Saturday, July 7, 2012

Among the Pirates

Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.

Mark Twain

          After my trip last week with my Traveling Companion to Ancient Alexandria  I decided to go back and follow up on some requests from my readers.  Earlier, I had written about the Age of Sail in Second Life (SL).  I had met with BrendonPatrick MacRory to visit the world of eighteenth century sailing ships inworld and the communities involved.  While visiting I learned about pirates and I planned to go back and visit among them. 

          But, several of my readers wanted to know more about pirates now and as I always aim to please my readers, I decided to go back and look them up.  After all, going off and being a pirate is every little boy’s dream, right?  It’s up there with going off with Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.  (Mark Twain nailed this space, didn’t he?) 

          So, how does one find pirates?  I cheated. I contacted BrendonPatrick and asked for an introduction.  (I wonder if I could meet Captain Jack Sparrow this way?)  And, BrendonPatrick came through for me with an introduction to Steve Decker, SL pirate extraordinaire.        

          Steve and I meet in his private workshop near the inworld pirate sims.  Steve says he’s still a relative newcomer to the SL pirates’ life but appears to have taken to this lifestyle if his outfit and projects underway are any indication.

          From Steve I learn that pirate role playing goes back a long way in SL.  There are six pirate sims in the pirates community that he’s involved with, some playing at the roles harder than others.  Steve tells me about some secretive pirates inworld who have built sims hidden away from everyone else and whom no one unaffiliated with them knows anything about. (Sounds like a future story here.) 

          Four (Fair Winds, Ocean Realms, Blake Sea, Jolie Rouge; AKA the United Collaboration Estates) of these six sims joined together to form Pirate Realms to recast the rules for more standard and fairer method of playing.   

          I ask if there are any pirate crews who are really just about raising mayhem in SL à la griefers outside of role playing.  Steve replies there are some Gor role playing pirate groups which get very messy (as in lots of blood) but many don’t play with these groups.  (Maybe it’s me but I would have thought that a place like SL would have some New Age cyber pirates running amuck somewhere.  I’m probably reading too much cyberpunk.)   

          In his own role playing, Steve also plays the smuggler and is building up his role.  He smuggles anything: slaves, spice without paying tax, drugs (note this is a role playing eighteenth century sim not Real Life (RL)), and weapons. 

          I ask if there is more to being a pirate in SL than just battles.  Steve replies in the affirmative and apparently in Jolie Rouge there is an economy with its own currency, crowns, whereby pirates can earn a living.  (I’ll wager taxes will be next!)  This currency is apart from Lindens which is the grid-wide currency used inworld.

          Steve adds that many pirates just have ship-to-ship battles but he will be writing new scenarios to add story lines. 

          Being a healthy male with a taste for adventure (at least in SL if not in RL, Significant Other reserves the right of final veto in the latter) I have to ask, how does one become a pirate? 

          Steve’s answer is simple but to the point.  One can just show up and join a crew or get press ganged someplace.  For those who are more law abiding there is the Navy where one can either enlist as a seaperson or obtain letters of marque and go out as a privateer.  Free starter kits and free boats are available for those so inclined to join the pirates’ life.  Why can’t RL be this simple? 

          Pirating is based on a tool, SPD Meter, which records hits on both ships and crew members.  Hits being received from cannon, muskets, swords or whatever else is employed in game.  Twelve battle coordinators assist in arranging and conducting engagements.  (Did Captain Kidd have one of these?)  Steve explains that the most popular pirate sims are the ones based on the seagoing engagements. 

          My time with Steve has taught me a lot about the world of pirates in SL.  However, I’ve barely scratched the surface.  Steve has offered to take me along with him on one of his sea battles in the future.  I’ll bring the story back when I do.  (I wonder if Traveling Companion will want to go along on that one?)  I’ll visit the United Collaboration Estates and see what happens there both at sea and on the land.  Then there are those mysterious, secretive pirate communities.  Maybe I can find them. 

          So, if you’re interested in pirates and SL, keep an eye on this blog as I keep blogging about another one of SL’s interesting communities. 

I’d like to thank Steve Decker for taking the time to meet with me and introduce me to the world of piracy in SL.  I’d also like to thank BrendonPatrick MacRory for introducing me to Steve. 

As always, I’m grateful to all for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives. 

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at . 

     If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
please click here.

Photo No. 4 Fair Winds Harbor

Photo No. 5 Fair Winds Dungeon


Ivy Paderborn said...

I always love reading your blogs! Thank you for another wonderful entry! :)

webspelunker said...


TYVM, I enjoy writing for all of you!



Alia said...

I've just discovered your blog, but already really like it. :)

I think I am currently resident in one of those secret pirate clubs you mentioned. It is 'hidden' but I seemed to stumble into it easily enough. We get quite a few people passing through, but there is a core of pirates and girls who tend to come each day. Some of us [like my own avi] unfortunately cannot leave [due to various RLV restrictions] but it remains an attractive Sim. :)