Friday, June 17, 2011

Midian City to Close

Theme: A 'Dark' Farewell To Midian
Song: The Wrong side - Abney Park

I run on the wrong side of life...
I run where the darker crowds run
On the rain-swept streets where black rain runs

I play where the darker kids play...
I dance where the darker crowds dance
In the pitch black clubs in a clove stained trance

I see things the darker kids see
Though you wouldn’t believe all that’s happened to me
I’ve been to the backside of Hell
And I've played with your fear and enjoyed it well

This our time, the night's our day
We'll dance this fading life away

Through a source to remain unnamed, I have heard a rumor that Midian is likely to close soon. This is not really all that surprising to me.

As far as I see it, RP needs to come out of the dark.  It's not sustainable, especially with more dark themed sims needing an adult rating just to operate in seedy, deviant ways that are near, if not completely pornographic in nature.  It was my argument back before I was banned from Midian that if they wanted sustainability, they would need to consider quality of general storytelling, rather than try to go with the gimmick of sex sells.  Sure, sex sells, but if you want to just have an orgy fest, then quit calling it an RP sim and open it up as a free sex sim.  However, even those come and go (pardon the pun <.<) like all the other trendy things in SL. For instance, the numerous clubs and raves that get discarded once another newer and shinier club opens.  There are only a few clubs that have held sustainability, and that's mainly been because they've been true to the genre they play and fan base of that genre.  Midian could have learned from that, but no, they chose to screw over their fan base virtually from the beginning.  It's why they imploded before, and it's why they imploded now.

What was Midian's fan base?  That's a good question.  From how I saw it, the general term would have been cyberpunk.  This is a catch all phrase, much like it's younger sister steampunk.  They both have similar aspects and origins in the novels of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells.  Both of these also were influenced by Edgar Allan Poe.  The difference, as I see it, is that cyberpunk looks at a cybernetic future while steampunk considers an alternative present (or future) that tries to picture what the world might be under a British Empire with Victorian styled clothing, and a sort of progressive science still centered around steam and clockwork gears.  In a way, Watchmen (the Graphic novel, anyways) merged the two paths in the one character of Dr. Manhattan, who's father wanted him to go into watchmaking type machinery until learning about Einstein's work.  After that, the father told his son that the atom was the way of the future now.  Yet, Dr. Manhattan still had a mind that ran like a clock, both in the matter of continuous and unstoppable grinding gears, as well as seeing the multi-dimensions of time and space in the quanta of things and events.  

But Midian was supposed to be of the post apocalyptic sort of cyberpunk.  And this worked quite well for a good many years, especially when people were allowed a good amount of freedom to write and RP within the environment in a manner that allowed room for interpretation.  Not everyone agreed about what exactly made up Midian, and that was completely fine.  You could have the Hounds being that rowdy, low-life thug gang that went around abducting people for all sorts of seedy purposes, and have the MPD at least attempt to be useful in trying to 'serve and protect', even though they were more about serving the needs of the corporation funding them, and protecting their own asses.  The Catwalkers could roam about the rooftops with both seeking to keep their territory protected, as well as to plot and pull off various pranks and cat and mouse play, seeing all who come up on roofs as prey for such ends.  The Pack likewise could hold together as that hybrid family that attempts to keep together, fighting those that would try to take them from their place in the ruins, or reshape the ruins, and effectively destroy their home.  

The possibilities for the various factions and groups mentioned and unmentioned were endless.  So the problem for Midian wasn't in lack of creative possibility, but more in the growing frustrations by lack of creative vision by those in charge.  Bottom line is a fine thing to worry about. Though, honestly, bottom line is a needless worry for those that are willing to let the creative possibilities flow.  But that is hard when people tug and pull in so many ways and become narrow minded to what they could do if they put away their greed and narcissism.  So much jockeying for positions of power, and so much denial of things being wrong, to the point that anyone that pointed out these problems was destined to be shunned and eventually banned from the RP community.  That is, if they didn't quit before then.  That the forums have been put in lock down, as I have also heard, only shows the end result and that indeed Midian is on its last legs as a sim and RP community in SL.  

Am I sad for what is happening? Yes and no. 

Yes, because I remember a time when Midian had so much potential as a sim and RP community.  I had spent nearly three years of my time in SL and RP in Midian, immersed in two main characters within that city - both nekos, one a Catwalker, the other in the Pack.  Even though I had some part in the one of the initial treaties between the Pack and CW, it was not by metagaming, nor specific intention.  If anything, I had been hearing various things on both sides, both IC and OOC to which sounded like both were willing to join forced, and part of the common cause was in both groups being hybrids, the other was the common enemy of the UAC.  But it was never explicitly my idea for them to make an alliance.  Mainly, it was from suggesting the Pack Alpha to talk with one or both of the Matrons at the time, and it eventually happened.  It was never a perfect deal, but who said RP in an apocalyptic, dystopic future would make for a utopia?  But, it was in this period, around the time when the artifact RP was about to unlock its secret that I saw as one of the great moments in Midian RP history, because of the collaboration that was going on.  

No, I'm not sad to see the destruction of Midian.  I am not sad because I see it as burning away the vile things that Midian has become.  Sure, those things were there in the beginning, and were reason for the first implosion. However, all communities live within vices that living communities try to put out of scene.  It is by their nature that they are off the main stage and called obscene.  They are not celebrated, but things to fear and be wary of - the things that are dark and should fly in the face of light.  A bump in the night no longer has much the same effect if it happens every night and becomes known, rather than unknown.  And the things of Midian became just that - so common place to no longer be feared, but jeered at as cliche.  And I don't mean the use of over-sized guns, as Midian banned those just because people lacked imagination to figure out how to play out such a conflict.  No, they kept with things that went from the frightening vampire stalking the night to the gratuitous vampire feed, fuck and snuff scene.  Sure, the story has a beginning, middle and end.  All pornos have that, usually.  But it really isn't something that gives much leeway or leverage.  In short, it's not RP that flows and goes on.  And thus is now the fate of Midian, to be fed, fucked, and snuffed.

And all I can say is, "C'est la vie, c'est un pute!"

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