On an intuitive hunch, I opened the World Map, of the SL Grid and began scanning for interesting sim clusters. Finding a good candidate, we zoom down for a closer look at the terrain. Like a good spy satellite, we get a detailed picture of what is going on down there. In this case, we located a tight collective of 24 sims. Each sim is named after an area in the western part of the USA and you could see it in the landscaping. This area had all the elements of a great place to explore.
I had copied the SLURL for one of the sims and went, briefly, to set a LM and get a "first impression". The landing is a skybox, with a painted interior. There is a shack, a horse and a few signs. The 24 sim area is called "Wild West Roleplay Lands" and, as we guessed it, there will be rules. As kids, we called "Roleplay" by the name "Let'spretend". You did your best to look and sound your part, in order to free the imagination to act out the role. It has been many moons, since we last played "Cowboys and Indians" and my imagination has many other ways of getting around. I decided that when I come back I would take in the whole experience, by joining the group and wearing the HUD and health meter. After the regularly scheduled evening's event, I returned home to dress western, horse included, and returned to those wild days of yore.
Back at the skybox, I gathered and read all the notecards about the ground rules and notice that they are in English and German. That seemed unusual, at the time, but I would eventually learn the reason. I joined the local Buffalo Wyoming Group and wore the WW meter HUD and health meter. Now I was ready to descend to ground level and begin the adventure. Turning towards the TP, I spot something at my feet that wasn't there before. It was my tiny neighbor, friend, Erik Mouse. He had located us on his world map. Not long ago, I had invited him to join me, during my explorations of Creations for Parkinson's and he had figured out, if I was far from home, I was probably researching another fun adventure. I could tell, he was hoping to get invited to join the fun. I have to admit, my first thoughts were, this is like getting a hot first date and your mom says to have to watch your little brother and let him tag along on your movie date. Then, my mind steps in, telling me this is exactly the thing we are trying to teach others to do. It wouldn't be a change in our plans, because we were making it up as we go along. Besides, I reasoned that Roleplay was a bit like sex, being more fun to play with friends, than to play with self. I told him that I wouldn't mind if he joined me, but he would have to do it as a human cowboy. He said he had never played a human, in SL, but would do what it takes. I informed him that he could find a human avatar in the library section of his inventory and that they provide free period clothing at the near by shed. Our location seemed to be preventing us from making any changes to our avatars, so we returned home to make a man of him. At the Surf's Up club, I located a complete cowboy avatar, on Marketplace, for only L$25. The cowboy avatar even came with a coiled lasso, so Erik was now fully prepared to rope him some fun.
So, now we have Erik, on his first day as a human, but he's not the only cherry. I quickly discover that I am no longer the author of this play and the actors are working without a script. Our first location, on the ground, was the town of Buffalo, Wyoming. Sha, from experience, takes up the lead position and her faithful companion follows a few paces behind. Being in a Wild West town, our first interest was finding the local Bank. We found it, but it was locked so we went across the street, to the Saloon. The barkeep and patrons are all cardboard cut-outs. If we wanted adventure, we needed to head on down the road. A quick check of the radar showed that we were the only ones on this sim, but there are a handful of others on the next sim, so we head in that direction. As we entered the next town, there only seems to be one resident and he is taking a nap, in front of the Pub. I spot the local jail and head over to check the accommodations. I entered a jail cell and invited Erik to come in and pose for a souvenir photo of our adventure.
We broke out of jail and returned outside where I spotted a gallows. I think this might be a good place to demonstrate the virtue of Courage, so I clicked the gallows and selected the hang by the neck animation.
Well, I was having some fun, but my companion was probably wondering when the adventure would begin, so we headed towards the blips on the radar. This ain't no big city. There are no paved roads or direction signs to follow. As we walk, I spot three buffalo, grazing in a field and say, "Oh look at the cute critters. Let's go pet them". BIG MISTAKE! One of the buffalo turns in my direction and prepares to charge. I take off for the hills, double time, and see on the radar that Erik is right behind me. I run into a stone canyon and find a Medicine man's tee-pee and campfire. Thinking this is a safe place, I sit down at the fire. Turning my cam around, I see Erik lying face down on the ground, with a rattle snake biting his leg. I asked him about the snake. He said that he didn't know about the snake, but his HUD just informed him that the buffalo had killed him. I'm like, OMG, they killed Kenny! I brought my little buddy here and got him killed. Then, the unexpected happened. Laying face down in a pool of blood, Erik begins to comfort me. "Don't worry, I'm just dead. I'll be better in about 30 minutes". WOW! Who is this guy and what did he do with the timid little mouse? I said, " no worries pal. I'll sit here and wait for you, while I smoke this peace pipe that I found by the fire." As I sat there thinking, I realized something else about this man named Erik, that was different from the mouse I had known for years. From the time he found me in the skybox, until now, he had not been AFK, even one time, throughout our adventure.
At about this time, a stranger approached the campfire, carrying a rifle. I could only hope that he was one of the good guys, because we were in a defenseless posision. As he began to talk to us, or should I say, er begann, mit uns reden, I realized this cowboy was speaking German and it was being translated to English. I learned, later, that Wild West Roleplay is very popular in Germany. The cowboy told us that Erik would soon live again, although his full strength would take a bit longer. When Erik rose from the ground, the cowboy pointed to the ground and said, here marks the spot where you were dead. The blood was gone and the cowboy bid us well on our journey. I told him, "Danke shon", and Erik and I continued on the trail. We soon found ourselves in another small town and it had a church. I have always been interested in the architecture of places of worship, so we went inside for a look. Erik's first comment was that we could have used some of this guy's healing skills, back on the trail. WOW! He understands religion. I was seeing inside the RL Erik in a new light. I wanted to get to know him even better, so I steered the conversation to our RL selves. "Do you go to church", I asked. "No", was his reply. I told him my age and birthday and he told me his. Erik is in the same age range as my three daughters. Our sun signs are also very compatable. I asked him if he used Facebook, so we could friend there. He did and we set it up, then and there.
The hour was getting late and I had a staff meeting the next day. I told Erik to feel free to explore some more, but I was going to bed and would probably come back a few more times, to explore more of the Wild West Roleplay Lands. He wanted to know if he could come again, with me. I told him, "Si, mi casa, su casa".
I must point out here that Erik and I only covered about 1/6 of the Wild West Roleplay Lands. If you come here, there is enough adventure to keep you going for months or even years. Besides that, I am scratching my head, wondering what this story is really about. A fairy mouse king becomes a mortal man, to descend to earth, is killed and comes back to life. It all begins to sound like a symbolic initiation into some secret brotherhood of knights or an ancient Greek passion play or the labors of Hercules.
I don't know where the story came from, but I'm signing it,