Wednesday, May 6, 2009

News: [MonoChrome] Grand Opening

Ten days old and already boasting a following of colorful (and colourful) characters, [MonoChrome] (the brackets are part of the name) is the brainchild of Jez Oh, Sinnamon Sands, and Mandy Ash, late of the recently departed Club Cherri Red. The lounge that has sprung up in the wake of Cherri Red's closure is a different sort of hang-out spot entirely. As Jez puts it, [MonoChrome] is meant to be not about lights and noise and dancers but about the people who attend the events. "We provide the canvas, you provide the color," reads their tag line. From what I've been able to see so far, however, the gray-pallet [MonoChrome] generates plenty of color from within, as well.

Although Sinn hosted a well-attended inaugural trivia event two weekends ago, the official grand opening will take place this Saturday, May 9. [MonoChrome]'s management plans to host not only trivia but also live music in the space as the club develops. Appropriately, Saturday's schedule thus includes a sandwiching of trivia in between two live acts. Folk/pop soloist AM Moonites kicks the event off at 1:00pm SLT, while singer/songwriter AMFORTE Clarity caps it by performing at 3:00. Sinn takes the stage between 2:00 and 3:00 for a helping of her Survey Says game.

Jez Oh

For those new to this format, Survey Says echoes the long-running game show Family Feud, which asks contestants to guess survey results about topics such as "Foods that are blue" or "Things you don't want to break while you're using them." In the Second Life version, Sinn announces the category, and players spam the chat with answers for sixty seconds. Once she calls time, she sifts through the spam to find the players who guessed each of the survey answers first. Winners receive linden dollars equivalent to the number of respondents who gave each answer. The categories and answers are taken from the show itself, which provides an interesting variety of questions, as the program has been running almost continuously since 1976.

Those who have already visited [MonoChrome] probably don't need me to urge them to come again. Those who haven't should put the Grand Opening event on their calendars for Saturday. Some of the lounge's finer details seem to have gone over well with its early patrons. Most importantly, the building -- a fully enclosed skybox that is nonetheless claustrophobe-friendly on account of its multi-tiered architecture -- was designed with lag minimization in mind. While shooting photos in the space, I turned my graphics up to Ultra and found the camera movement to remain completely lag-free. Whether this will be true with forty avatars on the premises is yet to be determined, but the color schemers have certainly done the best they can.

Sinnamon Sands

Less commonplace than an effort to curb lag is their effort to curb chat spam as well. At [MonoChrome], they "promise not to spam you with notecards and landmarks and group invites upon your arrival," but in return, they also ask patrons "not to spam us and your fellow guests with noisy or text-intensive ASCII gestures" (according to a draft of the club's Statement of Principles). Brief gestures are tolerated in moderation, but this request to keep the communication channels relatively free of canned sound files and excess textiness is consistent with [MonoChrome]'s goal to focus on the character of the people, who are trusted to provide a "higher level of discourse" without the assistance of semi-automated and repetitive gesturing.

If the events that have already taken place at [MonoChrome] are any indication, an afternoon of trivia can be upbeat and sociable on the basis of the company and their wit and conversation. In the future, the staff at the club plan to host more parties and live music events, as well as a broader range of trivia games. Jez will still DJ with with fabulous cover song playlists. This weekend's lineup should provide a good sampling, so try to find a moment to drop in and check it out.

=> Time: Saturday, May 9, 1:00-4:00pm SLT
1:00-2:00pm AM Moonites performs
2:00-3:00pm Survey Says trivia
3:00-4:00pm AMFORTE Clarity performs
=> Location: [MonoChrome],
=> Host: Sinnamon Sands
=> Prizes: Eight questions, L$100 available for each, divided among multiple winners

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