Snowboarding for the Masses

By Coco St. George  Winter is coming, and not only in Westeros. Yes, Second Life has such a solid winter tradition, that we can have winter all year round. But […]

By Coco St. George 
Winter is coming, and not only in Westeros. Yes, Second Life has such a solid winter tradition, that we can have winter all year round. But there’s no better way to celebrate the first snowflakes and the surrounding mood of end of a cycle and new beginnings that make this time of the year so special than aiming our teleporters to a winter-themed sim and enjoy everything they have to offer.

Did I mention snow already? I know, not everywhere winter is synonymous with snow (in fact, only in the top half of the Northern Hemisphere), and yet that’s the imagery that comes to mind when we’re approaching the year’s end.

Or the very first months of the year, when we have the Winter Olympics Games (late January-February). One of the sports is snowboarding (since 1998) in five events each for men and women. And Second Life™, of course, also offers several ways of practicing snowboarding. In time it may become your favorite winter sport.

Sweet holiday sweater from Relay for Life sim

By now, you already know that before anything else a little bit of shopping is necessary. And if you can shop while helping the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life campaign, the better. Don’t hesitate but hop right over to http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Aurellia/173/66/22, where you will find everything you need to get you started, from that cute holiday sweater your boyfriend will look great in, to a snowboard rezzer so you and your friends may have a great time racing each other.

If you lean more towards the what’s-wrong-with-freebies persuasion, worry not: at every winter-sports station you will find generous boards offering all you need, namely, a pair of special boots and the snowboard itself.

Once you’re duly outfitted, you have several locations to choose from. You may want to try it at Chamonix, France… well, not exactly the France you probably know, but France 3D, a fantastic recreation of the celebrated resort at the base of the Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps. Here you’ll find a great track for slalom, which will require every skill you may have accumulated in your fingers to hit the Page Up button and try those dazzling tricks. Be sure to wear the boots provided, because otherwise you won’t be able to use the board.

Of course, before getting into all this trouble, you might ask, why would you want to do it. “It’s the thrill,” says Lorena Swansen, a seasoned snowboarder. “When you’re on the air… when you get a trick just right… that’s a great feeling!”

How does snowboarding in SL compares to doing it in real life?

“I couldn’t tell,” she says with a smile. “Where I live, we have snow only in snow cones. Maybe I should plan a vacation one of these days. I guess my virtual training should help me, at least to get me started.”

I don’t know if there can be a better reason to do it, but that sounds as good as any. After all, that may be the very reason the Founding Lindens created this world, where you can jump from the top of a mountain in the safety and comfort of your couch.

Written by Coco St. George and photographs by Pesha Tala.

Coco St. George, Writer

Pesha Tala, Photographer