Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams
An imposing facade gives way to a cavernous reading room. All Chrismassy of course, in the best British Boarding School tradition; I hoped no-one would mind I wasn't in gaberdine. I took a quick turn around the bookshelves, when I realized I wan't alone. Armen Bingyi bowed to me slightly. "Hello there." His blue eyes seemed to twinkle a bit as he turned for a table.
Thirza Ember smiled politely (the trick, in case you don't know, of 'losing your colon' and writing a third person sentence in chat is to first type /me ...) and expressed the desire to ask Armen some questions about the library but was afraid talking might not be allowed...
Armen Bingyi declared himself receptive to any questions Ms. Ember has.
Well you don't have to ask me twice to be nosy. I had to say up front what an impressive place I found the Humboldt Smythe library. Could he tell me 'all about it'?
Armen Bingyi smiles. "Why thank you. I'm sure I speak for the entire staff when I say I'm honored. It's a roleplay based in the universe of Harry Potter by J K Rowling. Humboldt Smythe is said to be somewhere between Scotland and London. It's a relatively new startup sim in which people roleplay characters who come here to learn at the annexed school and do research within the world of Harry Potter, though other topics of note tend to come up as well. We have non-magic-user studies shelves on the upper decks."
I looked up among the flying books. The detail was admirable; I almost expected to see the Weasley twins among the stacks.
Armen Bingyi: In addition to the castle, which contains the Library, there's a museum, a wizarding school, an enchanted forest, and a wizarding residential and commercial village. The group is made up of about 60 members, of whom some 25 regularly take part in the RP. The wizarding school is no mere backdrop for storylines, its faculty members teach a full range of classes from healing arts to runes to advanced combat arts.
Privately I wondered if they had a spell for that pesky Voice bug, but decided to keep that to myself. Aloud, I wondered which came first, Potter or SL for Armin Bingyi.
Armen Bingyi: Well, I read J K Rowling's books before I discovered SL. But more as a "Let's see what all the fuss is about" than a rabid fan. Then I found a couple of hogwarts roleplays, and became interested in participating. A group of us wanted a place with very high-in-character roleplay - more than can be offered with a large Hogwarts sim, so we created this. It's still a work in progress, of course, for example the library shelves here don't have clickable links to off-world books just yet, but that's coming, and there are small ongoing upgrades and fixes as needed. The textures are all original textures, not taken from movie stills or pictures in the books, and we purposely chose a location that isn't actually in the books or films - gives us more creative freedom.
The primary builder is Venturi Muromachi. The build took about three weeks. She and Rossa Pera did most of the work - I handled photoshopping and the forest, and co-head the roleplay and admissions department with Libbie Bonetto. Taramia Dubrovna and Karina Nicholls also do a lot of OOC work for the sim. Oh! and speaking of. . .
Chat Range: Libbie Bonetto [6m]
Libbie Bonetto: Of Meeeee? Why, Hello, How are you, Thirza?
Armen Bingyi: Was just telling Ms. Ember a bit about the sim - who built it, who runs it, etc.
Libbie Bonetto nodded and grinned.
"This is such a charming and detailed piece of work you must all be very pleased with it. I undestand you're mostly involved in rp so I hope you don't mind the intrusion," I said, still feeling rather seasick as my camera continued a vigorous performance of the Trampoline Shimmy up and down the walls.
Armen Bingyi: Not at all. The mornings are quiet here. We mainly get active in the evenings.
Libbie Bonetto: No no, it's usually slow around now, so it's no problem, and I can take no credit for the building, so I can tell you - It's fantastic.
I asked them if it be ok to take picture here in the library, to add to this post, hoping my lag on top of my famous ineptitude in the photo department wouldn't be too obvious; they graciously consented.
Armen Bingyi: Get my good side ;)
Libbie Bonetto: Sure - I have a couple, if you'd like, and we also have a website with lots of pics.