By Bixyl Shuftan
community of ponies came about, soon followed by a couple sims. Despite a setback that would have demolished some communities, the Ponies bounced back with a new sim, BronyTown. Within months, the community had expanded to several thriving sims with no real sign of trouble.
Since Xymber's articles on the recovery, I hadn't heard much about the sims, and an Internet search didn't reveal much. My partner Jasmine had been to the Pony sims a few times, and recently invited me over to take a look to see things for myself. So we both headed over. With "My Little Pony" being aimed at girls, although it's 21st Century versions have appealed more to teenagers and young women, I had never seen a single episode. So Jasmine had to explain a few things to me.
The place itself was built and textured in a style that looked light-hearted and cartoony. But the colors tended to be bright, with some pastel shades, making the place resemble the setting of the cartoon. It resembled a fantasy village somewhat, with the yellow roofs having the shape of thatched straw ones. The streets were not grey or black, but had a light blue color.
The pony sims were about to have an event, the "Winter Wrap-Up," somewhat based on a "My Little Pony" episode where the characters have a spring festival. And Jasmine had been working on one of the prizes to give out: a pair of sunglasses, "Winter's done, Spring's springing. Sun's com'in out, Sun's in your eyes. What'ya do? Reach for your sunshades." The event was partially to bring the locals "together to recreate an episode of My Little Pony," but it was also a chance for visitors to drop by, "you get to meet everyone, make friends, see the town in it's entirety."
Showing me around in her own pony avatar, she was wearing a brown jacket over the front. It was for one of the event's teams, "The brown outfit is for the Critter team, green is the Planter team, and the blue is the Weather team." She also showed me a shovel and hoe, "the shovel is for anyone, used to remove snowpiles. The hoe is for anyone to 'garden.' No additional thing for the weather team. Using the hoe or the shovel to do a 'thing' gives you one sunshine. You gather those for these here prizes."
At the town center, here was a sunshine counter which when touched told locals how many points they had, "Your sunshine burns brightly at 578." This point system was around long enough for others to joke at. One pony lying down had a fake tag over her head, "10,000 Sunshine." The occasional chuckle from others was a sign no one was buying it.
The ponies certainly had a whimsical nature. It didn't take much to get them joking around, and it was often spontaneous, "Oh my God! MUFFINS!!" "Sugary Goodness!" Looking around the place, other groups of locals also broke out in spontaneous whimsy, running around and doing some "flip" gesture or something, or cracking jokes. There was also a "Doctor Hooves" going about in a "Tardis." Jasmine commented of those making themselves part of the community, "You get to play. This whole place I've noticed brings out the kids in everyone."
There was one thing about the community that Jasmine didn't like, one that all groups in Second Life shared. Although she was wearing the avatar to help get in the spirit of the festival, there were a few locals whom wouldn't talk to her unless she was wearing it. While everyone important here would happily talk to visitors, she felt that was a reminder that no matter where you go, there are always some reluctant to speak with others unlike them.
But still, there was no shortage of friendly folk here, in this whimsical, happy place. If you're looking for a place to explore that's different, by all means give BronyTown a look. There are also several other pony sims. East Trotsdale, West Trotsdale, Trotsdale Heights, Everfree Forest, and the castle sim of Canterlot.