Wednesday, May 27, 2020
By Cyfir (Cyfiremmerich)
In a recent article, I wrote about how virtual conventions can temporarily be an alternative to real life conventions. It seems that more people are coming to this conclusion as well as there is now a My Little Pony convention called SLPonyCon that will take place the whole month of June (June 1st-30th). I had a chance to interview the two con chairs Pop Princess Sakairi (Sakairi Melodious) and Braniac -Piper- (rosetheunicorn).
Sakairi: Piper and I are the Co-Chairwomen of SLPonyCon. We`re both in charge of making sure the convention runs smoothly, as well as making sure the rest of the staff and guests have what they need to make their jobs easier. Planning, building, delegating staff tasks... We sort of have our hands in a little bit of everything!
Piper: I mostly take care of our panelists and the general artistic direction of the project.
Cyfir: How did the idea for this convention come about?
Piper: It started as an idea to bring attention to the wide pony community in Second Life, which was already starting to dwindle due to the end of the show as well as the final brony convention. But when the COVID-19 virus happened, the idea was kind of pushed forward.
We wanted to help make up for all the conventions that were cancelled. Many people were affected by it. Since it's on SL and everyone is home due to the corona virus we decided to do it in game with all the stops we could pull for the fandom we love.
Sakairi: The main idea in all was to bring a morale boost to the community and invite people to it!
Cyfir: Who else is involved and what do they do?
Sakairi: There are so many people involved with SLPonyCon. It’s a little hard to name specifics. For starters, we have every major pony sim in Second Life representing embassies at the convention. Carbondale, Neighberry, RubyHills, Trotsdale, Ponytown, Trot Springs, Canterlot, Luna`s Empire, and even a brand new Anthro Pony Sim called Riverside Bay, will all be there to welcome people and show SL what our community has to offer. We also have many many vendors joining us like Ambix, Inzoxi, and Blackback Studios just to name a few. All of the popular pony avatar creators such as N.E.I.G.H, Flower pony, and even some newer bodies like Sparklepony and the long awaited NutBusterz Pony body, which we will be hosting a release party for! We have many many performers and panelists like Captnhoers, Haymaker, and Somberpony. But I think the most important people would be our Staff like our security team lead by Geminai Mills, TDMayo, Nick, and Akasa, Our wonderful Vendor manager Kokuma, our Social media expert Ember, and not to forget our owners LAMP, Serendypity, and Michi. Like I said.. there's just so many people who got involved!
Piper: We have so many people involved with this naming them would take forever but we have quite the team who have put a lot of effort into this project to make our little dream a big reality.
Cyfir: Who are the special guests and what panels can fans look forward to?
Sakairi: This is definitely a question for Piper. She's worked so hard to gather all the amazing panelists we have.
Piper: We have Somberpony; the author of Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons doing Writing Workshops. We have Captainhoers, an animator on YouTube and comic artist doing DND style table top one shot sessions. I will be doing how to draw ponies panels personally. We have Molly doing How to use Second Life panels for newbies. We have many shows including live music from bronies like Haymaker and WoodenToaster (aka Glaze), various gaming events, dj sessions, galas, and other fun activities to participate in.
Cyfir: Who will the live DJs be?
Piper: Various people from our SL community like Serendipity and Kota.
Sakairi: From Carbondale and Neighberry respectfully. Many of our Sim Embassies have volunteered to host many events for the convention.
Cyfir: You mentioned merchants that will be involved. Will there be an artist den?
Piper: Yes. We have a museum actually.
Sakairi: The Art Museum will feature walls for all kinds of artists to not only show off previous work, but give information about them like where to find their gallery online and how to commission them if you'd like a special piece done for yourself! It also has a really pretty interactive walkway out front that plays chimes when you enter, Hehe!
Piper: It’s pretty rad, actually.
Sakairi: SLPonyCon has had a fair share of challenges, like most conventions would. But one of the more challenging aspects would be coordinating a team of varied individuals. The Pony Community is one big family. And like any family, we don't always agree on everything. There's always going to be differing opinions, especially with a group as big as this convention team. But in the end, the important thing is we always find a way to compromise and move forward. Our community looks to us all, and it's our hope that this convention shows them that we are all here for them no matter what!
Piper: We have a no nonsense policy as well for backup.
Piper: Meaning if anyone decides no not play ball with everyone else we have a three strike policy and then they are out.
Sakairi: We have a very top notch security team who are on top of things should anything happen. <3 br="">
Cyfir: What have you learned from putting this convention together so far and is there any advice you could give to anyone thinking about putting on a convention in a virtual world?
Sakairi: Being our very first convention we've ever run, we've already learned a lot.
Piper: Teamwork is important. We wouldn't be able to pull this off without all of our amazing staff, and I think it goes without saying that friendship is magic! I would say try your best to get as many people who would like it on board as you can and play to their strengths and show how much you appreciate their hard work all the way through. Your team is what makes things happen.
Cyfir: How did you both become fans of My Little Pony?
Piper: I have been a fan of MLP since I was a little kid. My favorite pony was Sugarberry in generation 1... though these days I am more well known in the Fallout Equestria side of the fandom.
Sakairi: I became a fan through other friends of mine. I used to be one of those people who thought it was just a show for little girls. My friends, who were bronies, told me about it, and I had the excuse at the time of having kids, so I gave it a shot and watched it with them. I fell in love with the messages of kindness the show sent, and later on, the kindness and acceptance I found in the brony community. One thing led to another and I became hooked. My Favorites would be Celestia, Cadence, and my spirit pony, Pinkie Pie!
Cyfir: What about My Little Pony do you think created such a loyal fan base?
Piper: I think the show has such a loyal fan base due to it’s creative community and wholesome content in a world where it's truly needed.
Sakairi: Mostly I feel it's the positive messages it sends out to it’s fans. It teaches people that we can all be different and still accepting of everyone. The cute artwork is a big plus too!
Cyfir: Do you think that the My Little Pony community is much different than the furry community or is there overlap?
Piper: I personally think it's vastly different especially in energy.
Sakairi: I personally differ there. There are differences, sure, but it's a lot alike in other ways. It's a way to express yourself as an individual. There's things in both communities for all kinds of different age ranges and tastes. It's not really about the entire community as a whole as much as the individual and how they choose to use it. There are even Furries and Anthros IN the pony community.
Cyfir: Anything else you would both like to mention?
Piper: I sure hope this makes people’s year just a little bit better.
Sakairi: We can't wait to see all of you! Visit our website and our discord if you would like any more information on the event!
You can check out the SLPonyCon website here: https://www.slponycon.com .
You can check out the convention’s Discord channel here: https://discord.gg/hsD34cH .
Their Twitter can be found here: =https://twitter.com/pony_con .
Finally, for a full schedule of events, go here: https://www.slponycon.com/events-1 .