Once and Future Caledon

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In a recent post here I commented on the fact that I felt that Caledonian expansion had gone on long enough, and that it was time to refocus on the themes and lands already under our brave if unfortunately colored flag.

This comment seemed to reignite, at least in a small part, the Old vs New Caledon argument which has raged in different forms several times over the last few months. While I have already commented on that boondoggle previously here, I feel I need to make a few new comments on the matter, and to clarify my previous points concerning Caledon’s growing pains.

In an ancient post I wrote back in the dim recesses of June (…Wither Will We Wander), I focused on three key factors that I felt would effect Caledonian expansion. Those were land value, population dilution and community integrity. At the time (Caledon Eyre had just risen from the sea), I felt that none of those factors required an immediate end to expansion….6 months down the line, I have slowly come to feel the opposite is true. I must add that I may not be alone in these views, as the Guvnah has stated quite clearly that the plans for the final Sims of Caledon are nearly complete, and that the end of expansion is nigh.

Therefore, these factors are now support for the impending end of Caledonian expansion, as envisioned and declared by our beloved despot.

Land Value: Considering the vast number of Sims now under the Caledon banner I feel the time to allow the resale market to have a hand in land rights prices, without another Sim always on pre-order, has arrived. I am certainly not looking to make a quick killing on the land market, but I think that a slow, natural increase in the value of the land rights we own will benefit all of Caledon. After all, when mainland lots are beginning at 9L a meter, it stands to reason that Caledon land rights should go for considerably more. Certainly higher land rights prices will give benefits to the overall economy of our nation, as well as raising the prestige involved in owning such land for residential or business purposes.

Of course there will need to be some kind of community pressure against those who exceed all decency in prices (if for some reason the market does not chastise them itself) and a mechanism employed, perhaps an honor system, where a small amount of the purchase price is paid as tax to the Guvnah for land transactions, but all of those are details which we as a civil society could come to agreement about.

Caledon, and her citizens, have only to gain from increased demand for suddenly finite Caledonian land rights.

Population Dilution: Again, this is a factor that has reached a point where much can be gained by an end to expansion. It is all of our best interests to make certain that the people who move into Caledon really WANT to be Caledonians, not simply people willing to ignore our strange ways in order to rent land without tier in a quiet area. We all must admit that the pool of SL residents who would make worthy Caledonians is limited, and therefore making it more difficult to become Caledonian is a very wise step. If land is harder to get, and requires actually seeking out a seller rather then simply waiting for your name to come up on the waiting list, those potential residents who are less then committed or certain regarding their future in Caledon will be weeded out by natural selection.

This will benefit not only the residents of Caledon (less churn, more stable environment, more RP/social possibilities), but also those residents who may not be a perfect fit in Caledon and may benefit from a way to think twice before investing the time and effort into fitting into our little nation. This would also be a boon to those residents who for whatever reason wish to move on. A solid, interested pool of residents-in-waiting, lindens in hand, would benefit these residents looking for an exit strategy as well as those residents who remain.

Community Integrity: As I touched upon briefly before, a finite, essentially closed community will allow the ties that bind us to be all the stronger. Less coming and going of new residents, less land swapping amongst longtime Caledonians and an end to always having a new Sim on your doorstep or on the horizon means that we will all know our neighbors better. Role playing situations will become more natural and deeper, events of all sorts will become easier to plan, social gatherings will be easier to hold successfully when we have a tighter, more experienced community. In addition a more cohesive community will be better to face the exciting challenges as we continue to learn about our valued and interesting new neighbors such as Winterfell and more alliances to come as promised by the Guvnah. Endless expansion dilutes the feeling of Caledonian community that we have all come to cherish, and that we will need as we form closer ties with allied nations with different customs. New faces and names are always nice, but too many can bring a feeling of disconnection and loss of a common background and vision.

With an end to expansion, the number of new residents will drop to a trickle from a constant flood, and we can focus more on building up the institutions and commonalities we already have rather then expending so much energy on welcoming and integrating newcomers.

Old versus New

Of course, as expansion grinds to a halt, it has brought up the old issue of which is superior, Old Caledon or New Caledon. Certainly, in the last year Caledon has gone through many changes. New Sims and new residents causing a slow change in the strict Victorian/Steampunk focus of the founders, the inclusion of many new void Sims which massively increased the beautiful waterways of our fair land but also shut down the RP conceit of nobility once and for all through oversaturation of titles. So many changes, some I feel are positive, some negative…but all natural.

Caledon is a living breathing thing, growing and changing around us. Neither Old Caledon or New Caledon are intrinsically better or worse then the other, each has a story to tell and a place in the warp and weave we are creating together. Yes, I feel Sims could hew more closely to their unique themes, but those themes allow a great deal of latitude regarding architecture and matters of style. The Victorian period was, after all, an age of visionaries, eccentrics and crackpots…as well as proper citizens. Certainly ALL of those are well represented here in Caledon, old and new alike. All sides have points, all sides have erred…veteran residents have been known to be arrogant and exclusionary, newcomers have been known to be insolent and reckless. All of that is to be expected, and a part of being human. Trifles and distractions, all.

First and foremost, beyond old and new, Caledon is built on tolerance, fair play and a sense of fun and adventure for all. As long as we remember that these founding precepts take precedence over any matter of prim or texture or language, then we are being true to the spirit of Caledon, regardless of when we first arrived here.

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5 Comments

  1. Well said, Baron.

    Caledon forevah!

  2. Visionaries, eccentrics and crackpots.

    Check, check and check. I think Kaleidopia House has one of each, some days. :)

    We’re good. Hee.

  3. *Kaleidecopia*.

    Mrr. Must remember that napping thing, yes. Four hours sleep, not good.

  4. One is not born a Caledonian so much as one *becomes* a Caledonian by virtue of residency in that fair land and exposure to its peoples and customs

    Thank you for your expressive words, Baron.

    -CA Dimsum

  5. Miss Dimsum, this is very true.

    In which case…the fact I’m now inflicted upon you is all Edward’s fault.

    Bwaha.

    But it must be said–had I not met Lady Christine, and then Edward, had I not become friends with Lord and Lady Bardhaven, and their delightful ward…had Edward not led me on a curious expedition through New Babbage with Miss Elda Luna in tow, that started with an amazing clockwork machine, and ended in Professor Sputnik’s ETC…

    …I truly, deeply doubt I’d be a Caledonian now.

    It is the people make the land at times, not the reverse, and in Caledon’s case it’s doubly true.


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