Friday, December 28, 2012

Location Scouting in Second Life (RPG in SL part 2)

This article is the second part of a blog post series on role-playing in Second Life.

In my introduction to Role-play games in Second Life I have written that there is a huge variety of role-play settings. One very successful niche is the Scouts RPG in Second Life. There are several Scout groups and regions on the grid and I am going to present you two of them today. 

I like SL exploration roleplay as there are usually many people and due to its more casual nature.

Camp Kawabata

The first group that I want to present you is Camp Kawabata. While not connected to any real life scouting organization they promote the values of of scouting’s founder Sir Robert Baden Powell, including building character, citizenship, personal and group skills in Second Life.

Kwabata Scouts at the comic book merit badge meeting - picture by Christian Welles

Camp Kawabata is a beautiful full SL region and a great place for casual role-play including horseback riding, swimming, hiking, boating and campfire activities. 

But the main reason why the Scouts stand out from other RPG environments are their biweekly field trips with the opportunity to get a merit badge. The badges are earned by participating in a specific activity and by filling out a Merit Badge notecard at the end of the meeting which tests your acquired knowledge.

There are several reasons why the merit badge trips are so much fun. First the participants get to explore beautiful thematic regions. Exploring is a favorite activity of many SL residents, but the Scouts go one step further by making exploration a part of their role-play - it is more fun to visit scenic locations in a group. Second many of the field trips include mini-games such as archery, swimming, surfing, shooting, climbing or scuba diving and it is more of a challenge to do such mini games in a crowd. Thirdly there is a learning effect about topics that you might otherwise not get in contact with: there is a variety of cultural, societal and science related merit badges.

The fun of these field trip activities can be measured by the high attendance to the field trips. Often the scout leaders have to form two groups so that the destinations of the trips can handle the amount of incoming avatars. 

Regular reports about past field trips with pictures are posted on the Camp Kawabata blog. If you are interested to take part in the Scout role-play you need to create a young version of your avatar. Avatars aged 5-18 are welcome to join the scouts. The merit badge meetings currently take place on Thursday at 7pm SLT and on Sunday at 1pm SLT.


The Second "Scout" RPG is actually not related to scouts - it is a nostalgic adventure roleplay group inspired by the 1980's movie The Goonies. Formed by SL content creator Loki Eliot - I have written about his SL experience The Well a few weeks ago - the SL Goonies group is an exclusive group for SL kids whose friendship binds them as one while on the many adventures and explorations in SL. 

The Goonies have their clubhouse based at Nemo Beach in the Escapades region where they hang out, hold parties, and plan new adventures. They are a gang of open minded young at heart souls who love to muck about, and go on adventures, dig for treasure, invent cool things and explore. The SL Goonies exploration trips are taking place twice a month, mostly on Fridays around 1pm SLT. Group members will receive a message with the details.

I have made a video with some scenes of a past SL goonies exploration trip:

It is not as easy to get a Goony membership as with other RPG groups. To become a Goony you need to find a Goony member first and ask where to start the initiation.

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