Pff … Pfaffenthal :/

pfaffenthal_001Come to Pfaffenthal they said, it’s a must see, they said. So I went. If even the SL explorer deluxe, the honourable Honour McMillan, finds it great, you’re sure in for a treat, young Orca. Ya ya, I’m coming. And so I went, as mentioned already. And I was really looking forward to it. And I was going to be disappointed. :/

pfaffenthal_002But here’s my report about the little trip (just one TP away) to Luxembourg and its Pfaffenthal village of 1867.

pfaffenthal_004I didn’t know about Pfaffenthal’s mildly uninteresting role in world history, neither do I know now. There was something about they had to take the city wall down or so. I guess nowadays Pfaffenthal is just a suburb of the fledgeling metropolis of Luxembourg City Okayyyy. So be it, or so was it. What I found the most impressive, or better said, the most unimpressive about my short visitation was the builder’s choice of windlight. I mean, now they got the funds for 8 sims from the gov’ment of Luxembourg, just to build one little mountanious fortified village on them and they chose the worst possible windlight setting. It’s a kinda foggy, cold, almost monochrome light that makes some stuff pop out like modern art, while most stuff kinda refuses to show at all. Time and again I had to switch to default light to make sense of what I saw. Not good.

pfaffenthal_005And then there’s Pfaffenthal itself. Ok, it’s impressive in so far as they built a lot of houses and roads and tried to recreate them in original style and size but it’s all kinda artificial, more like a theatre coulisse. In some houses they put minimal furniture, most are just empty boxes. The streets are empty and didn’t give out any atmospheric quality of the 1800’s. No horse droppings, no coal sacks, no kidz toys, no radio flyers, repectively their historical forerunner, the bollerwagen (to which, believe it or not, no translation could be found), no nothing.

pfaffenthal_007I noticed one avie (obviously a bot) in original costume, doing some handiwork. But that was it. Fortunately I found a horse, a horse, a kingdom for a horse, and stealered it right away. But there was the weird windlight effect of bad visuality again. At one point, while riding through a tunnel the horse refused to to go any further. So I abandoned the fukn beast and went on per pedes. What happend was that the tunnel wasn’t high enough to let me pass through on horseback. Really, I could only see it after switching back to default noon light.

See the floating backside of that house? It casts a shadow underneath.

I left the empty boring streets of Pfaffenthal and climbed up the surrounding hills to have a view above the whole village and do an aerial photo shot, and then I saw it clearly. I was indeed in the artificial world of a model town, a theatrical backdrop at best. Because this look from behind showed floating trees and slightly misaligned buildings floating above ground. Very sloppy building quality.

Floating trees. 😮

hello_001Then there is a Welcome Area which is kinda typical German: Dress period perfect! No nudity! No this! No that! Everything is verboten here. At least you can grab your costume for free from a vendor but that reeks like the shoes you can rent at a bowling alley. Eeeeps. 😮

Snapshot_002Of course, like in any small European village there is a creek running through it. But it was empty and bereft of all atmospheric stuff, just like the rest of Pffthal.

Snapshot_003The fort in the background is also a must for many old villages and towns.

pfaffenthal_003So is the cemetery.

pfaffenthal_009So, maybe I’m unfair, I probably am, and I’m dissing the builder(s) who obviously put countless hours and a lot of effort into recreating the Pfaffenthal of 1867. Also applaudable is their approach of combining RL and SL by trying to get a lot of visitors who don’t have an SL account yet to visit the Pfaffenthal exhibit. And making it easy by giving them ready-made avies when they are visiting the RL museum in Luxembourg. But I had hoped  and expected a much better build, a much richer atmosphere and above all a windlight that doesn’t look like straight out of a cheapo monster B-movie.

Anyhoo, knowing exactly I can’t and neither do I want stop you from visiting the virtual Pfaffenthal, here for your preparation of your outing to Virtual Pfaffenthal the obligatory notecard:

Welcome to the 1867 historical role play!

Here are some of our rules:

-Please wear appropriate clothing for 1867, newcomers and visitors may wear one of the 2 outfits from the free vendors at the welcome area.
-Nudity and vulgarity are strictly forbidden, as these regions are online in public places.
-If you would like to join the group please contact Hauptmann Weydert.
-Participants in the RP have free rent and can pick a house to live in,please contact Hauptmann Weydert if interested.
    Any furniture and other items rezzed must have the approval of the owners or officers here, as they need to fit the period
-No buying and selling is allowed in these regions, except for pretent in the RP.

Here some more information:

Luxembourg, …….a place … time . “… We historians know very well that a city is not born overnight, nor in a year, but is the result of a long process where  spontaneous initiatives and deliberate stately favors are mingled… “(Michel Pauly 2014)

As witnesses of this process, men and women took part in the building of a city … a country. They were farmers, politicians, artisans, musicians, writers … their  legacy is still alive today.  
The 1867 story aspires to explore its history, trying to meet not only its famous characters,  but also brave brave little people.?Luxembourg invites us into its contrasting topography, steep, leading us down hidden paths were we discover its mysteries and its treasures. Stories, legends, architectures, casemates, uptown … downtown, roads and bridges … offer us an exciting decor.?It still has a story to tell.  And it is through women and men that lived in the past, and those who live in the present, with different points of view, with divers knowledge, that we could revel in its grace, survey its enigmas, mourn its misfortunes …

Thus,  ‘1867’  invites residents, artists, 3d builders and graphic artists, scriptors, animators, educators and other social actors, grocer, tailors, and anybody that loves  Luxembourg, to take part in the creation of a new adventure in a virtual reality and through other media platforms.

a date…

In spring 1867, Luxembourg is a complex military fortress, the ultimate result of a construction that took hundreds of years, a city occupied by a Prussian garrison. The Grand Duchy is an ‘autonomous’ country  and member of the’ Zollverein, the customs union established by Prussia. The attempt of  Napoleon III to buy the land from the Grand Duke King William the first, creates tensions among the population, trouble spreads throughout  the capital  and the country. The great nations send their secret agents and mobilize their troops, Bismarck intervenes …

a first district…

“… The Pfaffenthal-Siechenhof neighborhood has gone through multiple stages. Let us mention the most important: the presence of the monks on the Altmünster plateau who used the fertile lands of the valley to install gardens, meadows and vineyards, the leprosarium side of the ‘val des Bons Malades’ casting a shadow on a much earlier era, the artisanal character with its many stores, the presence of soldiers occupying the fortress (and the more difficult periods when soldiers were lodged with the citizens), the tedious construction of the fortifications which took centuries and involved workers from all over Europe, struggling to survive from day to day, small traders, shops, fairground people or travelers, the bohemian side with the Luxembourg artists who lived there, the industrial era barely touched the territory, but finally brought the end of the era of craftsmen … “(Jean-André Stammet October 2011)

Thus our story begins in Pfaffenthal, a hotbed, stirring with a rich diversity of professions, cultures and languages.

The first phase of the project, the Fort Thüngen Virtual (Kirchberg) runs since late 2012 with workshops for the general public and for school classes at the Fortress Museum in Luxembourg (in collaboration with the National Museum of History and Art)?From May 2015 until January 2016  the ‘Virtual Pfaffenthal’ will be part of an exhibition at the Luxembourg City History Museum using both ‘Oculus Rift ‘and ‘Cyberyth’

here some more info to download:

have fun!


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