Last Saturday night, as I had three months before, I found myself sitting in a lawn chair on a jetty that led out to a lighthouse. I was there with a number of others, and we enjoyed witnessing something few get to see.

In the direction we all watched was a small galley on the water, and beyond it a pier. At the end of the pier is a large structure, and in it, an assortment of video games, pinball machines, and mutoscopes.

Aside from the sound of the machines and an incessant loop of calliope music, the regions were deathly still. Only one person stood on the pier, waving to non-existent people.

And then the clock ticked over from 11:59 p.m. to Midnight.

Instantly, the ship had a full compliment of boaters, winking in from nowhere. The pier as well was suddenly a mass of people. so many that they piled up on top of each other in a jumble. each quickly rushing into the structure at the piers’ end.

The March round of The Arcade Gacha Event opened.

Did you ever read that Stephen King story, The Langoliers, or see the TV movie? It’s like the end of the tale. Everything is there, but the life. Everything is in place, but it’s still wrong. It remains a void.  And then, in an instant, the place is alive and vibrant.

I love seeing the amazing things the designers will come up, and how they’ll work me — and everyone — this time. I’m pretty proud to be a small part of the event as well, to see the massive througs of Second Life avatars who collect, trade, and otherwise utilie the items from those machine.

In the days leading up to the start, you never know how it will go — but in that split second between two empty regions and to regions full to capacity, it is amazing moment of transmutation.

(by Marianne McCann. Presented at Espresso Yourself, 3rd March, 2015.)


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