One of the fascinating things in Second Life are the roleplay sims. In SL, you can find just about any kind of roleplay (RP) your little heart desires — Fetish, Rape, Combat, Capture, Gor (BTB or otherwise), Vampire/Lycan, Steampunk, Fantasy, Historical, Pirates, Sci-Fi, Urban/Noir, etc. Some are strict on rules and behavior within the RP sim; some are fairly loose with the rules. Some are obviously geared towards sexual activity, and some are for serious RPers. These serious RPers bring their RP into Second Life as a way to bring their favorite MMORPG (which itself stands for Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) into a world where you can completely control the way the world moves around the characters and settings, rather than having the game play limit what choices are available to the players. These are serious gamers that are serious about their RP, but also come here to have fun, immerse themselves in their game and meet fellow gamers.
One of these gamers is Balder Foehammer. Balder has been in Second Life since 2009, and started out by being frustrated with his inability to find Viking-themed items in Second Life. Being a creative and industrious soul, Balder learned how to build, and began creating his own things for others doing Viking RP. His business grew, and finally he decided it was time to create his own Viking RP sim, and the final result is Skarvald.
Balder purchased from Linden Labs his own full prim sim, commercial grade and went to work. His sim underwent many transformations as he experimented with exactly what he wanted to accomplish. In January of 2014, Balder began creating Skarvald from the ground up, using a 90 percent mesh build in order to save on land impact. He opened for business on July 11th 2014. Skarvald is a brainchild of Balder’s and springs completely from his vivid imagination, with significant input from his SL wife and RL girlfriend Ellie Foehammer. Loosely translated, Skarvald means “scarred land.” Balder tells me that he has always been fascinated by the history of the Norse people and their folklore. The term “Viking” actually means “seafaring traveler” or “raider by sea.”
Each RPer must fill out an application in order to participate in the sim. Each RPer creates their own character, their own backstory and incorporate it into their sim history or sim lore. Online and console gamers that want to be more creative can create their story from Skyram, Elderscrolls, Dragonage, Tolkein, Lord of the Rings, 13th warrior (Michael Crighton) Historical viking lore norse culture, Camelot King Arthur, etc.
Balder and Ellie have created a Viking kingdom accurate down to the last building. It’s a fascinating place that is kept as accurate to the time as possible. Cabins and homes are rented out and the sim rules require that any items put down remain true to the Viking theme.
Balder tells me that there are 212 members in the Skarvald group. The number of active RPers right now is about 70. The sim can support 40 to 50 RPers at a time.
There are different factions and guilds within the RP. There are guilds that are in allegiance with the kingdom, and there are those who seek to overthrow the Kingdom. There are thieves and shadows and assassins. The tension between “good” and “evil” creates the RP and creates the battles.
RP is scheduled if there’s a major event. Otherwise it’s just random and spontaneous. Important roles are handed over to people who earn it. Skarvald members are dedicated RPers who truly involve themselves in the RP. They are not exclusive and they will RP even with noobs. Balder and Ellie try to ensure that the RP does not become “cliqueish.”
When asked what his favorite thing about Skarvald, Balder said, “The people.”
What really makes this place special is Balder and Ellie’s love and dedication to it. Their pride in this place shines through every pixel and prim. I highly recommend you check out this amazing place.
Click on this link to get the SLurl: Skarvald Viking RPG
Click on this link to find the Skarvald website: Skarvald
Click on this link for more information on RP in Second Life. Role-Playing Communities
Here are some photographs:
I remain respectfully yours,
~ Suzanne Piers, ZI Social Media