value that violence can have, I find it deeply regrettable that this new medium has chosen such a destructive path almost exclusively.

Careful what you touch here!

Oni Horan: Themes of love and sexuality have no place in this industry and in the few rare instances where that is different, it always leads to a scandal of gigantic proportions, that warns everyone in the US not to pursue that path any further. Everyone knows the relation that Americans have towards sexuality, so as a European I say let them take care of violence and hatred, while we explore the other path, just like it has always been in every medium.

Touch at your own risk

Bettina Tizzy: Are you a 3D artist in Real Life?

Oni Horan: No, but I'm experienced with the medium. I study something like game design. Usually, I make music or draw comics, but in Second Life I can move within all mediums that I know: audio, video, graphics... it all comes together.

Self portrait by Oni Haran

Oni Horan: Second Life is ultimately the most complex virtual enviroment for open thoughts and ideas. Be it politically, socially, or even sexually, people have a chance to express themselves in a very sophisticated way. For that, however, the proper enviroments need to be in place.

Hibernation pods at Space Colony Necronom

Oni Horan: For example, there is a very rich variety of fantasy locations throughout Second Life, which in turn has brought forth a multitude of things to do, thousands of outfits, philosophies and people to explore.

Oni Horan: Basically, any idea can be expressed within a fantasy context, while science fiction, a genre that from the very first day has always primarly served to express novel thoughts and ideas, seems to be quite lacking.

Oni Horan: There are a good number of incredible sci-fi enviroments in Second Life. However, there just is not enough space for many individuals to exist within, so I do hope to add a part to that.

Oni Horan: Every time someone shows me an avatar he himself created just to exist within the context of the station... every time someone wrote themselves their own background... I feel that my goal has been accomplished. I hope that in this way, I have added my own two bits of variety to a world that is still so new and unexplored."

... and indeed, a number of Space Colony Necronom residents have adapted their look to their storyline. "You never know what to expect," said Oni

Avatars are disproportionately bizarre and unusual here, as compared to other regions in Second Life

Oni Horan: There are a million ideas left to be built. I do all this to show that Second Life has got a lot more creative potential than is usually seen. I support many creators that otherwise wouldn't have a chance for exposure. They create things for the station and they can sell their products within the brand I have created. It's still a pretty early phase.


Anonymous said...

Great feature Bettina. I'm not into roleplaying of any kind but I still want to go see this place, looks well worth experiencing.

Vertiphon said...

I haven't been on SL for long, but so far I can't think of a place that I've seen that is as unique - AND well-constructed - as Necronom. Worth seeing if you have an adventurous bone in you. :)