Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Ten Coolest Gay Clubs in Second Life (Part 1).

Second Life is home to so many great gay dance clubs, and with a high rate of churn it can be hard to keep track of the best ones. I don't go clubbing much, but I when I find a club that distinguishes itself from a design sense, it sticks in my mind.

So I thought I'd post a list of my favourites: those that stand out for visual style and character. Here are the first five in alphabetical order:

BLU Dancebar
Boystown is the urban gay lifestyle capital of Second Life, so it's not surprising that the chic BLU Dancebar appears on this list. The stylish build shows that a Second Life club can be an exciting architectural experience.

I don't think this is officially a dance club, or that it ever has events, but it does have a dance ball and a tip jar, and it's simply a great build - industrial and sexy like everything in Hubs Howlett's Cargo City.

Hidden away beneath the Red Lion pub in Kirkness Village, a quaint Scottish community, is The Den, home of Erotes. Blending traditional stone architecture with a high-tech nightclub vibe Erotes has an intimate and clandestine feel to it.
A fun construction, the Engine is a detailed and eccentric steampunk factory. Like the Bull Ring above, it illustrates that clubs can have character and in this case charm and whimsy.

Jake's is renowned for their gala events and for the elaborate sets they produce for these. Seen below is the set for their annual prom night.

Stay tuned for part 2 with the next 5 coolest clubs in Second Life!

Suggestions? Feedback? Let me know in comments!


  1. You've got a great list going.. I don't have my notecards/landmarks available at the moment.. so this is top of my head.. and haven't been inworld to check and see if all these guys are even still in business.. but I'll toss out five more for you:

    Tainted Boys - some fantastic builds,
    Atlantis (several clubs) - constant renewal,
    Tadd's Caberet - Tadd likes to make sure people are having fun,
    Club Zeus - Franko Box is a great host,
    Just Be - Gregster brings himself to his sets it's not just a itunes playlist,

    Anyway.. If I were signed in I'd have a better list to pass off to you

  2. Thanks, JC! If you sign in feel free to send me more suggestions, I'd like to check out as many clubs as possible (I already visited over 40).

    Just a note that this is a list of cool looking clubs. Being in Australia I'm hardly ever on when clubs are open so I can't say much about how good the events are.

    I can't remember when I last visited any of these 5 for fun! The only clubs I've really been to lately are Tadd's and Aussie Boys!

  3. Jago.

    This is an important article and one that is needed. And I think it is important to note that your definition of coolness does not, as JC points out, mean that thee are the best clubs overall on the gay scene in all areas.

    One thing I have noticed is that lately is that there are few LGBT clubs that will stand out in design awards in comparison to some top (for the lack of a better term "straight or mixed) clubs. Take a look at this series of photos I did for the Sphinx room and note the overall design sense. There are over 100 clubs on Second Life built at this level of detail. Considering that the LGBT Scene is so large, the question must be asked why few qualify.

    Certainly, it is not due to the innate design skills or taste of LGBT residents. The fashion scene is dominated by LGBT designers, One would expect that the LGBT scene might patronize exclusively gorgeous custom- built clubs. But there is little correlation between attendance and pyscial layout and design.

    Now why is this?

    For one thing (and the club scene I am most familiar with is in London), the top clubs look positively grotty when they are empty. However, pack the spaces with gorgeous laser lighting and multimedia and you have a top club experience.

    Club Lighting and other effects are what many LGBT club goers want over construction. For many clubs, the lighting budget- and budget for things such as dance floors and special particle emitters are far greater than the cost of designing a club. In addition, many clubs are now incorporating flat panel web based media into construction. These are only one when the club is open in many cases. The recommended construction for a club like this, in many cases, is as much of a black box as possible.

    The Void at Impulse Island, and Shampoo, and Tadd's are just three examples of clubs with excellent ambiance though lighting effects.

    Just as in real life, LGBT clubs come and go very often. There is one new club opening a week. Many club owners simply do not that time and funds to hire a top designer every time they need to move space.

    I think for many club goers, the ambiance - and interaction of a club goers within a space (such as Tainted Boys, the 2606 club, Aqua, or Ironworks) is what makes a club "cool". Spatial design involves experience knowing which sort of space will work and which will not with a crowd. And many club goers would rather cruise hot dancers than look at pretty designs on walls. The "Sphinx" look above might work at at LGBT club like the old Ambiance (I am not sure if it is still open) in Boystown but fail for a setting for Leather Night.

    Still, this is a well researched article on controversial subject that few other bloggers are willing to address (including myself in since the emotions involved are so strong on the part of the people who are spending their lives and cash making other resident happy - the Club Owners of Second Life. Congratulations on an important article.

    (for those who do not know I am Mr. Constantine's partner in Second Life).

  4. Hey Jago, I certainly appreciate your club reviews and understand your criteria quite well as explain in a post by eddi. You're looking at the overall build, sets, look and feel stuff and not necessarily whether they have a great DJ or attract a huge crowd. This comes across in your lists.

    Thanks for sharing and mentioning the other places that I will be sure to check out.


  5. Thanks for the comments, Eddi and Rocky!

    You're certainly right Eddi that this isn't a list of the "best" clubs. Some might be on such a list, some might not.

    There are so many variables that would go into a best of list that I can't evaluate, because of time zone differences.

    So I simply decided to run a list of what I think are the coolest gay club builds, not taking into account the staff, events and community that each club has.

  6. Thanks Eddi.. for reinforcing the idea that it's not ONE thing that makes for a great club.. There's no formula that does it.

    (Some of the most fun I've had has been in "undisclosed locations" - only in SL do people have dance floors and club lighting systems in their living rooms)

    I think I'll pop in over the weekend and bounce around my landmarks - it's about time I thinned that inventory down anyway. I'll pass what I discover off to you.

  7. I would love for you to blog about my upcoming series of events during the month of June...for a AIDS charity Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.