We'll give you a quick introduction to BURN2, what it is, where it is, and how you can join us there and begin creating your virtual Burn experience!
1. What is BURN2?
BURN2 is an official virtual Regional of Burning Man. However, "virtual" does not mean "not real". The people involved in the regional, the ideas and creations, and the efforts put into each event held on the virtual playa in Second Life are all very real.
2. WHO is BURN2?
Members of the BURN2 community hail from all over the world, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Japan, and many European countries.
Within Second Life, we have created a group as a means of communicating about our activities, called "Burningman 2.0" - we encourage new-to-SL and new-to-BURN2 Burners to join this free, open-join group to stay abreast of happenings.
We have active members in the community who are Rangers, artists, builders, and passionate Burners. Among us, a Burner is one who supports and practices the Ten Principles of Burning Man, and encourages others to learn and follow them as well. Some of us have been to Black Rock City in Nevada; many have not. Some may be unable to get there for whatever reason - distance, health, life circumstances - but here at BURN2 they have a Regional where they can freely participate in the activities.
We have a DMV and also an Artcar Preservation Association, which have the maintenance, preservation and creation of artcars in BURN2 as their main responsibilities.
The Lamplighters collaborate closely with BURN2 and conduct drummings, dancing and processions at the events. The Elders Council meet regularly to coordinate participation in BURN2's events.
3. What do we do in BURN2?
We plan and organise various events and activities that convey and teach the Ten Principles of Burning Man. We have five main events during the year:
- The annual, week-long "big Burn" event in October, with builds left on display through the following week.
- The "Skin Burn" follows a week or two later, usually heled twice in one day. At this event, we burn the Man in a much lower-lag setting so people who could not enjoy the Burn during the October event, may have a better experience of it.
- Santalarity is our winter event, typically held over a weekend in December with builds left up on display for the following week.
- Burnal Equinox is our spring event which takes place over a weekend in March or April, with builds left on display through the following week.
- Conception is a weekend summer event usually in July, to celebrate the start of BURN2 (originally called Burning Life). Builds are left up through the following week.
We observe the "Leave No Trace" principle by having all non-infrastructure builds completely removed from the playa after events, so it is restored to its pristine state.
4. How do I get to BURN2?
BURN2 operates within the virtual world of Second Life, SL for short.
If you are not a "gamer," your first entry into Second Life may be confusing, disorienting, and even overwhelming. Even if you are a gamer, you could be confused, because SL is not actually a game. There are no 'levels,' quests may be part of inworld games but not in the general environment.
However, games CAN be played within SL. It is a virtual environment, a platform, on which the many different types of activities are carried out by individuals, groups, and communities. It is a world where users create the content within the world, in regions called "sims."
BURN2 resides on a sim called "Burning Man- Deep Hole". Here, you will find our little replica of the town of Gerlach and the playa. Weekly planning meetings are held at the HQ building in Gerlach, at 10:00pm SLT (Second Life Time, same as Pacific Time). We chose to meet at that time because it accommodates many time zones, thus encouraging participation by our members in far-flung parts of the world.
5. What do I do next?
When you first entered SL, you likely went through an orientation to learn the basics of navigation, finding your way around, groups in SL, and perhaps how to find and communicate with others in SL.
First thing after orientation, use Search to find the Burningman 2.0 group and join it. Once you've joined it, you will see a tag above your head, above your name: "Burner" - and you're IN.
You can introduce yourself in the group chat (we use group chat which is in text. Group call is seldom used becasue it excludes those who cannot or do not use voice). If anyone is online and able to respond, they will do so to welcome you. You will receive group notices that communicate about our different activities.
You can also find your way to the playa. If the playa is not pristinely empty, then we're preparing to have an event.
The playa is available for members' use when it's not being prepared for an event - as long as the Ten Principles of Burning Man are upheld in the activity, the members can talk with the planning team at the weekly meeting, let us know of it, we'll schedule it, and announce it through the group so everyone can participate, and help make it happen!
While you are new, feel free to "lurk" in the group chats for a while. But don't be shy! Come to weekly meetings and just observe the proceedings. Attend events as they are announced through the group notices and chats. Get a feel for this Regional and its activities. Make friends! Then participate - suggest ideas, help out!
In the process, you'll gain friends and membership in a vibrant virtual Burner community where you can learn, create, and contribute to an active virtual Regional of Burning Man.