I don’t remember when I first became aware of RFL, 2007 I think. Some folks whose blogs I followed were taking part – I think they were Calendon folk with great big steam elephants. I tried to visit the sims the walking races were taking part in but I hadn’t a computer powerful enough and it was just a mass of grey & lag. From there, except for 2008 when I was too wrapped up in TSMGO to notice it, my relationship with RFL has only grown more and more sour.
It was 2009 before I began to notice how much life RFL sucks out of places. I was planning (and then undertaking) a move to Steelhead and whilst I saw the kiosks all over the city I found actual people more than a little hard to find. Fair enough, that’s always been a problem for me in Steelhead because the population are overwhelmingly American so not there when I am, but I had a feeling from the city’s group chat that RFL was also a factor. Still, I was new, finding my feet, and despite the lack of folks to chat to and RP with I managed to get “Lost & Found” written. Then RFL was over, a new sim was opened and winter seemed to set in over the town.
Last year it got worse. Steelhead seemed to really ramp up its involvement and for what seemed like months the only things that happened in the town seemed to be RFL preparation, events and parties. It seemed impossible to get anything else crowbarred in and it felt I had to wait for many frustrating weeks to start my “Steal Head” tale in order that people would have time to take part.
And now… now it seems to be starting even earlier and earlier. People were chatting about it in Feb. Feb! The bastard thing only lasts a month and people are devoting over half a year to it.
Oh I freely admit I’m being selfish – RFL gets in the way of what I want out of SL (namely RP and story craft) but I make no apology for that. My problem is not with the charity or cause, both worthy and worthwhile, etc. but rather my problem* lies with the disproportionate influence that this one charity seems to wield over the world.
Why must it take up so bastard long? Why can’t the key planners just plan it and stir up interest one month before and then shut up right afterwards? Give us 10 months of solid non-RFL, for god’s sake!
Why does only this charity feature so highly in the world? Who gives RFL the right to be the only (SL) worldwide money making machine? Why don’t we rotate the charity every year?
How much more could the charity get if we stopped raising money in L$ and just sent them some bloody real money?
Sigh. I know I’m probably missing the point. It’s a social thing, a community thing, a fun thing. I’m a misery, I know. I don’t like DJ dance events at the best of times so 90% of the guff that passes for entertainment in SL bore my arsehole shut, but I’d like RFL a lot more if it just went the fuck away and only popped up when it actually happened instead of all the fucking time**.
* Well, problems really – I also don’t like one or two of the fucknuts in charge of events – self-important fish in a very small pond and, as I have said before but with a different root cause, dickheads.
** A subjective view, I realise.