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Friday, August 28, 2009

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13th Aunt

I don't know what to think of this.

First off, there's the whole Orientalist thing that puts me off as a person of color (an Asian one, at that). But the issue of race has been discussed to hell and back on several steampunk sites, so I won't revisit the issue here.

The big issue I have have about the sim is that I don't see anything remotely Asian about the sim save for the fact you've got faux-Oriental architecture housing some very Occidental stores (like that shop selling pirate costumes that plastered Chinese posters from the 1940's & 50's just to fit in). Jesus Christ on a stick, have a little thematic continuity here, folks!

Now, you know what would really be cool? A steampunk re-working of the East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere in SL. You've got giant steam powered robots running around Taisho-era Japan Sakura Taisen-style on one end, and then you've got Wong Fei Hung and the Ten Tigers of Canton kicking ass with steampowered gadgets Once Upon a Time in China-style on the other.

Hamlet Au

I know where you're coming from, Aunt, but to be fair, a lot of Chinatowns do have that Orientalist stuff, faux or otherwise - check out the historical photo on Eclipse's blog. With Chinatown in San Francisco, all of the Orientalist stuff you see there were actually built after the great quake by Chinatown business leaders who wanted to attract tourists.

Ener Hax

no need to be fair to Aunt, they are just pointing out their perspective on today's concerns. movies like Blade Runner add that "chinatown" mystique and stereotyping. just because it was done in the past does not mean it was not degrading - doing it to attract business does not justify it (thinks extreme like prostitution and skimpy outfits)

just my two cents

but still want to check out that place, thanks for the post Hamlet (i am still quite influenced by your book on my outlook isl)

Chihaya Nakajima

Speaking of Neo-Victorian Asian sims, may I point out Roman? It's a sim based on the Taisho era of Japan and was created by Japanese SL denizen seri Writer.

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Roman/127/108/29

And here's a blurb directly from seri:

Taisho Period is one of the shortest histories in Japan.

It is often drawn as "Unreality and mysterious age" in the anime, the cartoon, and the movie in Japan because of the too short history. (ex Sakura-Taisen.)
Kimono and dress fuse, and the new fashion that is called "Moga" is a production age that began to be seen.

Here is SIM to reproduce the image of such Taisho Period faithfully, and to accept all avatar except man such as Furry, Tiny, and vampire to say nothing of the race.

Dress, kimono, hakama, army uniform, and dress.

You must visit here liking and suitable. And, please it was buried in the history, and experience the age when Japan and the Victorian fused.

That Pesky Red Head

I think if they wanted to be 'historically accurate' to the 19th century for the population of railroad workers and miners you'd see broken run down filthy slums.

Want to see your dreams become a reality, build it yourself 'Aunt.'

Been there and frankly its well thought out, not just a facade of pretty buildings and empty malls. Its based on aspects of old oregon and has a community to back it up. The term shanghaiied (for those who b*tched before visiting) means they would sell drunk men to captains as slaves and they have underground tunnels and secret passages. the pagoda, is based on the Sun pagoda, (only pagoda made with a copper roof) and so on and so fourth.

The owner btw was formally a buddhist monk so I dont think he has any racial wars going on.

The whole city is different, lovely and Im glad I visited.

/me tosses two cents, "you're gonna need it."

Forelle Broek

The railroad workers and miners of Steelhead enjoy decent living conditions, thanks to their union, the Steelhead Federation of Miners (which, for obscure reasons, also represents the railway workers). Visitors to Steelhead are always welcome to stop by the Union Hall (located in Steelhead Harborside) for a beer. In Shanghai, we generally congregate in Miss Elegia Underwood's saloon.

Dragon Gia

I am mystified why anyone would think that a borrowing from an ancient culture had any intention of dissing that culture. Lunar did not build Shanghai "to attract business", but because he is fascinated with the beauty of Chinese architecture & the richness of Chinese culture. No one in Shanghai has anything but tremendous admiration for the Chinese in the 'West' (their East?) in the 19th century. They were used, abused, restricted & marginalized & yet became a vital & thriving part of the development of that 'frontier'.

As to the Western buildings, I can only refer those who disliked our interpretation to the images of that period. The orientalization of the buildings of most China towns did not take place really until the 20th century. Generally they lived in sad, bodged together shanty towns. This why large sections of Steelhead Shanghai are, in fact, slum buildings & re-purposed railcars.

On the other hand, we are a part of a community that believes in mad scientists & steam powered submarines, airships & robots. Why not glorious pagodas?

To the detractors & those who will always jump in to slag things off, I say, "If you don't like what we did, build your own. It's a virtual world. You could... if you wanted to." (I'd love to see Taisho-era steam automatons. *looks puzzled for a moment & then laughs* Yes, yes, 'cuz that would be like totally authentic, wouldn't it? ;)

Dhughan Froobert

Steelhead Shanghai is quite a homey den of iniquity, if you ask me (and I've been living here for almost a year). It seems a rather healthy way to work out social issues such as vice, gambling, and drugs while also allowing use of some of the most beautiful and intricate architectural and decorative styles ever produced.

It is quite safe to visit, and below Miss Gia's Dragonlands Hotel there is now a nightclub, with convenient waterfront access for those preferring a discreet arrival.

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