Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Very Expansive Definition of 'Victorian'

Perhaps I'm just crabby today.

First up, seen in Glengarry: Miss Nikki Kimono and Miss Violet Jolles. (I realize I risk sending the wrong message about Caledon to Dr. Beck, who will leave his home in Steelhead Shanghai in search of scantily-clad Caledonian beauties. So be it. )

Now, I'm not really complaining about their attire. The more people who see Caledon, the better. There's no dress code. Still, are you comfortable roaming about Miss Jillian Vayandar's estate dressed like that? Aren't you a tad chilly?

But what really made me cranky was to see the site of the old Steampunk Resource Centre transformed into...I don't know what. But take a look:

Note that the yellow house in the background is Rhianon's. The waterfall suggests the foundation is likely to be in serious trouble, what with the underground stream obviously eminating from beneath her house. The structure in the foreground is...Moorish? In any event, not remotely Victorian. Or Steampunk. Even by a generous definition.

One advantage of more tightly-controlled areas, such as Steelhead or New Babbage, is that the leader/mayor/dictator can ensure that builds adhere to the theme. The Babbage "brand" - grimy, sooty, industrial Victorian - is not diluted by random builds. Caledon is different...more relaxed in its adherence to theme. Fair enough, I suppose. But why would one want to plant stakes in Caledon, with its Victorian Steampunk theme, only to build something else? It's a big grid.

If this were an isolated incident, I'd say that things happen, and not worry about it. But these kinds of...unusual sights are fairly common. Hey, I can't build a lick, but there are plenty of talented people who sell nice Victorian homes!


Anonymous said...

Always a much debated point, I suppose in theory the pyramids are not Victorian - but then of course they were around in Victorian times and so were themed follys, so in theory they would not be out of place per se, so I suppose it could be argued that etc etc.. well you get the idea. I'm not saying this is a good thing or a bad thing, but unless it's a rigidly controlled environment, it's hard to be definitive - ask 10 Caledonians on ISC what constitutes Victorian and you will probably get 12 different answers. I suspect this sort of debate will rumble on for a long time.
And no I don't claim to have the answers on this one either :)
Denver Hax

Kathy Jameson said...

A fair point, Mr. Hax.

As it turns out, the property changed hands before the entry was posted. I must be more influential than I could have imagined. :)

Onyx Plutonian said...

Miss Jameson,

Your influence is certainly substantial. In reference to the gist of your post, I have seen all manner of things in Caledon that stretch the bounds of the strictly Victorian. However, I conceed Mr Hax's point. It is not unreasonable to see significantly different architctures from previous periods; be they Moorish shrines, ancient Medieval Castles or what not.

Rhianon Jameson said...

It is indeed a tricky issue. The Guvnah has been quite clear that he prefers to rule with a light hand, and thus imposes few restrictions while exhorting his citizens to follow the spirit of the sims. There have clearly been worse offenders even in my time in Caledon though, fortunately, they tend not to last long.

When I came to this fair land, I knew little about Victorian stylings. I have learned a great deal since then, but I'm far from an expert. (Fortunately, enough experts are willing to take my money that I can buy a reasonable amount of authenticity.) Even so, I don't understand people who come to a themed area, only to stretch the theme. Someone - and I forget who it was - said, "I don't care much for the Victorian era, but this seemed like a nice place to live," which seemed like a lazy approach to finding a community in Second Life.

Just to be clear, I enjoy very much the Steampunk aspects of the, er, Steamlands, from the amazing spectacle of Steam Sky City to the airships moored above the New Babbage factories, to the evil and/or mad scientists who dot the landscape and entertain with their diabolical schemes and advanced weaponry.

In my co-author's defense, she did say she was in a crabby mood when she wrote the piece. :)

Breezy Carver said...

grins I think the piece is done with Passion .. Lovely Passion Dear Miss Rhianon... It is classic debate ie that the punks of genres do not always mix well ..

Edward Pearse said...

While it may not be strictly Victorian or Steampunk the Moorish building is a better fit than the gaudy deco airships that criss cross Caledon on a regular basis.

But then Caledon's adherence to theme is far more often broken than embraced.

Kathy Jameson said...

*laughs and throws up her hands* I concede! I withdraw my objection to the building. :) (I'll keep my objection to the waterfall, although this is gone as well as the building.) When the talented Mr. Plutonian, the diabolical Mr. Hax, the lovely Lady Breezy, and the indominable Lord Edward are all of the opinion that the house fits, then it fits.

The C.A.T. airships are quite art deco, aren't they? I don't mind them, but yes, they might fit better in Seraph City than Caledon.

Vivito Volare said...

I rarely leave touch ground, I admit, but have travelled enough to agree and disagree with everyone here. Though I think you question of, "...why would one want to plant stakes in Caledon, with its Victorian Steampunk theme, only to build something else?" is very valid.

What I think it comes down to is that at this point, Caledon is large enough to be a notable brandname, where getting in is inexpensive in many cases, and your neighbors are usually respectful of privacy. Theme is secondary to some people, and many enjoy being a tourist in Disney Shang's "Mainstreet ISC" than a participant.

Rhianon Jameson said...

Fair points, sir.

Come to think of it, in addition to "Caledon as brand name," there's a certain intertia decision-making, and I wonder if Oxbridge's function as a gateway for newcomers naturally leads to some deciding to put down roots in Caledon because, well, that's where they are. In the past, people started elsewhere but came to Caledon for the Victorian and/or Steampunk aspects. Now the newcomer who starts here may well stay here independently of any love for the theme.

Most of 'em are polite, at any rate. :)