By Bixyl Shuftan
From Friday October 8 to Sunday October 17, 2021, the Sci-Fi Expo took place in Second Life. Subtitled "A Journey to New Eden," it was a celebration of science-fiction (and to some extent fantasy), it also had the purpose of raising money for Making Strides for Breast Cancer.
The event took place in six temporary sims near the permanent American Cancer Society and American Cancer Society 2 sims. They were Aperture, New Eden, Arecibo II, The Remnant, Genisis Spire, and The Old Dam. For those not familiar with the "Portal" game, "Aperture" was the name of the corporation. The "IPink ICan" sim was host to the "I Pink I Can" event that took place at the same time.
One minor complaint I've heard from a few Relayers is that some of the Sci-Fi Cons and Expos seemed a little plain in how they were made, compared to events like the Relay Weekend.
This wasn't so much the case this time. The sims appeared to me to be much better done.
Lately, my schedule can be occasionally unpredictable. While I wasn't at the opening day of the Expo, I was able to be at several events the following day on Saturday the 9th. From 10 AM to Noon SL time at the main stage in Aperture, "DJ Kayla and the Roos," members of the Roos team of the Relay for Life, were playing onstage to a crowd.
"Who you gonna call?" The Roos in this case.
From 1 to 4PM, there were the "Combat Bumper Boats ... Grab your friends and your water wings for some fun on the high seas! Rez a bumper boat and challenge your friends to see who will remain dry, and who will be all wet behind the ears. This is definitely a fun time you don't want to miss!"
The rules were fairly straightforward. Click on the boat rezzer, sit on the boat, select a color, then go at it in a free-for-all with no score.
The boats when rezzed all started with 100 points of health. When they hit the shore, they lost a little health. When hitting another boat, they would lose more health. If there was a method to make another boat lose more health than you, I never did find it. Occasionally, there was a cartoon "smash," "zoing," "boing," or some other animated effect floating in the air.
There was also a water gun one could squirt at other players. I wasn't sure if it did a tiny amount of damage, or none at all. But we were using them anyway.
From 6 to 9PM that night was the superhero-themed "Bat Dance." As the narrator put it, "Don your super suit and enter the depths of the Batcave for a party that will even put a smile on the face of the Dark Knight! It's a super night of dancing that will be absolutely heroic!"
We ended up having a, super, time.
On Tuesday at 8PM, it was DJ Mattie's turn on stage.
"It's time for another event at the Sci-Fi Expo Main Stage. Performing at 8PM is the talented DJ Mattie. 'Shi was raised on country music, blues, bluegrass and classic rock. Shi still has a great passion for these genres, country being hir favorite. Music has always gotten hir though some of the worst times in hir life, and now shi love to share some of these wonderful tunes with folks here on SL' Come on over as we kick cancer's behind and have a fun time doing it."
Someone passed around a few hula hoops.
And there was quite a diverse audience.
I also decided to give the Sci-fi Expo quest a try.
The plot of the quest involves Earth trying to broker a peace between the various factions of the colony world of New Eden. But the global communication network is down, and one of the research assistants from Earth has gone missing with a data crystal with information the delegation needs to get things going.
But as anyone whom has done these kinds of quests before, it wasn't that easy. Even when you find the research assistant, your quest has only just begun. She plugged an ancient computer into the communication network.
In trying to find out what's going on, you discover a powerful artificial intelligence in the alien computer, which doesn't necessarily put Humanity's interests as priority.
You also run into the Greslok, the planet's native race.
Much of their home area is littered with starship debris, which the human government has promise to clean up, eventually.
As it turns out, the Greslok live simply now, but long ago were more advanced and created a powerful artificial intelligence they ended up going to war with one another resulting in the destruction of technology, including the AI.
With the AI now seemingly reactivated, you go to turn off the main source of it's power.
You don't succeed in turning off the power. But you do get the artificial superinteligence to think about it's situation. In the end, a truce is agreed to, and it agrees to share some teraforming technology.
That's pretty much what I saw at the Sci-fi Expo. I did hear on Discord that on the day before it's close, it had raised more than 1,750,000 Lindens, or $7000 US dollars.