There are many post-apocalyptic wastelands in SL, the desert dust bowls with the tattered remnants of civilisation clinging to the dirt like a stubborn stain. I’d put money on Tableau being the only one that commemorates the war between the blingtards and fashionistas, has giant dinosaur statues, lets you trip your face off on mescaline and hosts hands down the best karaoke dance bar club space in SL . See – that’s the kind of lead line that if you are smart will have you skipping the rest of this review and heading right to the SLURL at the end to discover this curious and constantly amusing SIM for yourself. However, if you need more convincing…
Some of you may know Nylon Pinkney and Polyester Partridge, the vibrant geniuses behind Tableau, from the Arcade gacha creations – and if you hop on over to “Tabs” (as I like to call it because I am not so cool) you will find you TP into an across-the-border mexicana styled township of high profile shops with a satellite presence here combined with small “Indy” stores filled with the kind of retro-modern odd kitsch that can suck the Lindens right out of your pocket. (Not literally, you still have to click “pay”). The gacha goodies of Nylon and Polyester are also lurking around here on the main road through town waiting for you like high-noon gunslingers ready to take your money and leave you in the dirt – except also giving you cool stuff after picking your pockets? If you take anything from this sentence it should be that Metaphors are hard.
You won’t be able to walk the streets of the commercial district without noticing the HFDs (Huge Fuckin’ Dinosaurs) just outside of town. There are certain signs that tell you that you have come to the right place in SL, one (for me) is when you see a few HFDs and think “I think I need to go and stand on that HFDs nose” – when you cam up and find a poseball there waiting for your Dino-nose-standing convenience it’s an exhilarating moment.
To appreciate the scale and scope of Tableau as well as standing on a Dino (and riding around one one of the free-to-hire cycles) there is also a lookout point high above the desert with a traditional “beauty spot” telescope from which to observe the comings and goings below and learn a little about the 2006 war of the blingtards and fashionistas that shaped Tableau into the faded magnificence we see today. From here you can see the abandoned circus, the sprawl of the town and the mesa on the outskirts where a curious traveller can, if so inspired, walk up to a small plateau and – if they are observant – find some of the sacred and indigenous Tableau peyote. Now I’m not advocating drug use per-se but if you visit Tableau and don’t try this intense shamanistic treat then you are missing out on one of SL’s most giggle inducing freebies. I will say no more for fear of spoilers.
Discovering things for yourself is an intrinsic part of the Tableau experience and so it’s not only quite tricky to define it makes me circumspect in what I say. For instance I could just tell you about “the best karaoke dance bar club space” in SL and show you what’s so damn great about it with photos. I could explain how to get into it or even just post the SLURL direct to it, but I’m not going to because stumbling across it is part of the experience and I wouldn’t want to cheat anyone of that.
Also the boss holds a lot of the RI editorial meetings in there and if it suddenly fills up with tourists he will kill me. If you do find your way there and happen to see any of the staff sitting around, come up and say Hi.
We were fortunate to grab a moment with Nylon P and slam her with some tough uncompromising questions in an attempt to get some insight into the warp and weft of Tableau.
RI: So Nylon, the burning question has to be HFD? Tell me about the giant dinosaurs. Are the reminiscent of old ‘roadside attractions’ (such as along route 66) or did you actually find the real life version of these in your own travels?
Nylon : The original inspiration came from the movie PeeWee’s Great Adventure. I really wanted a Dino park that you could interact with!
RI: To quote Joe Pesci in the movie, “Casino”, “There are a lot of holes in the desert, and a lot of problems are buried in those holes. But you gotta do it right. I mean, you gotta have the hole already dug before you show up with a package in the trunk.” Is your beautiful desert the place where people come to bury bodies? Or, on a related note, may I use your desert for such a task? What’s the rule on this sort of thing?
Nylon: Of course we don’t encourage murder in Tableau but….we won’t tell if you don’t.
RI: Is any of your design–the paintings on the buildings, the signs, the colours or even the buildings themselves– based on real world experiences or would you say more on your imagination?
Nylon: It’s definitely based on our imagination. We are East Coast girls imagining what the southwest desert looks like.
RI: Tell us about these giant bombs. Are they undetonated? Were they dropped by the Fashionistas or by the Blingtards? Is there any way that the REST of us on other SIMS can protect ourselves from the Blingtards? Perhaps a repellent spray?
Nylon: The bomb is a dud, it was actually a leftover from the war that Tableau had with Lula years ago (it was the destruction of our last sim design). I believe the best protection from Blingtards is to turn particles off. We pretty much don’t have to worry about them anymore unless you go to a welcome centre.
RI: Who is this “Slug” graffiti artist who seems to have been here and basically “everywhere?”
Nylon: I don’t know but he owes us a lot in re-painting bills!!
RI: Are the rumours that this place is haunted true?
Nylon: YES! But the ghosts are pretty cool. I hear they use the drum circle at night.
RI: In the abandoned amusement park area–was the inspiration from RL or art or perhaps a movie, etc?
Nylon: A lot of weird stuff comes up when you brainstorm ideas at 1am, this happened to be one of them.
RI: What one part of your SIM is your personal favourite?
Nylon: The bombed out theatre is the first thing we built, and I have to say it’s still my favourite. It was inspired by the movie Romeo and Juliette.
RI: Do you have support services for those who have taken the peyote and had a bad trip?
Nylon: Just IM Polyester Partridge and she’ll talk you down.
RI: Speaking of the Peyote, is that Poodle yours?
Nylon: Huh? What poodle? You must be seeing things that aren’t there!