Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Celebration of H. P. Lovecraft in Second Life


Sometimes I believe that this less material life is our truer life, and that our vain presence on the terraqueous globe is itself the secondary or merely virtual phenomenon.

H. P. Lovecraft


          As I wander across Second Life, I never to cease to wonder at the themes that people come together around and form communities about inworld.  I’ve encountered fashion, writers, steampunk, nudity, and BDSM among others while traversing the Grid. 

          One group that has always had my attention is the "HP Lovecraft Roleplay (and more) Group of Second Life" (HPL-RPG) dedicated to the works of one of my favorite authors, H. P. Lovecraft.  (Admit it, is anyone really surprised?)  He is one of the great writers of horror, fantasy, and science fiction in the twentieth century.  Sadly, Lovecraft was relatively unknown for his writings until after his death. 

          Without Lovecraft there would be neither Cthulhu nor Miskatonic University in Arkham, Massachusetts.  (Where I wanted to attend college until someone cruelly told me that it was only fictional.  Mother could have handled that better!) 

          Fortunately for diehard fans such as myself, (Significant Other states that it would be simpler to just list what I’m not a fan of.) HPL-RPG exists inworld and they keep the traditions alive virtually. 

My good friend, Arik Metzger (AKA arikthered) is the founder and coordinator of the group.  We met several years ago and have stayed in touch since.  My peripatetic lifestyle inworld as well as Real Life (RL) commitments have prevented from staying close to Arik and the group.  However this year, the stars aligned (and Arik stayed on me) and I’m able to blog about and will visit the festival!

          One of their traditions is the annual Lovecraft Festival held about the time of the Master’s birthday, August 20th.  This year the festival will run from August 19th to 25th.

The main event site will feature a tribute to the marvelous Lovecraft tale "At the Mountains of Madness."   Visitors will be able to “gear up and board ship for a journey to the remote continent of Antarctica, and explore the mysteries of the icy lands, Lovecraft-style... an adventure that should prove to be a truly thrilling and chilling experience!”  OK, I’m on board!  (Significant Other’s eyes roll and a comment about being relieved that I only go walkabout virtually is made.)

Other activities and events are being organized for sim visitors to enjoy without leaving the vendor and activities areasl.  Currently planned are the concerts of Nightwish, Apocalyptica and Cradle of Filth, courtesy of Bad Ampitude and Arik Metzger. Also in the works are several stage shows, a scavenger hunt, and other projects.

          Arik was kind enough to invite me over to stroll the Festival grounds prior to its opening.  Never being one to turn down an invitation, maybe I’m not timely but I eventually show up, I dropped by recently to see what’s planned.

          Arik and his team have managed to capture that gritty view of Depression Era America that influenced Lovecraft’s writing.  There is a touch of whimsy thrown in with the horror. Walking around, I feel like I’ve just stepped out of Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks and taken a stroll down the street. 

          Switching from the run down times of RL to the fantastic and horrible of Lovecraft’s writing can be a little unsettling.  This sim is not for the faint of heart or those who are easily influenced.  (I’m ignoring Significant Other’s query about why am I there then.)

          As Arik has promised there are rides, vendors, and a Lovecraft trivia hunt.  (That one ride promising to be a recreation of a trip to Antarctica from one of Lovecraft’s stories has got my attention.  I’m definitely coming back to try out that one!)  The buildings themselves are worth coming but to see.  The attention to detail is admirable.  The occasional corpse lying about does make me wonder what the site prep was like though.

          From the soundstages being erected the concerts should be loud and big!

          The Lovecraft Festival 2014 looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun.  Most importantly, it’ll bring together many fans of the Master to celebrate his brief life and his works which will be remembered for a long time.

          I strongly recommend all who either are Lovecraft fans or who just love a good time to drop by and visit the Festival.  Maybe you’ll see me there!

          Here’s the link to the Festival site.

HPL-RPG’s fine charity of choice, Autism National Committee (AutCom) will again be the recipient of their fund raising efforts from this event. Another fine example of SL helping out with RL causes.  Please be generous if you can!         

BTW, if you’ve never read Lovecraft before now would be a great time to start!

           I’ve included pictures from my visit to the Festival grounds but I encourage everyone to go and see these wonderful places for yourselves.  I’m about as good inworld with a camera as I am in RL so checking for yourself is highly recommended.  (Significant Other nods violently in agreement.)

          I’d like to thank Arik for his help and patience in preparing this story.  Without his efforts, and those of countless others inworld, these events and activities couldn’t take place.

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

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          If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
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Photo No. 2 Festival Poster

Photo No. 3 Local Flora

Photo No. 4 Signpost

Photo No. 5 Merchant’s Booth

Photo No. 8 Fairgrounds

Photo No. 10 Where to?

Photo No. 11 Another Visitor

Photo No. 12 The View

Photo No. 13 Festival Office

Photo No. 14 Concert Poster

Photo No. 15 Local Transportation

Photo No. 16 Amusement Ride

Photo No. 17 Tamer Ride

Photo No. 18 Local Fauna

Photo No. 19 Ruins

Photo No. 20 House Interior

Photo No. 21 Lovecraft Himself
Photo No. 22 H. P. Lovecraft Trivia Hunt Starting Point


Arik Metzger (arikthered) said...

Thank you much for your preview of the festival, my friend :-)

webspelunker said...


My pleasure and thanks for your help and hospitality!

See you there!



webspelunker said...


My pleasure!

Thanks for your help and hospitality!

See you there!