"There was a boat" is a gorgeous and melancholy machinima shot during the closing of a community space in Second Life -- specifically, a large boat in the China sim [SLURL], which had become a hangout for many Residents. When the owner decided to replace the boat with a new build, rather than simply delete it, he opted to set it on fire. One community member, Hooqiqi Luik, who directed this machinima and captured the scene, tells me what happened next:
"At first I thought it would be a crazy party, dancing in the fire and laughing on the chaos," as he puts it to me. "But, at the moment I saw the hurting boat falling apart, sinking... tears filled up in my eyes. It was the moment the truth unfolded: it's real. My tears were real, the pain is real, the love is real, and our passion for life is real."
"The boat kept burning for a month before it disappeared under water."
After the boat was gone, Luik and the China community found a new location to call their virtual hearth and third place, but his machinima is testimony to his realization, when the boat began burning.
"We always have to leave the past behind," as Hooqiqi Luik puts it, "keep moving on while carrying everything inside us, but keep moving on."