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Showing posts with label Marvel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marvel. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

SPOTLIGHT ON the Original Marvel RP sim (Excelsior) and DC Universe RP - SLE Reporting…

In July,  the SL Enquirer’s Ops Manager Orion Baral celebrated his 15th rez day with a surprise Hulk Themed party right in the middle of Times Square, SL. Friends from far and near came in their best marvel costumes and were in for a wild show complete with humping pokemon, a broken ankle, and a lost contact lens. However, Melina Firehawk, Mankind Tracer, Terry’s Place’s DJ Ninja, and Lanai Jarrico made it possible.  The party was amazing!

For Marvel fans across the grid, this is one of the most detailed roleplaying experiences we’ve seen in a long time. Melina Firehawk and her team created a replica of Times Square on the original marvel Sim (Excelsior) as well as a DC Universe roleplay sim using the comic characters to tell stories based on the 616 Marvel Universe. We sat down with Melinda Firehawk to learn more about these two very popular RP experiences and how to get started.

Interview with Melinda Firehawk

SLE: Melina, first and foremost we want to thank you for allowing us to host a surprise party on your Sim. I asked for a Hulk Inspired theme and got more than I expected. It was a blast!  I’ve been to NYC plenty of times and I have to say the SL Times Square really looks like the real deal. How did you discover Second Life and what inspired you to get involved in Marvel RP in SL? 

Melina:  I discovered Second Life 16 years ago in July 2005.  At that time, I was part of an organization that focused mainly on traditional mediums of role-playing such as forums, AOL/AIM chat rooms, IRC, and email with a high concentration in Star Trek offerings.  They had a few other options that they branched out into including Stargate, Firefly, and Star Wars, but I was more of a PBeM (play by email) roleplayer.  I could not, for the life of me, keep up with the live-action role plays that took place in chat rooms like AOL/AIM and IRC, which at that time comprised the bulk of the roleplay opportunities the group offered.

That is until I came across Second Life.

I did some research on ways that I could improve with live-action roleplaying and that's how I came across Second Life.  I didn't join at first, but once I did I was hooked.  I not only found the old Star Trek Museum at Indigo, which had a Defiant that you could go into and roleplay in, but I learned how you could literally make your av look like anything, and do almost anything while interacting with others around the world.

Sadly, the founder of the group passed away suddenly so I was never able to fully propose the idea of Second Life to them as an option for a roleplay offering, but I stuck around and got involved with a few Star Trek groups in Second Life.

Even though I was doing Star Trek roleplaying, I was a huge Marvel fan ever since I was little and watched reruns of the 1960s Spider-Man cartoon on TV, as well as the early 80s shows like Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, and others.  I got involved with the peace-keeping group, Justice League United, and that rekindled my interest in Marvel and DC.  I started searching for possible roleplay groups and sims within Second Life, but unfortunately, the character I really wanted was always filled.

The person who had the role eventually was willing to give it up so I could have a chance to play it out, and I've been part of the roleplay ever since.  At this point, I believe that I've been there for at least 7 years.

SLE: That is a dedication to Marvel RP. You have come a long way!  The beauty of Second Life is it can be anything you want it to be. Do you consider SL an extension of your real life or just a game?

Melina:  I kind of consider Second Life to be a hybrid that is both a game, but also an extension of my real life.

The hybrid is due to the fact that, as a game, I can exit out of it anytime I want to in order to focus on things in the real world like work, home repairs, and the like.  But once I'm in Second Life, it's definitely an extension of my real life as I've made friends that I'd never get the chance to meet without it.  Additionally, I'm able to participate in fundraising efforts like Relay for Life as I've had several family members who have had cancer.

SLE:  Great answer, it is like a hybrid of both. Can you tell our readers a bit about the original Marvel Sim and the DC Universe sims?

Melina:  The Original Marvel RP started in 2009 on a small plot of land using a skybox and a rezzer.  It eventually grew to occupy a full sim that was part of Aftermath, which had already offered a DC roleplay.  Leadership members came and went over the course of time, and the Marvel roleplay broke off to become independent and we've been on our own ever since.  When the DC roleplay at Aftermath took a hiatus for a while, we actually acquired a second sim and launched our own DC roleplay effort in 2015.

The Original Marvel RP, which won the 2015 Simming Prize, is based on the 616 Marvel comics universe.  Even though the MCU is extremely popular, by being comics based we're able to offer a much wider range of characters that haven't been seen in the movies or recent TV shows.  In the past, we normally did our own spin on the comic storylines, but after we saw what Marvel did with Civil War II and Hydra Cap, we decided to go in our own direction.  This gives us more freedom to integrate and keep elements like Parker Industries, or A-Force, even though they no longer appear within recent comics.

Our DC effort follows the comics, but we actually had a divergence in the timeline from the beginning of the sim.  We saw the changes that occurred during the New 52/Rebirth comics, and honestly, nobody was a fan of the highly unpopular alterations to various beloved characters.  We also didn't want to go with the DCEU since that effort has been filled with a few hits, but mainly misses.  Similar to Marvel, taking our own direction allows us to open up fan-favorite characters that people remember from the more popular comic titles in the past and avoid a lot of the changes that we didn't like.

SLE: I really like how you accessed the status of the role play and you took your own direction but still keeping true to the fan-favorite characters. Some people get confused about roleplaying. Can you define what it is and how people engage in it? Is Marvel RP  like being a hero in your own action movie or something more?

Melina:  We've all had books, comics, TV shows, and movies that we've enjoyed, and some people become big fans of the characters that appear in them.  But after that book or comic has ended its run, or the TV show or movie ends, then what?  Do they just fade into obscurity never to be seen or heard from again?  Or are they still out there, doing what comes next and continuing to embark on new pursuits, new adventures, etc?  The "what's next" part of it is what ultimately drives people to write fanfiction or create roleplays to immerse themselves in that environment . . . in the shoes of their favorite characters . . . to create all-new adventures. The difference between fanfiction and roleplay comes down to one very simple element. Interaction.

Fanfiction is normally the work of one person alone, wherewith roleplay you are doing the same thing with continuing the adventure of your favorite characters, putting yourself in their shoes, but you're doing it with someone else.  You're engaging them, and they are interacting with you, and together you are building an all-new story for the characters you love.  You can even create your own character to fit into the genre and interact with others who are playing your favorite characters on sim.

SLE: It is great that you offer the ability to role-play in these scenarios and if one particular character doesn’t fit into the role you want to role play you allow them to create one if it will fit into the Marvel or DC universe. In order to keep everyone on the same page, All roleplay sims should have a set of rules to prevent the storyline from going off-topic or griefed by trolls. What are your guidelines and how do you keep everyone participating safe, informed, and involved?

Melina:  Most of our rules are very common sense for not only the sim but also the roleplay itself.  Many elements of the rules regarding griefing, age, behavior, minimum clothing, etc are in line with the Linden Lab Terms of service so it's pretty self-explanatory.  Other rules are specific to the roleplay sim itself like rez and character limits in order to achieve fairness and spread things out so you don't have one person taking up so many prims that part of the sim gets returned or hogging more than one character from the same team.

We provide a link to our rules, which are in a Google Doc, in not only the notecard that has a bit of information about the sim but also at the top of the application itself.  From that point, we're on the honor system when it comes to our applicants.  We expect that, if they are interested in dedicating the time to write up an application and become part of the roleplay, they've taken the time to actually read the rules and understand them.

Members of our leadership are normally available through status boards in the landing area of each sim, plus our annex, for those that may have questions about the rules or our sims.  On top of that, not only we will monitor the sims at different times throughout the day to ensure that visitors are not violating any of the rules, but we also have members of leadership who participate within the scheduled roleplays who can react and prevent griefers from interfering.

If someone does violate the rules, in many cases we'll try to talk to them first.  Most are more than willing to stop any undesired behavior, but those who persist normally have action taken against them if they refuse to comply after repeated warnings.  In the rare event that someone intentionally griefs the sim, we do react quickly in order to remove them and minimize the impact on the region, but we'll also alert other sims that conduct superhero roleplays.  Griefers who are banned in one sim will often try again in another sim of the same genre so giving those sim owners a heads up can also help protect them as well.

SLE: It is unfortunate that you have to uphold the rules to protect against people that troll and grief and try to upset the role-playing. So tell our readers, due to time zones, it can be difficult to gather a group of roleplayers at one time. How often do characters come together for an RP session and approximately how long does it last?

Melina:  We try to schedule our bigger RP events on Tuesdays and Thursdays at a time that's reasonable for not only most of the US but also those who are in Europe as well.  We do understand if people have to bow out early or arrive late due to the time difference, even with the time that we normally schedule our RPs to be held.  Those sessions on average last about two hours, although sometimes it's gone much longer.

Additionally, we always encourage our members to check the group to see who's online and reach out within the group or via IM to engage in roleplay on an individual basis.

SLE:  Not everyone is born with the thespian bug and it can be a bit intimidating for starters. What advice would you recommend to help make the transition into the RP easier? How can they get started?

Melina:  The best approach to take is to look at it as a simply interaction.  We interact with people all the time . . . in the office, at school, our family, and our friends.  Roleplaying is the same . . . it's interaction with others who may be just as nervous or intimidated as you are, but the difference is that you are putting yourself in the shoes of your favorite character just as the others you are interacting with also are putting themselves in the shoes of their favorite characters.

Once you get approved with a character, you become part of our family, and like family, we try to look out for each other.  We're always willing to roleplay with anyone who wants to get help easing into it, whether it's one-on-one or in a small group before you participate in the larger group events.

SLE: We truly appreciate all that you do in Second Life to give people a place to Roleplay and allow people to bring out the inner hero or villain :) they have inside. Now, is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

Melina:  In addition to roleplaying, we also have a Relay for Life team called Heroes Helping Heroes.  We invite anyone who wants to help us be a hero by supporting the real heroes fighting cancer and those who care for them.  Join us and participate in some of our events, or become part of the team and help us grow the impact we have by providing fun events for all Relayers to enjoy.

Additional information:

Original Marvel Sim SLURL:

Group (invite upon character approval):  secondlife:///app/group/07b3669a-5ee0-b9dd-3a99-0bbfff3550db/about



Cast List: 

Marvel Created Powers: 

DC Universe SLURL:

Group (invite upon character approval):  secondlife:///app/group/ba832b2a-c548-0913-43e1-91ca8e7fdbba/about



Cast List: 

DC Created Powers:

Preferred Contact: Melina Firehawk  secondlife:///app/agent/143318ce-1b9a-41ab-b99c-0c4e6a69fbde/about