Exploring Steam Forge
In the weeks leading up to the creation of this blog, I spent a great deal of time researching Neko styles in Second Life — from Steampunk, Goth, and Vamp, to Kawaii, Geisha, and pretty much everything in between. I tracked down countless Neko designers, many of whom were often situated in fantastically built sims that offered just as much fun for the explorer as they did to the shopper (did I really just say that?!).
One of my favorite such shopping destinations is Steam Forge — not only due to the caliber of stores available to Nekos there, but because it’s the kind of place you can’t help but walk around and admire.
Imagine my excitement the other night when I happened to see Thomus Keen there — the talented designer behind the concept of Industrial Steampunk in Second Life. One notecard and 24 hours later, I discovered that the man behind the Steam Forge sim is probably one of the kindest, most generous individuals I’ve met in SL. And oh what a passion…
“It’s ALL about passion for Steampunk,” began Thomus. “When Destany Laval and I brought our vision of Industrial Steam Punk to SL, we didn’t know if it would catch on or not, but we didn’t care, because it wasn’t for the money. Yet it seems to have taken off, for which I am eternally grateful.” (Destany Laval’s neighboring “Creeve Town” is just across the Iron Bridge from Steam Forge).
Thomus recently finished doing some major upgrades to the main stores around Steam Forge, and seemed particularly pleased with how League turned out. “I LOVE having steam punk designers here… and do whatever I can to support them. We don’t charge them rent, we don’t constrain them with prim limits, and we made a big workshop to give them a place to build and share resources that help all designers, new and old.”
Silently padding around the sim for a few last photos after our chat, it was clear Steam Forge reflected a labor of unbridled enthusiasm and love. The next time you’re looking for a unique piece of Neko fashion or simply a great photo opp in Second Life, I’d encourage you to stop by.
What is Steam Punk? Read more here:
Steam Forge has changed since I visited, but you can find their new home here:
What I wore while visiting Steam Forge:
| Hair | Kin: Lucy in red
| Collar | A&U: Collar bell
| Shirt | Dutch Touch: Pure (both pieces)
| Arm Cuff | Kurotsubaki: Rabbit Watch
| Belt | CatNip: Stray Survival Belt
| Shorts | Armidi Elephant Outfitters: Jordyn in Twig
| Socks | Shiny Things: Stripe knit thigh highs in brown
| Shoes | Elle et Lui by Marie Ruggles: boots from the Neko Suie outfit (in dark plaid)
Fashion photo (top) by Bobby Yoshikawa <3***
Steam Forge photos (lower two) by Stacia
© Stacia Villota / Virtual Neko in Second Life – 2008