Trouble in Toy(box)land revised

I’ve said often that I have not seen the bickering and drama in the SL Ponyplay world that I’ve seen elsewhere in SL. Well that has changed rather dramatically just lately. A week or so ago an event was held over 24 hours at the Toybox Steeple on the Oraenji sim, in the Darkwing Stable complex.

The Toybox was an old and utterly unique steeples course built by Miss Jo Gallindo some years ago (I don’t know just when). It has been in the keeping of Darkwing’s owner, Safra Nitely for as long as I’ve known of it. The fences were very different from the more “realistic” jumps on other courses and it was a joy to both behold and jump…especially the jumps that sprung you way up high if you touched them!

During the event some apparently new and very able ponies came to compete, none were “New” in that they had conventional names, but as far as I knew they were new to Ponyplay. Now these “new” ponies were amazingly fast…fast enough to cause a ripple of astonishment that they could be so quick. It now seems that there were accusations of cheating as a result and the next couple of days saw accusations and refutations flying around the Pony Info Group. To say that some were offended would be to put it mildly.

After some intemperate remarks the whole Darkwing operation, including the Toybox steeple was summarily closed, and the steeple first hidden and then later removed. This is a terrible pity, since there is nothing even remotely like the Toybox in SL and it was, in many ways, a legacy item since Miss Jo has not been in SL for some years.
There have been many expressions of regret over the whole affair, which threatened to sully the name of some irreproachably honest ponies, simply because as a result of their locations close to SL’s servers, can get around such courses faster than ponies in say, Europe or further afield. This is a phenomenon seen in all aspects of competitive sport in SL from sailing to car-racing…ponysport is no exception. It is just a terrible shame that some intemperate remarks and some rash actions have denied the pony world of one of its truly original places.

Major update:
The Toybox has been moved! It now seems that there is a lot more to this Ponysport “cheating” than meets my rather naïve eye. Some time ago Kat Stephenson (Moondance) raised a question about a feature in Firestorm and some other TPVs that permits animations to be played faster or slower. The official Firestorm line is that this feature does NOT affect anything other than the user’s viewer. I have now seen evidence that, at least in ponysport where a lot of jumping is done, it DOES affect inworld perception and changes results. This could amount to a Linden Lab ToS infringement, so I am in a difficult position here. I originally found no advantage when using the feature in tests but it would seem that I was applying it wrongly.
It is also clear to me that Safra Nitely was subjected to some appalling mistreatment at the hands of some (only a few) seniors at Frilly Filly Farm and it is no wonder that Darkwing closed so precipitously. There are things going on in the SL Ponyplay world that I neither like nor wish to be involved with. This is a very bad business indeed.

Addendum Monday July 14th 9:30pm BST:
Folk with an eye to good architecture and building should checkout the newly refurbished Darkwing Stable (where the Toybox now lives on Devon Dream sim). Safra has lavishly equipped the ponystalls as Elicio Ember’s Caras Calar Lantern Houses, which featured at last year’s (2013) Fantasy Faire. It is worth seeing them in their own right…the place looks fantastic, but be polite and IM Safra Nitely first before visiting.

~ by Ayesha Askham-Ezvalt on July 13, 2014.

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